Liver. Old School Supplement
"Liver tabs. Man, these two words, probably more than any other, conjure up bodybuilding nutrition from the 60s and 70s. It does for me. Bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenneger, Frank Zane, Dave Draper, and Vince Gironda lived on them and let me tell ya, these guys knew something about bodybuilding. But in this day and age, liver tabs are a throwback. Liver tabs are ****ing old school. But what’s old school don’t mean obsolete–anyone here at Animalpak.com can tell you that. Liver iain't obsolete. In fact, top bodybuilding pros still use liver today. Liver ain’t glamorous, but it flat out works.
Back in the old days, liver was considered by many lifters to be a panacea. Bodybuilders thought it could do everything. Truth is, it can’t. Nothing can. Not only that, desiccated liver is no “miracle” supplement that’s gonna add 25 or 50 pounds to your bench press overnight. So for all you guys out there looking for the next “big” thing, this ain’t it. But if you’re looking for a solid nutritional supplement, one that should be part of your core nutritional arsenal along with protein and , this is it. In my honest opinion, liver tabs are a must.
Now a lot of so-called “experts” today think desiccated liver tabs are bull****. They’ll point to a lack of a significant body of research. They’ll point out it’s been around for a long, long time. They say there are more inexpensive ways to get protein. Well these things are true. Even so, it don’t mean liver is worthless. Far from it. Those critics who bring these charges, guess what? These are the same guys who’ve never used liver before, cuz if they did, they’d be singing a different tune.
Truth is, the vast majority of bodybuilding supplements have little or no science behind them at all. Period. The supplement industry is built on the myth of science, not science itself. Don’t get me wrong. Supplements and our knowledge of nutrition have come a long, long way in thirty years. Even so, in the supplement industry, it’s more about fiction and hype, not truth and science.
Fact is, very precious few supplements have any legitimate clinical studies to support them. Protein. Aminos. Creatine. These are among the rare few that have been studied. Now this doesn’t mean that all supplements today are worthless. Many are good, but many don’t have studies behind them. The point is, just because there isn’t a lot of science don’t mean something doesn’t work. And just because something’s been around a while doesn’t mean it’s worthless. If you’re selling ****, then it ain’t gonna sell for long.
On the other hand, if something’s been around for thirty or so years, you gotta ask yourself why. Maybe cuz it actually works? Consider Atkins as a case in point. He first presented his ideas in the 1970s and his ideas never caught on. He was ridiculed by the medical establishment. Today, his theories are gaining ground. Studies are even beginning to show his diet works. Bodybuilders, of course, have been following a ketogenic diet for decades, but the point is, sometimes it takes a while for everyone else to catch up.
Bottom line, who you gonna trust? You gonna put your faith in some skinny-assed marketing guys who tout their supplements as being “scientifically” or “clinically” proven to help you build muscle faster? Or you gonna trust thousands upon thousands of real lifters who have used a supplement for years and years with success? It’s your call. I know what mine is.
So what’s so good about liver? For starters, many have called liver the most perfect food. It’s rich in amino acids, vitamins, minerals, nucleic acids, lipotropics, antioxidants, cytochrome P450 (an enzyme involved in steroid production and detoxification), and other important nutrients. Liver has been used by bodybuilders and powerlifters for decades to increase strength, enhance appetites, reduce recovery times and fatigue, support liver function, and detoxify the body. It’s also an effective blood builder. Liver helps increase red blood cell count. Plus, it’s one of the best sources of heme iron.
Desiccated liver contain heme iron, one of the most bioavailable forms around. Synthetic or elemental iron can lead to overdosing. Overdosing is far less likely with natural iron. With non-heme iron, you might expect an absorption rate of 1-3%. With heme iron, you could expect 35% absorption or more. Liver tabs can also exert “hematinic activity” – the ability of a substance to improve the quality of the blood, including the hemoglobin level and the number of erythrocytes. That’s why liver has been called a “blood builder”.
All this is important because blood is what delivers oxygen and nutrients to your working muscles. If you got a problem with iron and blood, it can all lead to to fatigue, decreased energy levels, and reduced physical performance. Studies have clearly shown that even slight iron-deficiency can lead to a reduced work capacity.
Liver also contains nucleic acids. For years, people thought the body could make enough nucleic acids via de novo nucleotide synthetic pathways. Under certain circumstances, this ain’t the case. There are times when the body needs more: when the body is undergoing rapid growth, limited food supply, and metabolic stress. In other words, when you’re training hard to either gain mass or shed fat. Under these tough conditions, metabolic demand exceeds the capacity of de novo synthesis and nucleic acids become conditionally essential nutrients. This is one of the reasons that liver can have a real effect on improving recovery rates.
Liver is one of the best sources of B vitamins in food. For the athlete, B vitamins are among the most important of all the vitamins. B vitamins play a key role in energy production. If you are low here, your energy levels can suffer. This is bad news in the gym. B vitamins are also needed in carbohydrate metabolism, fat utilization, cell function, proper enzyme function, the regulation of blood sugar, antioxidant function, and detoxification reactions. The list goes on and on.
So liver is important. But like I said earlier, it ain’t no panacea. Liver will never replace good old protein powder. From an economical point of view, it can’t and it shouldn’t. It’s easier and cheaper to take a scoop of protein powder than it is to gulp down a handful of liver tabs. So you don’t take liver in place of protein. It’s not either or. You can take both. Besides, you don’t take liver for protein. You get it for aminos and other goodies.
Liver tabs, in my opinion, should be a regular part of your supplement program. Now there are a couple of different liver products out there. If you’re looking to try it out, choose a good one. Good liver tabs start with good liver: exclusively grass-fed, prized cattle from Argentina. These prized Argentinian cattle are raised without the use of steroids, hormones, pesticides or other such contaminants. So you get a liver that’s healthy, clean and pure. You also gotta check to make sure the liver is certified BSE-free.
Me and a lotta the guys I train with use Universal's for all the reasons above. Along with , I don’t leave home without Uni-Liver. Competitive bodybuilders may take anywhere from 9-18 per day. As each 30 grain tab has 1600mg of protein, you can get upwards of 29 extra grams of protein per day. Bottom line: if you’re looking for a miracle in a bottle, you ain’t gonna find it here. Fact is, you ain't gonna find it anywhere... But if you’re looking to add a little something extra to your program, liver is as good as it gets."
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