T Nation

HCl Supplementation

Apologies in advance if this has already been addressed somewhere, I couldn’t find much using the search function.

I am a hard gainer and so I am looking for any way that I can help maximise my nutrient intake. I am considering taking an HCl supplement with my meals. The pills I am looking at have 400mg HCl each. I understand that I should begin with 1 per meal, and increase this if there is no ill effects.

What is the limit that I should be considering? I have read about 4-5, though I doubt I’ll need anywhere near that seeing as I have no underlying pathology to begin with.

Will this affect the natural secretion of HCl in my stomach? I don’t want to stop at some point down the track and find that my natural HCl secretion has been massively down-regulated in response to the extra supplementation.

Finally, should I be concerned with the presence of 250mg of Glutamic Acid in the pills I am looking at getting? I would love to try Poliquin’s Digestive Force but I can’t get it in Australia at a price I can afford - any suggestions from fellow Aussie’s would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

Your HCL production would naturally begin a decline in your 50’s if all was normal. Clinically we are seeing people even in their 30’s with low HCL. Not having adequate salt in the diet, eating too much overly cooked (can you say well done steaks are for losers) food, processed foods, etc. are all drivers for this.

I have heard from no less than 10 people that HCL supplementation has changed their life. not just their digestion but their life. There is not really long-term extensive research on supplemented populations to give you a complete answer as to whether supplementation would down-regulate your production but just know that with time it will down-regulate regardless.

I supplement with HCL and will continue to do so ongoing. The reason the elderly die the way they do is that they are literally starving to death with little to no capacity to digest and assimilate their meals.

On a side note because HCL is trimethylglycine and you are donating methyl groups to the body it actually can give you a pre-workout boost. I tend to load up HCL in higher doses when I eat a meal that is questionable (in a foreign country) or when it is one that I know requires a heavier digestive burden (i.e. steak and potatoes vs. raw foods)

I use a digestive supplement and it has worked well for me (no bloat, much better GI and stomach function). I use a complete enzyme, that has HCL, plus a great mix of other digestive enzymes that help you digest and process fats/carbs/protein at a much more efficient level. If you going to supplement with HCL, I think you should just go with a complete enzyme blend. PM me if you want the name of the one that I use.

[quote]WestCoast7 wrote:
I use a digestive supplement and it has worked well for me (no bloat, much better GI and stomach function). I use a complete enzyme, that has HCL, plus a great mix of other digestive enzymes that help you digest and process fats/carbs/protein at a much more efficient level. If you going to supplement with HCL, I think you should just go with a complete enzyme blend. PM me if you want the name of the one that I use.[/quote]

Why not just post the name here, or just the ingredients? Biotest do not make a HCL or digestive enzyme product so there’s no direct competition.

Or PM it if you want.

LR

Thanks for the info. I guess it might be pertinent to mention that I’m 20. I’m not concerned about not currently having enough secretions to eventually digest everything that I eat, just curious about whether I can speed up and optimise the process.

I have read that the stomach maintains a pH of about 1.8 - 2.0 most of the time, but the neutralising effect of food brings that up to about 3.5 - 4.0. So I was thinking that taking a digestive aid like HCl might keep it down closer to that 1.8 - 2.0 range even with food intake, which would surely break down the food quicker and easier.

I guess I’ll just give it a try, see how I feel. If it really does somehow down-regulate my natural secretion than I guess I could just ween myself off it rather than suddenly stopping.