T Nation

Prime Time: Polar Barr


This being my first week back in Canada, today's theme is the frozen tundra of southern Canada.

Image of the Week: Local inhabitants

Site of the Week: http://www.ifilm.com/
(Great place for all kinds of movies)

Biggest Shock of the Week: It was nearly as hot as Texas here!

Things I am already tired of hearing (about): Canadian music, Sydney Crosby

Things I can't get enough of: Sour Cream Timbits

Prank of the Week: Yesterday, following a successful polar bear hunting trip, my friends offered me one of the animals' livers to eat (a true honour). When I was finished scarfing it down, they reminded me that it polar bear livers contain lethal amounts of Vitamin E. We laughed.

Questions? Comments? Political rants?


This week I received a question about my feelings on Cissus quadrangularis, which seems to be thrown in to every supplement on the planet these days.

Now it may shock you that: A)supplement companies are claiming this to be the most effective miracle supplement of all time, and B) some people are falling over themselves like idiots to get their hands on it (based on A).

This ingredient initially seems great for bone, really, but muscle? I'm always dubious about messing with negative feedback-regulated hormones, and cortisol is no exception. I mention this because the supplement ingredient in question has been shown to antagonize cortisol in bone.

This may also apply to the hypothalamus/pituitary, leading to elevated levels of circulating cortisol. Ultimately it's a no-win situation.

End Part I


What's up Mr. Dave. I asked this question before. Not sure if it was answered. I was on vacation so I didn't see the respone if you did, so I'll ask again. Can eating protein alone potentially lead to gout? Sounds like a bogus myth to me.


In a couple of days I'll be as happy as a jewish boy after his BARRmitsfa.

Camp is nearly over after what... 3 weeks. I woke up more tired today than I have thus far. "Hey coach, I can't get my helmet on."(cool runnings)

I have two spikes I have reserved for one of the final days where I wake up and just feel like I want to Barr myself with one of those construction rods.

Out of this list of things to eat what would be the best choice for the last meal I'll eat today besides my peanut butter fudge Barr I'll make later:

-Variety of Bread including: 100% wheat, White, oat bread
-Peanut Butter

-The Special(which is usually some concoction of greasy fat and/or gravy stuff

-Salad BARR including:
Red legumes/tan legumes, beets, ice berg lettuce, carrots, olive oil, dressings, vinegar
-Processed deli meats
-frozen hamburgers(highly processed)
-steamed vegatables
-all fats of milk(chocolate in full fat)

I am confused what my body needs at this point.

I'll eat this at night:

peanut butter fudge Barr but I don't want to post it because it's from gourmet nutrition.

Any suggestions for food choices would be amazing.

Thanks Polar Barr

-Get Lifted


What's up big Barr,

Cissus what? I must be out of the loop. What are this supps proposed benefits?

Anyway, my own particular question regards BCAA supplementation, which I believe I read you were in support of.

Okay, so if you are indeed in approval of BCAA supplementation, when do you recommend it, what type of dosage, and in what form, pill or liquid?

Also, I see some that claim to only include leucine, isoleucine, and valine, while others list a whole plethora of aminos. What gives?


Cissus quadrangularis Part II

One of the other concerns I have with this product is that it acts as an antiinflammatory. Cool right? Well, maybe not.

Some of the substances produced during the inflammation process are actually required for muscle growth and repair!

This is why aspiring and ibuprophen, two common antiinflammatories ultimately inhibit muscle growth.

In fact, most antiinflammatories work by blocking these growth-inducing substances, which makes me concerned about Cissus quadrangularis.


Oragnic Apple cider Vinegar salesmen claim it "helps support a healthy immune system" and helps reduce muscle pain from exercise.

Now i know of the PH Balance, digestion, soothing dry throats being associated with the products use. But is their any research that suggests organic apple cider vinegar can actually help with immune strength and reduce muscle pains?


jsb, here's the reply I gave last week:

jsb, does you mom have preexisting kidney dysfunction? If so then consuming meat/protein can worsen the symptoms of gout.

It's not the protein itself, but substances called purines, which often acompany high protein foods.

If you don't have kidney problems or gout then it's not something to worry about.


Get Lifted, what's going on with your weight? Losing muscle and fat?

Will the camp demands change for the last couple of days?


Polar Barr? (I'm emBARRassed for you)

What is this misinformation you are spreading? Polar bear livers contain high amounts of Vitamin A, not E. I guess the toxicity has already kicked in. Next thing I know you will write a post on how to stack glutamine, NO2, and HMB to get HUUUGE.

