Does Hyaluronic Acid Work for Muscle Growth? An N=1 Study

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by Nils Osmar. August 8, 2022. Medical Disclaimer

Recent studies have suggested that hyaluronic acid may help muscle growth. If this turns out to be true, it could be a useful tool for those pushing back against age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia). See article: Increasing muscular volume in a human using hyaluronic acid

After reading the studies, I’ve started taking HA orally right after my workouts. I’ve been doing so for about a week so far.

My protocol is:

  • I usually get up around 5:30 or 6 a.m.
  • I have a cup of coffee.
  • I want AMPK activated when I’m working out,. so I have a vegan meal, a fasting-mimicking smoothie (with almost zero protein or carbs) (I take some NAD boosters and sirtuin gene activators such as NMN and SIRT6 Activator with this smoothie)
  • An hour later (usually), I work out for an hour (upper body 3x a week, lower body 3x a week)
  • I take my next round of supplements (HA, collagen and vitamin C) right after the workout.
  • Later: I activate mTOR with a meal. (This morning it was a carnivore meal, pork and eggs.)

What I’ve noticed so far

  1. My body “feels better” in a way I find hard to describe when I add in the hyaluronic acid.
  2. The best words I can find (which approximate it) are: I feel more “grounded” and centered in my own body. (I know, “grounded” and “centered” are subjective terms, and may mean different things to different people.)
  3. More concretely, I have less post-workout muscle pain.

Placebo? Could be

I had already been taking collagen and vitamin C (which increases collagen) post-workout but noticed some differences when I added the HA.

However, I was hoping for a noticeable effect, so what I’m experiencing could be a placebo.

I’ll be watching for actual changes in musculature moving forward, to determine if the effect is real (for me).

Even if it is, of course, this report will still be anecdotal.

From the study:

A method for increasing muscular volume of a muscle in a human is provided. The method comprises injecting a composition comprising hyaluronic acid (HA) into one or more than one location of a muscle, thereby increasing the muscular volume as compared to before the injection. The muscle may be an arm, leg, chest, back or buttock muscle, or any other desired muscle.

Note: I am not injecting HA; I’m taking it orally.

From a Cleveland Clinic article about HA:

What does hyaluronic acid do for you?

Hyaluronic acid is a remarkable substance because of all the benefits and uses it has in your body. Here are just a few of the benefits of hyaluronic acid:

It helps things move smoothly. Hyaluronic acid helps your joints work like a well-oiled machine. It prevents pain and injury from bones grinding against each other.

It helps keep things hydrated. Hyaluronic acid is very good at retaining water. A quarter-teaspoon of hyaluronic acid holds about one and a half gallons of water. Thatโ€™s why hyaluronic acid is often used for treating dry eyes. Itโ€™s also used in moisturizing creams, lotions, ointments and serums.

It makes your skin flexible. Hyaluronic acid helps skin stretch and flex and reduces skin wrinkles and lines. Hyaluronic acid is also proven to help wounds heal faster and can reduce scarring.Hyaluronic acid helps in the growth and development of joint’s cartilage and bone by promoting the growth of new cells and tissues. Reducing inflammation. Hyaluronic acid plays an important role in reducing joint inflammation and pain caused by injury or tissue degeneration.

What I’m taking (right after my workouts):

  1. Four capsules (800 mg) of high molecular weight HA from DoNotAge. Note that this is more than the company recommends taking. (For those who’d like to try this product, their website’s discount code is PATHWAYS.)
  2. Two capsules of Mercola liposomal vitamin C.
  3. Six capsules of collagen.

Results?

I’ve only been taking it for a week… so this is a “before” video. “Nothing to see here, folks.” ๐Ÿ™‚ I'[l do another video in a month or two for comparison, to see whether it has triggered more muscle growth,

References:

  1. Increasing muscular volume in a human using hyaluronic acid
  2. Hyaluronic acid, HAS1, and HAS2 are significantly upregulated during muscle hypertrophy

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