N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC)

NAC triggers the production of red blood cells and increases the respiratory drive. When the body senses low oxygen it signals the kidneys to make more red blood cells. In studies NAC was shown to significantly increase hematocrit and hemoglobin by 9% in 8 days [1].

Increased VO2max and Fatigue Fighter

NAC also been shown in clinical studies at Victoria University in Australia to increase Vo2 max by 7% and improve the time to exhaustion by 23% [2]. Other studies have show significant improvements in high intensity cycling performance.[3]

Muscle Recovery

Another important action of this complex with NAC is to boost the level of one of the body’s most critical antioxidants: Glutathione. Glutathione is the most prevalent antioxidant found in human tissue and is heavily used to counter free radicals in muscle cells. Numerous studies have shown that muscle soreness and damage are reduced with enhanced muscle recovery. [4,5,6]

Fat Burner

A study in the Journal of Molecular Medicine reported fat loss of about 5% body fat without dietary changes. The placebo group gained more that 5% body fat over those same 8 weeks. It is believed that NAC aids fat loss by reducing insulin’s ability to interact with fat cells. Insulin reacts with fat cells to increase fat storage and cease the release of fat from the cells. Decreasing insulin’s effects on the fat cells can make your fat burning efforts easier especially when you are training. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center NAC is also associated with building lean muscle tissue and burning body fat.

Cited Studies

1. Zembron-Lacny, A,Slowinska-Lisowska M, Szygula Z, Witkowski K, Szyszka K. Physiol Res. 2008. The comparison of antioxidant and haematological properties of N-acetylcysteine and alpha-lipoic acid in physically active males. Physiological Research 58(Suppl.6): 855-861.

2. Mckenna, JA, Medved, I, Goodman CA,Brown JA, Bjorkstein MH, Murphy KT, Petersen AC, Sostaric, S, Gong, X.N-acetylcysteine attenuates the decline in muscle Na+,K+-pump activity and delays fatigue during prolonged exercise in humans. J Physiol. 2006Oct 1;576(Pt 1):279-88. Epub 2006 Jul 13.

3. Slattery KM, Dascombe B, Wallace LK, Bentley DJ, Coutts AJ. Effect of N-acetylcysteine on Cycling Performance following Intensified Training

4. [1] Corn SD, et al. Effects of oralN-acetylcysteine on fatigue, critical power, and W’ in exercising humans. Respir Physiol & Neurobiol.2011 June 29.

5. Kelly MK, WickerRJ, Barstow TJ, Harms CA. Effects of N-acetylcysteine on respiratory muscle fatigue during heavy exercise. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2009 Jan1;165(1):67-72.

6. Atanassova B.D., Tzatchev KN (2008). Ascorbicacid–important for iron metabolism. Folia Med ( Plovdiv). Oct-Dec; 50(4):11-6.

7. Experimental & Molecular Medicine (2006) 38, 162–172; doi:10.1038/emm.2006.20 Association of anti-obesity activity of N-acetylcysteine with metallothionein-II down-regulation. Jae-Ryong Kim1, Hyung-Ho Ryu, Hyun Jin Chung, Joo Hyun Lee, Sang Woon Kim, Woo Hyung Kwun, Suk-Hwan Baek and Jung Hye Kim

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