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
definitely old school. But what's old school doesn't have to mean
obsoleteï¿½anyone here at Animalpak.com can tell you that. Liver is flat out
not obsolete. In fact, I personally know of many top bodybuilding pros who
use liver today. Liver ain't glamorous, but it flat out works.
Why Liver Tabs?
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 Animal Pak, 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
bullshit. 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
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 shit, 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.
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
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 4000%
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
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" ï¿½ 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
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.
How Can Liver Help You?
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
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. Remember mad cow disease?
I personally use Uni-Liver for all the reasons above. Along with Animal Pak,
I don't leave home without it. I'm a competitive bodybuilder and a big guy
so I take anywheres from 9-18 per day. As each 30 grain tab has 1600mg of
protein, I also 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. But if you're looking to add a little something extra to your program,
liver is as good as it gets. Peace.
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