R-ALA/ALA & Surge

For those of you that take either R-ALA or ALA with your Surge; Do you take it before both your preworkout and postworkout surge or just before one of the two? Thanks for any input.

HHH, I’ll bump this for you. Looking forward to the responses.

Adding to your question, in JB’s recent article, Resurgence, he seems to be against the use of glucose disposal agents with Surge. I gather he does not want spiked insulin to be blunted in any way PWO.

Anybody have any thoughts (and science to back it up) on the subject?

I don’t see any use in using it pre-workout because r-ala works by helping your body to clear blood sugar. I’ve used it post-workout for some time and I think it helps me to keep lean as I’m a little carb sensitive.

JasonL, drawing from Boom2316’s post, he said that an insulin response triggers transcription (the first step of protein synthesis). Any thoughts on whether r-ALA is counterproductive where Surge is concerned?

I’ve been using r-ALA 15 minutes before taking Surge and 15-20 minutes before my solid-food PWO carb-containing meal.

Timbo, Vain68, Kelly, Eric?

I use it prior to both my during and post-training Surges. 100-200mg about 10 minutes before my first sip of the during workout Surge (depending on whether any stimulants are being abused…I mean used), and 100mg at the time of ingesting the post-workout Surge.

i know r-ala is superior but i happen to have ala right now. what would you guys recommend dosage wise with ala?

ps. i abuse md-6 pre workout which has about 200mg ala.

Timbo!!! So glad you stopped by!!!

We all know that part of how Surge works its magic is by spiking insulin. So the question is: Does r-ALA blunt the insulin spike and counteract what Surge is designed to do; i.e., shuttling amino acids into the muscles and reducing cortisol levels?

P-Dog, I generally recommend that you take twice the amount of ALA as r-ALA. ALA is roughly a 50/50 mixture of R- and S-ALA. The values lies in the former.

I like Thunder’s numbers on the r-ALA; 100mg of r-ALA per 30-50g of carbs, taken 15-20 minutes before a carb-containing meal (if you’re using it for its glucose disposal capabilities).

I forgot to add that I don’t have any science to back my opinion up. Just my own experiences. Maybe I will experiment without the r-ala to see if I experience less DOMS.

The dose of ALA or r-ALA depends on the amount of carbs you are consuming with that meal. 11.11 mg ALA per gram of carbs is about as high as you should go to maximize glucose uptake. The marginal benefit of taking any higher dose is essentially zero. Both ala and r-ala also lose effectiveness past 108g carbs per meal, so that is something else to keep in mind.


I have wondered about this myself. I would believe that Berardi has a good reason not to add ALA or (R)ALA to the mix. I could see that blunting the rise in insulin as being negative, but since ALA really improves insulin sensitivity of the muscles, I would assume any drop in insulin would be compensated by the ALA. Then again the power of a giant insulin rise may ram the carbs and protein into the muscles better then ALA could. Not to mention the muscles are already in an insulin sensitive state.

It probably only would be of benefit if you are insulin resistant. You could try this. Drink the Surge, and then set a timer for 105 minutes. Do not eat your post workout meal until either the timer gets to 105, or you start feeling the effects of low blood sugar. If you didn’t experience low blood sugar, then next time try taking (R)ALA with your first sip of surge. And once again see if you end up with low blood sugar. If you get the effects of low blood sugar without the ALA then I don’t see any benefit in adding it myself. And would only add it if I only felt the low blood sugar effects from Surge and (R)ALA.

I do use ALA in post workout drinks if I don’t have Surge available.

P-Dog, I have been using 300 mg ALA prior to both my surges and my 1st solid meal after surge until my stock runs out and then switch to R-ALA.

Thanks for the feedback so far everyone.

Tampa et al.
Although I have not made the step to pure R-ala, I have tweeked and titrated my usage of ALA for some time. Rather than use it pre or post-workout, I have opted for a somewhat different approach (particularly while staying lean). I titrate between 1g and 1.5g of ALA prior to going to bed. This seems to help with both insulin sensitivity, and fat loss. I choose this route becuase ALA also has the potential to sensitize adipose stromal cells, and I did not want this in the presence of any carbs.

As far as ALA or R-ALA blunting the insulin response, I wouldn’t see this is a problem due to the fact that for a given insulin spike, the muscle tissue will be much more sensitive (thus sucking up more aa’s, carbs, etc.) than without ALA. Its more about quality than quantity I would think…also, how fast that muscle tissue soaks up the necessary anabolic precursors, which one might assume to be quicker if muscle tissue is sensitized etc. by ALA or r-ala.

Just my thoughts


I really like your approach to the method you take for using ala.

For some reason, Im not fully convinced that it works though. I really hope this conversation and particularly this topic becomes a concern here, I’d love to hear what other minds think of your theory.

As for it’s potency for post-workout and whether it minimizes the surge spike? I doubt it, ALA has shown to have no impact on how much insulin is realesed. I believe that ALA works by sensitizing the cells, in particular musccle cells which creates a better transport or more efficient one in tranforming them into muscle glycogen instead of liver glycogen. Just my thoughts and opinions, please don’t quote me on this.

Da Boxer

I think the issue has to be one’s titration of ALA (and any other supplement type product such as ECA etc.).

The body can become very assimilated to handling a given dosage of ALA or r-ala over time so that the dosage no longer has the same effect it first did either physiologically or affectively.

In my own case, when I first started hitting the 1g dose of ala, I noticed lightheadedness etc. immediately after ingesting it…I can reproduce this state only after titrating the dosage up or down on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

I also think that for ala or r-ala to have a “feel” of effectiveness, one must be ingesting at least 500g per day and more if one has been ingesting this amount on a regular basis.


So, if I average 300mg of r-ala a day, you think it would work just as effectively using it all right before bedtime?

What a convenient way of using it, if it does work!

thanks for the reply Vain,
Da Boxer

Okay, I don’t have nearly the scientific background of some of the other posters, but I’m going to weigh in here anyway. [Deep breath…]

I’m not really sure why one would want to add r-ALA to one’s post-workout Surge in the first place. Many knowledgeable people have posted and said that taking Surge has absolutely no impact on fatloss even while on a strict diet. (I have found this to be the case myself as well.)

Given this, I think that we can reasonably assume that Surge, taken in a post-workout scenario, is formulated well enough that it goes virtually 100% to muscle repair/glycogen replenishment/etc., with a correspondingly small (virtually non-existant) amount going to fat gain.

We take r-ALA with our regular meals in order to improve nutrient partitioning, of course, but with Surge that’s already happening. Any additional r-ALA would seem to be redundant, or at least would have such a small effect as to be unnoticeable and not worth the expense.

Yes/no? Or am I just overlooking something really obvious here?

I emailed John Berardi and asked if he would be willing to expand upon his position. He gave me permission to post his response on the forum.

“My comments have nothing to do with blunting the insulin response. Rather, I think that using any ACUTE acting insulin mimickers or glucose disposal agents with Surge will cause too profound a hypoglycemia post workout. Remember, the data show HUGE drops in blood glucose due to the insulin spike. Any lower and people will be dropping like flies.”