We all know that bulking up requires exercising hard and eating more than the average. Actually, we couldn’t activate our metabolism and create muscle mass without a good nutrition.
But after taking a digging further into how the body and the metabolism behaves, we will find a few interesting targets to maximize our gym results, and one of them is mTOR. In this article, we’re explaining what is mTOR in simple English and give you some actionable tips to activate this pathway and reach your bodybuilding goals.
mTOR biochemistry for the lay man
In simple terms, mTOR is no more than a protein, but it has a key function in many body functions. This protein activates other proteins and substances, contributing to increase performance, maximize energy production, and improve key aspects of our health such as cognition. But most bodybuilders become interested in mTOR because it is also useful to activate the whole process of muscle building.
Your cells create this protein when they sense you’re in plentiful times, with an excellent nutrition and without any shortcoming or deprivation. Then, this protein behaves like a signal that tells the rest of your body you can actually build muscle and increase performance because there’s plenty of energy and resources for that and anything else that comes up.
The mTOR protein responds to the nutrients you’re consuming and the energy status your cells have. It becomes activated and controls cell proliferation and growth by upregulating the synthesis of new proteins. You have more cell division, higher capacity to repair your tissues, and more energy you can use to improve your physical and mental performance.
Supplements you can try to facilitate the mTOR pathway
I just mentioned how mTOR responds to nutrients, and this is a great opportunity for bodybuilders and anyone interested in activating the mTOR pathway. We can actually do that by selecting a few nutrients or supplements that maximize the expression of the mTOR protein. I personally recommend the following:
- Leucine: You probably know leucine because it is one of the branched-chain amino acids, also known as BCAAs. This amino acid does not only stimulate muscle protein synthesis by being available. It also has an active role because it stimulates the mTOR pathway and accelerates muscle gain.
- Taurine: This supplement has become very popular among athletes because of its anabolic or muscle-building activity. It behaves similar to a hormone that increases fat burning and muscle building, and even though it is currently under research, the reason it does so has to do with the mTOR pathway or a very similar protein.
- Theanine: In experimental models, theanine has been found to increase the activation of mTOR through phosphorylation. Maybe that’s why this supplement is associated with learning and significant improvements in cognition.
- Glycine: This is another amino acid associated with the mTOR pathway. Actually, there’s a lot of scientific evidence that glycine regulates protein turnover and enhances the replication of DNA and the mTOR pathway.
- Magnesium: This nutrient behaves like a regulator of the metabolic activity and energy balance. Actually, mTOR is very sensitive to the concentration of magnesium. This is why for bodybuilders magnesium is one of those nutrients they can’t do without.