When it comes to safe and natural ways to boost muscle growth and improve athletic ability, niacin (Vitamin B3) is in a class of its own and it’s not just athletes that can benefit from this versatile nutrient.
Niacin is included in everything from energy drinks to nootropic supplements. Want to know why niacin is so important? Read on. . .
Niacin as an Energy Provider
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Niacin is necessary for metabolizing carbohydrates into the glucose that is needed to fuel the body’s activities, so supplementing with niacin can be a good way to give energy levels a boost—especially during periods of exercise. The relationship between niacin and carb metabolism also explains the vitamin’s popularity with energy drink manufacturers.
The Link Between Niacin and Red Blood Cells
The body uses niacin when it is manufacturing red blood cells. These cells serve many functions in the body and a sufficient supply is necessary when the blood needs to clot after a cut or other injury. Red blood cells are also responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. All the organs, including the brain, need a sufficient supply of oxygen to function properly. The muscles also need oxygen and the amount they require increases considerably during periods of exercise.
Niacin as a Vasodilator
Although the red blood cells have the job of transporting oxygen around the body, their value is dependent on the cardiovascular system’s ability to transport them to where they are needed. Niacin aids this by enhancing a natural process known as vasodilation.
Vasodilation occurs when the walls of the blood vessels relax and dilate, allowing the blood to flow a little more easily. This improvement in circulation occurs as a direct response to exercise, but niacin has the ability to improve it. This is a fact that has been scientifically proven and it is not an ability to be sniffed at because vasodilation offers many benefits that increase athletic performance and provide increased muscle mass.
Other niacin benefits include:
- The brain gets more nutrients and oxygen (from the blood). This boosts mental focus and helps empower a superior workout.
- The extra oxygen and nutrients provided by the blood allow the muscles to be worked harder and longer.
- The improved circulation helps purge the muscles of lactic acid and other chemicals that are generated within them while exercising and may limit training ability.
Niacin Boosts Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
HGH is manufactured in the body by the pituitary gland. The benefits it provides are many, and it is often praised for its anti-ageing abilities.
A few of the main benefits associated with HGH include:
- Increased testosterone production
- Boosted energy levels
- Supports the growth of lean muscle tissue
- Enhances the immune system
- Rejuvenates hair growth
- Improves fat burning
- Provides younger-looking skin
If, after reading the above list, you are thinking about all the people who are struggling to have the body they want, and wondering what went wrong, the answer is simple. Once the adolescent years are out of the way, the body begins to cut back on HGH production and, by the time most people reach their mid-20s, the amount of HGH circulating their body will have diminished considerably. The rich and famous often try to rectify this by injecting synthetic HGH into their bodies and, the truth is it does work, but it can also damage the health. It is far safer to encourage the body to start creating more of its own HGH. Research shows niacin has the ability to do this, and increases of 600% or more are not uncommon.
Several studies, including one conducted in 1993, by researchers in Denmark, prove niacin has the ability to boost HGH production rates. The clinical trial conducted in Denmark was carried out over a four week period and the group that was given 350mg of niacin per day showed an average HGH elevation of 400%. The HGH level of the placebo group showed no significant change.
The results of a study published in the scientific journal Hormones and Behaviour, reveals niacin can boost HGH by over 600% if it is taken within a few hours of exercise. The reason for this remains unclear, but there is no disputing niacin’s value as a bodybuilding aid and an athletic ability enhancer.
Forget About the Flush and Concentrate on the Benefits
When people first begin taking niacin supplements they often experience a short-term reaction called “the niacin flush”. The skin begins to fell a little warmer and start to flush. It may also feel a little itchy.
The niacin flush does not present any dangers, but anyone who is not expecting it may get a bit of a scare. The effects wear of quite quickly though, and some people even enjoy feeling a little flush while they are training, so there is nothing to be afraid of and some of the best niacin supplements cause very little flushing at all. Bearing in mind the many benefits niacin offers, a little flushing of the skin is nothing. Especially when compared with the dangers faced by people using synthetic HGH.