Lipoic acid or alpha lipoic acid (ALA)
This is a sulphur-containing antioxidant, which increases insulin efficiency (the ability of insulin to store sugar in muscle and other organs) and it is one of the most under-rated supplements around. Several years ago, researchers from Germany discovered that lipoic acid improved insulin function in diabetics. Further studies confirmed this effect. Several years later, one of the research scientists who preceded me at a large supplement company I used to work for added it to a creatine product that also contained large dosages of the simple sugar dextrose. This formula quickly became the most effective (and popular) creatine product on the market and it was because the combination of this large dosage of carbs in the presence of supercharged insulin from the lipoic acid drove more creatine into the muscle cell.
More recently, lipoic acid has been shown to cause weight loss. A large study published in 2011 in the American Journal of Medicine gave obese subjects a daily dose of 1200 mg or 1800 mg of lipoic acid for 20 weeks. At the end of the study, the high-dose lipoic acid group lost 2.1% more weight than those getting the placebo and this result was significant.
Now, I’m not claiming that lipoic acid is a “miracle supplement” or anything but when used intelligently, it is more effective for muscle gains, fat loss and performance improvement than hundreds of other supplement, which get more attention.
If you want to give it a whirl, you only need 200-600mg with 5-10 grams of creatine, + about 50g Dextrose (or maltodextrin or high GI waxy maize) + 20-30g whey protein if you want to use it as a post workout or before or after breakfast on non-training days.
For fat loss, you should take it fairly often because it has a short half life. You are best taking about 200-300mg every 2-4 hours. You can take it alongside green tea, synephrine, caffeine, etc.
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Sports Supplement Specialist
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