- by Nils Osmar. September 15, 2023
- This post is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice.
- See full Medical Disclaimer
I decided to try something different this morning, which was taking 200 mg of immediate-release niacin along with some 500 mg of NMN and 500 mg berberine and 1 gram of TMG –– all together –– about 20 minutes before my workout. I took them with some water with electrolytes; had a hot shower (my usual way of warming up my muscles); then worked out in my home gym.
- I was genuinely surprised at how well the workout went.
- I usually work out for about an hour. This time, I went for an extra half hour and added in some exercises I usually don’t do.
- I sometimes feel like lying down for a few minutes after a workout, but had (and have) great energy after today’s workout.
- This is actually contrary to what I thought might happen. I had read one study before trying the combo which found no benefit, or even a negative effect, from taking niacin (alone) before resistance training. The authors actually recommended against taking niacin pre-workout, citing decreased time to exhaustion when it was taken by itself. They also noted that while some companies add niacin to pre-workout drinks, but that there is little evidence of any concrete benefit to doing so.
- I had taken NMN and berberine together before workouts in the past, but not noticed a benefit; I’d also taken niacin by itself. What was new was taking all three together. When taking them in this combination, I was surprised by the noticeable increase in my energy. I was also surprised to find that I had an unusual degree of alertness during and after the workout, though niacin taken by itself will often make me a little sleepy.
What’s goin’ on?
- My good results may have been because I niacin and NMN are both NAD boosters, and NMN and berberine are AMPK activators. So I may have been getting a double dose of both AMPK and NAD+.
- Berberine itself has also been found to help the body utilize energy, and, separately, to raise testosterone in men – see study.
- Combining berberine, niacin and NMN seems to have been what gave me the nice jolt of energy this morning.
“Isn’t berberine bad for muscle growth, though?”
A 2010 study suggested that it interfered (in mice) with muscle growth; more recent studies like this one suggest that it supports muscle growth. From the study:
“Our study revealed that BBR could improve metabolic disorders and inflammation status, decrease Mstn expression, and increase skeletal muscle mass, which was associated with the Smad pathway.”
Could it be a placebo effect?
- A placebo effect is a definite possibility with any experiment of this sort, particularly with a compound like niacin that has such a noticeable effect on the body. So that possibility can’t be ruled out.
- However, having read the study I linked to above, I was not really expecting any benefit. If anything, I thought I might lower my energy levels. So it didn’t have the “expectation” element that often goes along with a placebo.
- It may also have just be a fluke – i.e., something else may have been responsible for my higher than usual levels of physical and mental energy.
- Or it may be that the surprising boost to my energy was real, and that I’ve accidentally stumbled onto something genuine.
- I’ll try it a few more times and see if I can narrow down what’s causing the energy boost.
I tried the same protocol again, with and without the TMG; it worked much better with the TMG than without it.
Not medical advice
This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplement(s), just reporting on what I’m doing. Supplements, like medications and other interventions, can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen, and consult with a medical professional about any issues which might have a medical component. See full Medical Disclaimer
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