Do the the cons outweigh the benefits of GDA’s when trying to maximize hypertrophy?

Ask DocCategory: SupplementsDo the the cons outweigh the benefits of GDA’s when trying to maximize hypertrophy?
AvatarJason Barnes asked 4 months ago

I like that GDA’s such as berberine can help with insulin sensitivity, however, my concern is that they tend to activate AMPK, and therefore the cons may outweigh the benefits while trying to maximize hypertrophy. Should I limit usage of those supplements to specific instances such as glycogen supercompensation after intentional carb depletion?

1 Answers
Dr. Jacob WilsonDr. Jacob Wilson Staff answered 4 months ago

Hi Jason,

This is definitely a tough subject to breach as we don’t have much literature on the effects of AMPK activation on long term resistance training adaptations. We know that protein signalling is generally impaired with AMPK activation and we do see reduced hypertrophic effects on cardiac muscle tissue so we can somewhat generalize and apply those results for skeletal muscle. As far as glucose disposal agents/supplements go, berberine certainly does appear to increase AMPK activation. If you’re interested in maintaining insulin sensitivity without promoting AMPK activation I’d recommend switching to magnesium from berberine. Magnesium does not appear to increase AMPK activation but does have solid literature in promoting insulin sensitivity through both direct and indirect findings.

Further Reading:

Guerrero-Romero, F., Tamez-Perez, H. E., González-González, G. E., Salinas-Martinez, A. M., Montes-Villarreal, J., Trevino-Ortiz, J. H., & Rodriguez-Moran, M. (2004). Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic subjects with insulin resistance. A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Diabetes & Metabolism, 30(3), 253-258.

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