Glad you made it home safe.

Take care,



Hey David Barr,

1) Since you seem to travel a lot what is your favirote pre/post workout foods when on the road and you cant get your hands on all the fancy stuff like Surge?

2) My Thyroid hormones down-regulate pretty damn fast when I diet. Leads to a bunch of nasty stuff like lowering of my body temp. Any supplements out their that can actually combat this?

3) Some studies I have seen seem to show that sucrose does a pretty damn good job of restoring muscle glyocgen after working out. My impression was that fructose cannot be used to restore muscle glycogen but some studies show that even pure fructose leads to some glycogen restoration pwo(albeit less then sucrose or pure glucose). My question is simple, how does fructose lead to any muscle glycogen restoration?


Bauer, I wouldn't worry too much about Cissus right now. It's purportedly an anabolic supplement (what isn't these days).

I'm not saying that it flat out won't work, I'm just amazed that people STILL jump on every new product that comes out with a flashy label and a big promise.

I swear, some breeds of dog learn faster than bodybuilders. LOL

End Part I


Thanks Dave. She doesn't have gout or kidney problems. But if it makes her happy to avoid it, then I guess that's ok. I'll pass the info along though.



pages 16-17 for somewhat of a picture. They won't let up, we have two tomorrow(conditioning afterwards and redzone scrimmage after the practices "live") and then a full blown up scrimmage next day. 3 weeks, no days off or breaks except 3 hours which I hobble to the ice bath and eat and try to get in a nap. I was at 218 and now I am under 210. I'm looking pretty ripped like a body builder and I may be getting close to 200 pounds skinny again. I am nervous about my work over the summer and then just like that it's getting worn away so quickly. Really upsetting because I felt so powerful at the start and I felt better.

I'm losing fat for sure and I'm squating 135 for 10 reps today and it aches. We have only lifted 3 times total.

I need to be drinking more water because I'm getting in trouble there too.

That's all I can think of right now.

-Get Lifted


samsmarts, while I trained under the Canadian National head track coach, he had me pretty convinced about apple cider vinegar. In fact, I still use it for its potential effect on glycogen restoration.

The only effect I saw on wounds, was a paper suggesting that ACV caused injuries by burning the esophagus (when consumed in tablet form).

There's also research showing how to create an ACV enema... and I thought I was the only one who used it like that.

Really, the hard research is practically non existent. All you'll find are the folk tales about its' benefits.

As always, I'm not saying that it doesn't work, I'm simply saying that there's no real evidence that it does.


Doc, you don't know what you're talking about. You stick to humans and I'll stick to polar bears! LOL

Vitamin A? Really? I guess you just destroyed the dogma that Canadians know everything about polar bears. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the heads up!


DB- I acked this question to LL last night but I want your opinion as well

It seems everyday new research comes out that such and such food or such and such supplement can help prevent cancer. What do YOU think are the most promsing food vitamins or food supplements that may help in preventing cancer?


Bauer II, I'd only consume BCAA's as part of an essential amino acid mix. Since they can be anabolic and anticatabolic, you'll want to maximize this effect by supplying the raw materials from which to make muscle protein.

Another way of looking at it; you can supply the stimulus for muscle growth (ie the BCAA's), but unless you supply the raw material (protein or EAA's) you won't build more muscle.

I prefer powder form to mix in with my Pre-PWO drinks (plug for Surge anyone?).

A dose of 10g would be efficacious and cost effective. Using less will have an effect, albeit smaller than a higher dose (makes sense I guess).

Formulations containing other amino acids are said to be "Branched Chain enriched". As always, be sure to get a full complement of essential aa's with your BCAA's.

Keep in mind that I have yet to see a benefit of either valine or isoleucine.


DB How goes it? Nothing exciting going on down here in jersey. I have just about 5 weeks until showtime and the calories are slowly dimininshing. I am getting hungrier & hungrier by the week. Strength is still good. Keeping my fat up on my lower carb days. How's things in boston?


Awesome response, thanks DB. However, you know by now that you don't get off answering just 1 question from me per night, so here goes.

From your articles, I conclude that you are obviously in support of pre and post workout drinks, but are hesitant to endorse a peri-workout drink of similar formulation.

Any specifics on your stance as to why you do/don't recommed this? I currently drink a sucrose/whey isolate mix during training, no good?