Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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N-Carbamyl Glutamate boosts muscle tissue synthesis

The amino acid N-carbamyl glutamate [structure shown below] raises muscle tissue synthesis. Researchers at the American ministry of agriculture discovered this when they did tests on piglets a couple of days old.

N-Carbamyl Glutamate

N-Carbamyl Glutamate boosts muscle tissue synthesis

N-Carbamyl Glutamate is already on the market. Unknown quantities are found in combination products like Noxipro, a pre-workout supplement made by CTD Labs. It is not clear what N-carbamyl glutamate's contribution is to the effectiveness of Noxipro.

N-Carbamyl Glutamate activates carbamyl phosphate synthase-1, an enzyme that is needed to produce arginine. In newborn piglets the production of arginine is still sky high, but declines rapidly after a few days. The decline is so steep that the researchers thought the piglets might grow less quickly because of this.

That's why the researchers gave their lab animals a daily dose of 100 mg N-carbamyl glutamate per kg bodyweight for a week, and then looked at whether the piglets had grown faster as a result.

They had done. Compared with control animals that were not given N-carbamyl glutamate, these piglets grew 28 percent faster. The amino acid boosted the synthesis of muscle tissue relatively [FSR] and absolutely [ASR].

N-Carbamyl Glutamate boosts muscle tissue synthesis

Half of the lab animals were given normal feed rations until just before the measurements were taken [fed] and the other half received no food for 12 hours before the measurements [food restricted].

After a week of supplementation the researchers analysed the piglets' blood. They discovered that the N-carbamyl glutamate had indeed boosted the arginine concentration in the blood, and, probably as a result of this, the growth hormone concentration had also increased. The piglets' blood also contained less ammonia, a waste product from protein metabolism. Arginine speeds up the process of clearing ammonia out of the blood.

N-Carbamyl Glutamate boosts muscle tissue synthesis

Promising results, even though what works for piglets might not work for humans. On the other hand though: pigs are not rats or mice. Pigs bear a startling resemblance to humans. What works for pigs might just work for us too.

J Nutr. 2007 Feb; 137(2): 315-9.