Glycerol may arguably be the most exciting supplement to come along in years. Certainly, it ranks up there with the best of them. Most people may think of water-based pumps when and if they think of glycerol. I’m here to tell you to take the time and consider its endurance benefits. In this article, Supplement Spotlight: Another Look At Glycerol, we will review what we already know about it and look at a real-life example of its use. Finally, we’ll talk about dosages and provide you with links to our best glycerol supplements. Let’s get going!
What Is Glycerol & What Does It Do?
Glycerol (also called glycerin or glycine) is a sugar alcohol. It’s a byproduct of glucose and fatty acid metabolism. It’s necessary for gluconeogenesis. That’s the process by which your liver synthesizes glucose from non-sugar substrates such as protein. Synthetic glycerol comes primarily from vegetable oil. Either way, its main purpose is as an osmolyte that increases the total water volume in the body (including, of course, the muscles). (1, 2)
If you consume glycerol with lots of water, your body retains that fluid. This will lead to greater cell volume or water-based pumps. Many users feel the pumps are absolutely insane! In addition, this effect hyper-hydrates the body. If you think about how much good hydration can improve your performance, you can start to see the benefits of glycerol. (3)
Glycerol And Endurance
Now that we’ve reviewed what glycerol is and what it does, let’s look at some specifics. As noted, the benefits of this impressive compound include increasing cell volume (water-based pumps), hyper-hydration, and increased endurance. Also as noted, the pumps blow away many users. In my case, the endurance benefits blew me away.
Below, I detail my own experiences with high doses of glycerol and endurance, and there is research to back it up. Glycerol has studies and documentation that show it improves both anaerobic and aerobic endurance. A large part of this benefit ties into its ability to hyper-hydrate the body. (3, 4)
My Personal Experience
I have recently been using serious doses of glycerol for the first time. So far, I’ve experimented with a 10g dose in a liquid pre-workout and a 6g dose of a GlycerSize powder added to my high-stim pre-workout. To date, I have used it for 5 workouts in a row. These doses are much higher than the typical 2 or 2.5 grams found in most pre-workouts.
Now, a little background. I’m a senior with a hefty list of medical problems. Therefore, I train using a brief full-body routine consisting of 5-6 exercises and 1-3 working sets per exercise (and no, I’m not a “Heavy-Duty” advocate). The number of sets will depend on the exercise. In addition, I also have to use moderate weights but try to go heavier once a week.
I train in my home gym 3 days a week, and when I train, I treat the entire workout as one long set, sort of circuit-style. I take no specific rest breaks other than to swallow some water, change a pin, or add/drop plates. Once I start, I just keep going until I’m done. As you might imagine, it’s pretty quick and intense.
Here’s The Routine I Use
I take all working sets to failure. Rep performance is explosive up, slow and controlled down. There should never be any momentum involved. Sometimes, I use static hold at the fully stretched position of the rep for a 3-5 count. I also sometimes use rest-pause to extend a set.
2 warmup sets
2-3 working sets
Lat Pulldowns (rotate handles)
Same as Bench Press
Overhead Press (alternate EZ bar, dumbbells, or barbell every other workout)
1 working set
Close Grip Chins
Sometimes I add squats but I have severe arthritis in both knees and my right foot, so they are limited. Calves are out for the same reason and abs are also difficult due to surgeries I’ve had.
OK, when I started this or any routine I’ve used over the past several years, I could manage 5-6 reps per working set. If I kept the weight lighter, I could do 3 nonstop sets of 5 for 15 reps total on all exercises. Since I have been using glycerol, I have consistently doubled my reps, while often using heavier weights. Think about that for a moment. That’s quite an impressive increase! Can you imagine what it feels like to consistently hit 10-12 reps on an exercise you’re used to hitting 5 reps on and using your top weight at the same time? This stuff is amazing!
Of course, I have unique circumstances. Few people train like I do. However, no matter how you train, the research suggests glycerol will be helpful. As mentioned above, glycerol has research that backs up its effects on endurance.
The average pre-workout uses about 2 grams. There are a few that use more (approx. 2.5-3 grams. Some standalone glycerol formulas use 10-20 grams and may have 2-3 supporting nutrients. When you take glycerol as part of your pre-workout stack, there are two important considerations. First, remember to drink plenty of water during the hours around the workout. Also, make sure you’ve eaten a quality pre-workout meal consisting of high protein and moderately high to high carbohydrates. You will experience better results if you follow this protocol.
See our best glycerol supplements here:
MPA Supps Celluvol – Stim-Free Pre-Workouts (illpumpyouup.com) – This product features 5 grams per serving.
5% Nutrition Kill It Reloaded – I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com) – This product features 3 grams per serving.
Evogen, available in-store only, has a liquid glycerol supplement that features either a 10-gram dose or a whopping 20-gram dose. Check out the brand here: Evogen – I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com)
Most of us are always after a great pump. We should also be after an excellent state of hydration and enhanced endurance. No matter what else you use or what your pre-workout is, don’t overlook this amazing supplement! Add glycerol and experience its very impressive and exciting benefits today!
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (2023). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 753, Glycerol. Retrieved February 13, 2023 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Glycerol.
- Results for ‘glycerol’ – Examine
- Patlar, S., Yalçin, H., & Boyali, E. (2012). The effect of glycerol supplements on aerobic and anaerobic performance of athletes and sedentary subjects. Journal of human kinetics, 34, 69–79. https://doi.org/10.2478/v10078-012-0065-x
- Montner, P., Stark, D. M., Riedesel, M. L., Murata, G., Robergs, R., Timms, M., & Chick, T. W. (1996). Pre-exercise glycerol hydration improves cycling endurance time. International Journal of sports medicine, 17(1), 27–33. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2007-972804