If you’ve clicked over to our new supplement section anytime recently then you know my opinions on supplement usage, dosing and stacking is slightly more advanced than the stuff that you’ll read in the muscle magazines. I’m not going to wait to see something put out by the big companies in order to start using it on myself. Furthermore, I’m also not going to misinterpret the data.
New breakthroughs in performance supplementation happen all the time, we just have to determine how to best use them with the limited data that we have. This brings me to the use of resveratrol as a performance enhancer for a leaner and more muscular body. If you’re not familiar with the compound found in red wine, it has the ability to potentially extend life, reduce stress, provide strong anti-oxidant properties and improve insulin sensitivity. Now we’re talking about increasing muscle size and losing body fat.
Research out of the University of Alberta showed a 21% increase in exercise performance, greater slow twitch muscle force generation and higher rates of fatty acid metabolism. The research speculation on the results were that the subjects had increased efficiency in fatty acid usage for fuel. To be honest with you, the subjects were rats (whom don’t respond THAT much differently than humans) and were given 4 g of resveratrol per kg of bodyweight. That’s a lot.
The test was done over a 12 week period.
Another potential problem is that reseratrol has very low bioavailablity in humans.We’d need to take 2-4 grams per day to potentially see these improvements. Of course, companies are coming out with topical creams and spray. I’ve also spoken to people who have taken resveratrol injections and they claim to respond favorably.
There was no mention in the study if the subjects were given trans-resveratrol which has been proven better for the health aspects mentioned at the beginning. Trans resveratrol will run you anywhere from $20-$50 for a 60-120 capsule bottle of either 250-500mg’s. Considering that you should take a minimum of 2 grams and it can get pretty expensive.
You’ll find resveratrol paired with pterostilbene, which is naturally found in blueberries and shares many of the same health benefits as resveratrol. Well pterostilbene was shown, in a 1996 study of diabetic rats, to have similar effects as the diabetes drug metformin for lowering blood glucose. While more orally active than resveratrol, the diabetic rats were given injectable pterostilbene.
My conclusion: Take resveratrol and pterostilbene for the health benefits. If you’ve got your diet and training dialed in and want to experiment for a few weeks with higher doses go with it.