Again we cover the story of myostatin, which is a signalling molecule in the body that regulates among other functions, muscle mass and more importantly the tear down of muscle.
Myostatin was popularized in the 1990’s with the bringing forth of green lipped muscle extract, which was supposed to suppress and inhibit myostatin activity in the body. Unfortunately, there seems to be ZERO data on green lipped muscle extract (no idea what part was extracted) in the scientific literature so it’s unclear whether is is an invention by someone or was there some obscure paper that no one knew about. For 99.9% of men that tried this supplement the results were poor, thus the supplement died and the world forgot about myostatin.
In 2014 it was discovered that an extract of cocoa, epicatehin was an effective inhibitor of myostatin which renewed interest and this time there was some real world data in animals and humans that it could indeed have a physiological effect. After that it was found that many sports nutrition staples like creatine and leucine had myostatin reducing or follistatin (the counter balance to myostatin) increasing properties.
Effects of Myostatin Inhibition
It appears that myostatin has the best effect in young people. During maturation massive amounts of satellite cells are being turned into mature muscle cells as the body grows and matures, so arguably the best time to use myostatin inhibitors is 15-22 however it’s never suggested that people under 18 use supplements without medical supervision. Older people will benefit from myostatin reduction but the effects would likely take longer and require higher doses to have the desired effects.
Those effects are increased myogenesis and hypertrophy which means making new muscle cells and expanding the current supply of muscle cells. Both good things for bodybuilders. With myogenisis, one can truly achieve near permanent mass gains but the period for doing so in older adults is measured in terms of months on “cycle” opposed to weeks in younger men.
Myostatin also seems to have some action in regulating fat cells, since a reduction of myostatin does seem to reduce obesity and fat accumulation.
Myostatin isn’t perfect however, since it has been shown that a reduction in myostatin can potentially reduce tendon strength which is important to bodybuilders. Myostatin may also increase the amount of fast twitch fibers in the muscle which wouldn’t be of benefit to powerlifters who want slow twitch muscle fiber growth. That’s a lesser side effect, but strength could in theory go down when using myostatin supplements.
Myostatin Reducing Supplements
I’ve found that there seems to be no magic bullet to reducing myostatin, which is why I tried a blended approach with very positive results. It would seem best to stack numerous myostatin inhibitors to get the optimal effects. I feel it’s best to take them all at once particularly before your workouts.
Epicatechin – found in green tea and chocolate. An effective dose was found to be 2-400mg per day. And is best taken in divided doses but most effectively after a workout.
Creatine – Creatine is a natural myostatin inhibitor and an effective dose of creatine monohydrate or creatine HCL is a minimum of 5g per day.
HMB – HMB inhibits myostatin along with increasing mTOR. An effective dose of HMB is 1-4g of HMB depending on the form used. HMB HCL seems to be the preferred source but standard calcium HMB seems to also work at higher doses.
Leucine – inhibits myostatin similar to HMB, which is one of its main metabolites. Leucine is best dosed at 2-4g per day in divided doses.
Lactate – is s signaling molecule that releases testosterone and growth hormone and reduces myostatin. Optimal dosing of Calcium Lactate is 2-4g per day.
Broccoli Extract – sulphorophane inhibits myostatin inhibition along with helping reduce estrogen load and may also inhibit cancer. There is no suggested dose of this extract, but eating brocollini or broccoli daily may help reduce myostatin.
Schizandra Extract – inhibits myostatin in an unknown way and is also a great adaptogen. A decent dose is 200-400mg of the 10:1 extract twice per day.
NO Boosters – NO has been shown to inhibit myostatin and also stimulate muscle growth in other key areas like mTOR stimulation.
Beet Root Extract
MHP Myo-X – inhibits myostatin by raising follistatin which has been extracted from eggs. This is hard to find but I found it to be a good addition to a myostatin stack! 1-2 scoops per day.
YK-11 – SARM that increases follistatin and also builds muslce via AR stimulation. YK-11 is currently an illegal SARM so for those in foreign countries where such things are legal 10mg of YK-11 would be good to reduce levels.
Phenylephrine – this decongestant has been shown to also inhibit myostatin and is very cheap and available. So, for those with allergy and congestion you can get the added benefit of myostatin reduction. 20-40mg per day is the dose I take for congestion.
Steroids / Prohormones – these reduce myostatin levels naturally and obviously build muscle in other key ways.
That’s the end of this discussion on how to inhibit myostatin with supplements and OTC drugs. While there are some side effects from inhibiting myostatin, long term use can give you the muscle mass that you desire without fear of losing it quickly!