Resveratrol is a plant compound, also known as polyphenol, which helps protect the plant when injured, and to fight off bacteria and fungi. The best food sources of this compound are the skin of grapes, berries, and peanuts. In fact, red wine has become popularized as 'healthy' because of the resveratrol it contains; however, compared to the unhealthy amounts of alcohol, the amount of resveratrol it contains is minimal.
Fig 1. Resveratrol
The first time, resveratrol was discovered by the Japanese, when they isolated this compound from plant roots in 1940's. However, it wasn't until 1992 that it became popular, when its presence in wine was suggested as a plausible explanation for its heart protective effects. As a result, in the past decade many fitness supplements have added this compound as a performance enhancing ingredient.
How it Works
The mechanisms of action of resveratrol are not fully understood, but it appears to mimic biochemical effects of calorie restriction. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that it activates Sirtuin 1, PGC-1a, and it improves the mitochondria's functionality.
When a bodybuilder comes off cycle, their Luteinizing hormone (LH) is suppressed and their testosterone drops as the hormone esters leave the body, allowing estrogen to fluctuate wildly up or down. Even with a comprehensive post cycle therapy (PCT), the steroid user is left exposed in between cycles to catabolism and estrogen rebounds. We call this dangerous period 'bridging'.
During a 'bridge' gains can be difficult, as the body is trying to balance itself out. Therefore, resveratrol's ability to raise testosterone levels, without suppressing LH, makes it a perfect compound to run during this period. In fact, a Korean study showed that after 28 days on resveratrol, subjects' testosterone levels increased by up to 50%.
In addition, resveratrol's benefits come into play during a bridge because it is one of the few natural compounds in existence that can boast being both a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) and an aromatase inhibitor (AI). As a result, you get a bump in LH, testosterone, and it lowers estrogen.
Moreover, its anti-oxidant properties and organ protecting benefits will help cleanse out the body further, so the steroid user can recover fully before their next steroid cycle.
There is one property of resveratrol that deserves special attention and offers even more benefits for all athletes, whether they use steroids or not. A Canadian study showed that resveratrol improved endurance by an average of 21%.
There has been extensive research on resveratrol that showed numerous additional benefits.
Clinical studies have shown no issues when resveratrol is used for long periods of time. However, as with any supplement, you should never abuse it.
Try to eat more grapes, berries and natural peanut butter. Then add 25-50 milligrams (mgs) a day of resveratrol from supplementation.
Where to find it
As mentioned above, it would take a large amount of wine, or other foods, to get the benefits you want from resveratrol. Therefore, the best way to take advantage of this compound is through supplementation.
One supplement, that is designed specifically for athletes and for bodybuilders in between cycles is called BRIDGE by N2BM.com. It contains 25mgs per serving of resveratrol and 9 other ingredients, all designed to help you 'bridge' from one cycle to the other.
Want to read about Resveratrol on our forums? check out these threads:
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Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith