Phosphatidic Acid: The Master Switch of Muscle Building
You’ve heard of it: Phosphatidic Acid Supplement. But you are skeptical because you’ve never understood the science of it. Learn all about it in this article.
Bodybuilding supplements, in today’s world which is driven by a conscious effort to maintain and develop a healthy physique, has become quite a need more than just a luxury that some can’t afford. There is a widespread consumption of supplements that is being practiced all over the world among athletes, bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts and the average health buffs alike.
In a study conducted by the NCBI or the National Center for Biotechnology Information, on a cross-sectional method of study that involved 250 men and women with different bodybuilding experiences, it was discovered that forty-nine percent responded ‘yes’ to supplement use. In those 49%, 86.8% comprised of men while the rest, women. The study categorized the supplement enhancers into 5 categories:
- Hormones are substances that are directly linked to the male sex hormone, testosterone, and all it’s anabolic and androgenic effects. It is usually used to stimulate and increase the production of protein in the body— protein, which is the main building block of muscle growth.
- Creatine Products are a chemically produced compound that promotes synthesis to store energy. Phosphate molecules attach themselves to the creatine that results in creatine phosphate.
- Vitamins are groups of natural and organic substances that are considered critical for growth, nutritional and body development. Because of its properties, this should only be taken in small doses as it cannot be synthesized by the body.
- Minerals are naturally existing elements that optimize our daily bodily functions. Examples of which are calcium, potassium, sodium, zinc, iron, iodine, fluoride, and chromium, to name a few.
- Others would include fat burners, MRP’s or meal-replacement products, etc.
Supplement Intake: A Throwback
Egypt is where one of the earliest evidence of sports or any physical activity was ever recorded. This was circa 3000BC. In those days, supplements for the body come in the form different than what we know it today.
Wrestling, which was the first sport ever recorded, included the wrestler’s hands and forearms protected with soft leather thongs. These wrestlers consumed supplements in the form of concoctions made out of different herbs, tonics, and spices. Though without medical research, athletes and doctors would rely on the feeling it gave them and feedback alone. And if it would back them feel stronger and increase their stamina, then it would be a good concoction or supplement to take.
In the 1910s, when bodybuilding started to become popular among the masses, the initial type of supplement consumed was beef extract. Eugen Shadow, known and recognized as the first bodybuilder, promoted the consumption of beef ‘juice’ to enhance muscle mass and recovery. This is a highly-concentrated beef stock derived from cooking beef and making beef broth for hours and hours in the boiler. He believes that the protein released from beef called myoglobin directly contributes to muscle strength and stamina. On the other hand, Irvin P. Johnson, during the 1950s, advocated the consumption of raw eggs in the powder form. This fueled the widespread growth of the bodybuilding and supplement industry.
Regardless of the form, time and who uses it, it is without a doubt that supplements are now part of the healthy lifestyle anyone yearns for. The prevalence of usage for both men and women have maintained, if not increased over the years. Most athletes get their influences for the supplements they take from their own nutritionists, while coaches and doctors are usually the firestarters for the average health and fitness enthusiast.
And supplement after supplement comes a highly promising bodybuilding agent emerging in the form of Phosphatidic Acid. Below, you’ll learn all there is to know about the hype and if it is living it up to it.
THE SCIENCE of PA (Phosphatidic Acid)
Phosphatidic Acid, which we’ll refer to as PA in this article, is a phospholipid. But first, what is a phospholipid?
The phospholipid is the main structural net of the cells. It is highly overlooked. It is basically the protector and is essential to Phosphatidylcholine (PC) and Phosphatidylserine (PS), which are both used for normal cell structure and function. Keeping normal cell function is essential in any physical activity like bodybuilding. Your cell function can and will determine your athletic performance. You may also refer to this as the ‘molecule of life’. Basically, without phospholipids, you and your body are as useless as a dried out leaf left under the sun.
More than this, Phospholipids contain omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are the main communicators of various tissues and organs and will allow ingredients and nutrients to travel and import these throughout your body.
What about Phosphatidic Acid? And Why Should You Care?
The only thing you should know about Phosphatidic acid (PA) is that it is the on and off switch for your mTOR. Your mTOR is a regulator of protein synthesis which is activated by insulin and other growth factors. MTOR is the pathway controller of protein synthesis at the cellular level, so without it, there’d be no protein and without protein, it’d be pretty difficult to build up your muscles. Your PA optimizes your mTOR which regulates your protein production, therefore, without PA, there is no protein production. Get the analysis?
This novel nutrient has been found to play one of the most important roles in muscle growth and development. If taken orally, the consumption of PA may directly contribute to amplifying the response of muscles to nutrition, exercise, and recovery.
PA, in its organic state, is not a man-made product. It is actually found in a lot of vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli. But to be able to get to the level of PA actually having a substantial effect on your muscle membranes, you would need to eat heaps and loads of these vegetables as there are only about .5 milligrams of PA in each cabbage per gram. Talk about binge eating this stuff.
Nevertheless, this is exactly what PA supplements are all about. Fortunately, there is research to back up all its benefits:
PA Supplementary Benefits
Improved Lower Body Strength
In a study done by NCBI on the effects of Phosphatidic Acid Supplementation in Conjunction with Resistance Training in men on the dosage of 375 mg and 250 mg, it was discovered that the combination of resistance training and PA generally garnered increases in the lower body strength or 13.36%. The participants performed 5-10 repetitions for 57 days maximum on the leg press machine, carrying an average of 175% of their total body mass.
Increased Muscle Strength
In the same study, of the same participants, results showed an increase of 2.65% in body muscle strength from Day 1 to Day 57 which were determined using a dual-beam balance scale, while fat mass and fat-free mass were determined using a DEXA.
Increased Lean Mass
More than this, there was also an increase of 2.31% from the original lean muscle mass recorded for most of the participants during the 57-day period.
Increased Muscle Size
The same study wanted to determine, besides the assessment of muscle strength, the actual physical growth of the muscles, specifically in the buttocks area. The study has shown that there was a 13.31% increase observed.
Where and How Should I Take PA?
Now that you’re all convinced with the benefits of PA, it’s time to learn about how much should go into your body. Research has discovered that 750 mg of PA per day is more than enough to optimize and sustain muscle growth and mass development. Anything less than 500mg would imply little to no results at all. This implies that PA, though not the strongest supplement in the market, is actually beneficial being the mildest as you will experience no side effects at all.
As per most bodybuilding steroids and supplements, it is highly recommended that you take this supplement as early as two hours prior to your planned workout but not earlier than that. The latest you may take this is 30 minutes prior. It is also beneficial that you take PA on your resistance training days as per the NCBI study, for as long as 8 weeks at a time.
Enhanced Athlete has joined the bandwagon of manufacturers and produced its own line of PA supplement which they call MTOR-RX. It is packed with 400mg of PA in each capsule. It is up in the market for 54.99USD and can be shipped worldwide. You can easily access their website and have it shipped.
Phosphatidic Acid Supplement: Key Takeaway
The PA Supplement is backed up by research and science, and leaves no room for doubt that it is indeed, highly effective. The fact that it is also legal attracts so many athletes and bodybuilders to it. To top that, it has little to no side effects at all, making it one of the safest anabolic supplements in the market out there today. It is best stacked with other supplements that you’re already taking for that optimal muscle building.
Be it hormones, creatines, vitamins, minerals or supplements like PA, it is always highly encouraged to seek the professional opinion of your nutritionist and doctor before taking any product.