1. What is it and where does it come from?
Our bodies make pyruvate naturally every day during the metabolism or digestion of sugars and starches. Pyruvate is the compound to start the Krebs cycle.
The Krebs cycle is an energy cycle in the body of enzymes and chemical actions that yield direct precursors to ATP or ATP itself.
Pyruvate is actually derived from pyruvic acid. Although pyruvic acid alone is chemically unstable and can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and nausea, when combined with a salt (such as sodium or calcium), it becomes stabilized pyruvate. As well as being a naturally formed product of digestive processes, pyruvate also exists in many different foods. Red apples, cheese, dark beer, and red wine are just a few. Dietary supplements of pyruvate are also available.
2. What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?
Research indicates that pyruvate not only has phenomenal effects on weight loss by burning fat, but also stimulates energy for higher performance in exercise. Besides fat loss benefits, pyruvate enhances the transport of glucose and protein into muscle cells thereby boosting performance levels in exercise. It works by increasing amount of ATP available to the energy engines of cells, mitochondria, as well as inhibiting fat production. It can help bodybuilders get toned, cut, and have more energy.
At the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Ronald T. Stanko, MD researched the effects of pyruvate intake in several studies. A recent study conducted on obese women showed they lost an amazing 37% more weight and 48% more fat after ingesting 30 grams of pyruvate per day for three weeks. These women and a control group were on a 1,000-calorie diet and consumed an equal amount of carbohydrates. In separate clinical studies, subjects taking pyruvate gained back 55% less weight after resuming a normal diet than those that did not take pyruvate. According to Dr. Stanko, pyruvate exists in virtually all cells, easily and automatically entering them. In studies conducted by a leading U.S. medical school research center subjects taking pyruvate were able to increase performance from 20-50% and they experienced less fatigue.
3. Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?
As you can see, according to the studies (shown above) conducted by Dr. Stanko, obese women can have dramatic benefits from pyruvate supplementation. Nevertheless, more importantly, how can pyruvate effect bodybuilders? Whether you are looking for an endurance-boosting way to increase lean muscle mass, train harder at higher intensity, or trim off a few pounds (or more) by burning fat up to 48% faster, Bodybuilding.com's Calcium-Pyruvate might just be the safe and effective edge you have been looking for. As pyruvate is not an essential nutrient, it is not associated with a state of deficiency.
4. How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?
Dieting with a moderate decrease in calorie intake (10-15%) along with supplementation of calcium-pyruvate in smaller quantities than the amounts in Dr. Stanko's studies is recommended. Although more studies need to be conducted to determine the exact right amount to take, a good rule of thumb according to Bill Philips, editor of Muscle Media is 1 gram of supplement per 10 pounds of body weight.
Consuming 30 grams of pyruvate per day might be a little much, as it could give a person an upset stomach. However, in moderate amounts, pyruvate is safe and effective.