Building muscle naturally as an advanced athlete is hard - this is no secret. After exhausting the ‘newbie gains’ phase, and progressing to a point where you have to fight for every 2.5kg increase on your lifts or 1lb of quality mass on the scale, motivation can begin to decline and rather than working out how best to get through a plateau, many will take the easy option of going for a prohormone or SARM. As effective as they are, they should be considered only when you are approaching your genetic ceiling and for most dedicated weight trainers, that will mean at least five years of training under your belt, with both your training and diet optimised for accelerating your muscle gains. If in doubt consider learning from some of the leading experts in the field of training and nutritional gurus like Layne Norton.
That said, what happens when you are training consistently, your diet is on point, and you pay careful attention to rest and recuperation but are still struggling? This is where inexperienced trainees will often look for a quick fix such as a prohormone. Instead of that, a more sustainable option would be to focus on natural muscle building supplements, especially those containing innovative ingredients with a demonstrable record of success.
Following on from our features on Laxogenin and Epicatechin, we’re here to introduce Phosphatidic Acid – another exciting natural muscle builder. As a natural athlete, don’t be fooled into thinking that the performance enhancing tools you have at your disposal are limited to creatine, protein and not much else. Natural muscle builders present a solution that you can safely experiment with as an alternative to something like SARMs or prohormones. Unlike SARMS and PHs, natural muscle builders do not require PCT, nor do you need to use on-cycle support, as they are non-hormonal and non-liver toxic.
Phosphatidic Acid: What is it?
Phosphatidic Acid is a phospholipid, ‘lipid’ meaning fat. Chemically speaking, it comprises of a glycerol backbone, two fatty acids and a phosphate group. You may be wondering what a lipid has to do with building muscle… well, phosphatidic acid actually seems to directly activate mTOR, which is responsible for regulating protein synthesis and cell growth. It has already attracted attention from the research community, and several published papers have demonstrated its value in human subjects. As of now, the exact mechanism by which PA works is not fully understood, but the results speak for themselves.
In a two-part study, which recruited resistance trained subjects, it was found that Phosphatidic Acid, dosed at 750mg daily, significantly increased lean body mass (+2.4 kg) and leg press strength (+51.9 kg) over placebo. (1)
It’s not just leg press strength that has been shown to be positively affected! Another study, again utilising 750mg given to resistance trained men, found the following results following an 8-week exercise programme: a 12.7% increase in squat strength and a 2.6% increase in lean body mass, both higher than results in the placebo group. (2)
A third study of similar design used a supplement containing L-Leucine, HMB, and Vitamin D3 alongside 750mg of PA. Similarly, an increase in lean body mass and strength was seen. The added ingredients did seem to yield a slightly higher increase in overall strength compared to previous studies, but results for specific lifts varied. (3)
It is worth noting the quality of study design for each of these studies. Rarely do we see a supplement used in a sports supplement context tested on trained individuals. These studies are the calibre of research on commonly known supplements such as creatine or beetroot (as a nitric oxide booster).
There has been no evidence to suggest that this supplement will have any negative consequences, giving it a very favourable risk to reward ratio. As discussed, this makes it an excellent substitute for SARMs or prohormones which do require additional steps to be taken to ensure that optimal health is maintained. In line with existing research, a study was conducted to investigate the safety of Phosphatidic Acid when taken at doses of 750mg daily over an 8-week period. Comprehensive data for cardiovascular, kidney, and liver function was taken pre and post intervention. It was concluded that 8 weeks of 750mg was safe for college aged healthy individuals. (4)
Both men and women can use this supplement, as it will not exhibit androgenic effects (enhancement of male characteristics). It is ideal as a natural bodybuilding supplement, but could also be a valuable addition to a PCT stack to maintain gains made on cycle. For best results, a solid training routine should already be established, with focus on progressive overload over time.
For a great value option, and to assess your response to Phosphatidic Acid as a standalone ingredient, we would recommend our own 5 star rated Predator branded product. With a daily suggested dose of 750mg, this is the exact dose given in the studies discussed above. This could be stacked with other natural muscle builders, such as X Factor, Ep1logue or Massacr3 OR you could choose Adamantine.
Hydrapharm’s bestselling Adamantine contains not only Phosphatidic Acid but also Laxogenin, Epicatechin and Vitamin D3 to create the ultimate natural muscle building formula. These ingredients are all impressive in their own right, but work synergystically to cover all bases of muscle growth. Laxogenin has shown to deliver a huge increase in protein synthesis, while Epicatechin has been shown to inhibit myostatin (which inhibits muscle growth) and boost follistatin (increases muscle) among other health benefits. Finally, Vitamin D3 is included as a co-factor in a number of anabolic processes (see study (3)).
Don’t just take our word for it! Below is a customer review on Adamantine:
‘Quite simply the best product you can buy on this site. A capsule with breakfast, lunch and dinner will give you a cycle lasting a month, which is optimal. You will gain strength, form and stamina. Your (improved) gains will be weekly and will enable you to do a five-day gym week with recovery and drive. The best aspect (apart from my improved gains on bench, squat and deadlift etc) is the extra energy and composure when on your third/fourth exercise on any given muscle-group day. A must buy!’
The beauty of Adamantine is that it can be stacked with near anything to support you towards your goal whatever that may be.
Beginners Muscle Building: Adamantine + Creatine
Advanced Muscle Building: Adamantine + Myogenesis
Muscle and Endurance: Adamantine + Cardarine
Dry Muscle Gains (male only): Adamantine + Alchemy
Phosphatadic Acid is a phospholipid
Studies have shown an increase in strength and muscle mass
It can be considered an alternative to harsher muscle builders
It is safe for both men and women to use for prolonged periods
It is versatile enough to be added to any stack
(1) Joy, J., Gundermann, D., Lowery, R., Jäger, R., McCleary, S., Purpura, M., Roberts, M., Wilson, S., Hornberger, T. and Wilson, J. (2014). Phosphatidic acid enhances mTOR signaling and resistance exercise induced hypertrophy. Nutrition & Metabolism, 11(1), p.29.
(2) Hoffman, J., Stout, J., Williams, D., Wells, A., Fragala, M., Mangine, G., Gonzalez, A., Emerson, N., McCormack, W., Scanlon, T., Purpura, M. and Jäger, R. (2012). Efficacy of phosphatidic acid ingestion on lean body mass, muscle thickness and strength gains in resistance-trained men. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1).
(3) Escalante, G., Alencar, M., Haddock, B. and Harvey, P. (2016). The effects of phosphatidic acid supplementation on strength, body composition, muscular endurance, power, agility, and vertical jump in resistance trained men. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 13(1).
(4) Dudeck, J., Joy, J., Lowery, R., De Souza, E., Jäger, R., McCleary, S., Wilson, S., Purpura, M. and Wilson, J. (2013). Safety of soy-derived phosphatidic acid supplementation in healthy young males. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(Suppl 1), p.P6.