While some so-called body-building supplements that are based on artificial chemicals or protein powders may prove less than effective (or even harmful!), there are natural options that are both safe and powerful. N-acetyl cysteine, for instance, is a naturally-occurring amino acid that can reduce fatigue and decrease muscle damage during intense workouts.
Oxidative Stress and Muscle Building
Oxidative stress can be your worst enemy when it comes to body-building, which is ironic since the damage is exacerbated by intense exercise. Oxidative stress occurs when the number of free radicals present in the body exceeds antioxidant defenses. When you work out, oxygen particles are used more quickly, leaving an excess of free-radical byproducts. In turn, these free radicals steal electrons from surrounding cells, and this causes damage to the very same muscle tissues that you are trying to tone up by exercising!
Oxidative stress is one reason muscles feel sore and achy after a hard workout; it also induces fatigue and increases after-workout recovery time. There is a way, however, to combat oxidative stress: increasing the amounts of healing antioxidants and amino acids present.
NAC and Muscle Performance
There is an antidote, so to speak, to combat cell-damaging free radicals. Antioxidants can neutralize the harmful particles while amino acids can fortify surrounding tissues. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) serves both purposes. Here are a few of the exercise-enhancing benefits of NAC:
- By binding to volatile free radicals, it neutralizes their muscle-damaging activity.
- It helps reduce muscle pain and fatigue during exercise, therefore increasing endurance.
- Since it helps protect muscles from damage during exercise, NAC can reduce post-workout recovery time.
These results have been exhibited in study after study measuring human performance. A few examples include:
- A study by the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that NAC supplementation increased human force output by 15%.
- Muscle and Nerve Journal found that NAC delayed fatigue and increased repetitive task performance by 15%.
- Finally, a clinical trial by Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology concluded that NAC increased exercise stamina across a range of intensities and also improved physical power during workouts.
How to Supplement
You can help your muscles cope with intense daily exercise by taking a natural NAC supplement. Living Clean offers TJ Clark’s N-Acetyl Cysteine Liquid Formula, which you can take with fruit juice, once daily. Browse other amino acid products as well, or read about how to improve health through all-natural supplements:
- Additional Benefits of the Amino Acid, Cysteine
- An Introduction to Amino Acids and Why You Need Them
- Amino Acid Supplements for Healthy Living