T Nation


Hey T-men I know vascularity is basically determined by genetics and as far as I know their isn’t any real way to increase it(feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) but some guys are just veiny and others are not. Now I have a good amount of size but I show very few veins in my bi’s and forearms…except at certain points in the day…I don’t mean during lifting…I wish I could stay that veiny…but just at different points in the day I’ll notice all my veins are “bustingout” but most of the time they are hidden…just wanted to know if anyone knew what causes this and if their is a way to keep’em that way.

Sometimes when using the computer i look at my hand and there are veins everywhere and other times not much at all. For me it just comes and goes. But i dont know how to keep them up all the time, to my knowledge you have to have blood pumping through to keep them up (except for people that are always like that).

Do those certain points in the day happen to follow a meal that contains carbs? That’s going to be my guess. The ingestion of carbohydrate results in the release of the hormone insulin. Insuling is a hormone that wears many hats, but in your case, we’ll attribute the vein-poppin’ action to the vasodilation property that insulin claims. This being said, the blood pathways are opened up, allowing more blood and nutrients to flow through to the target tissues/organs, thus the increase in vascularity.

Get your bf levels very low (5-6%), and your vascularity should be quite impressive.

Perfect timing. I just experienced my return of vascularity, I thought was gone due to my age (41). Anyway, as one person put in earlier, it is carb related. If you are noticing it at certain times, look at your food consumption prior to this. But, what I noticed as a return of mine was when I got back on Sportpharma vanadyl ph. I started back on it a week ago. One with breakfast, one with lunch, two with post workout drink and two with dinner or late night snack (which is usually a balance bar and a glass of milk). This morning I woke up with some nasty veins in my forearms. I was taking Optimum vanadyl prior to this and noticed nothing. I haven’t been on Sportpharma for about four years. I can tell you it works (for me anyway). Thanks Cy, for that article.

I have a friend that competes and what he does before a show, he is in the very low single digits BF wise so I know that has a lot to do with it, but anyway, he drinks 3 glasses of wine b/f he goes on stage. It makes a big difference.

Bodz - you actually got results from Vanadyl? The only thing I remember reading on it on T-mag was don’t waste your money! I might just have to try it now.

As far as vascularity goes, there are many tricks BB’s use before going on stage. There is a product called Hot Stuff that you can spray on, others use Icy Hot. These seem to increase vasodilation and blood flow to the skin. They only work when you are lean though. Alcohol (like wine) and simple sugars such as jelly are also injested to stimulate vasodilation! Also eliminating water from under the skin increases vascularity! All these methods are used for contests only - year round vascularity (i think) is determined mostly by subcutaneous body fat stores!


Matt, yeah I did get results. I did in 94-96 and hadn’t really used it seriously since. Cy wilson did an article, “The taming of insulin”. He mentioned Vanadyl briefly. Its funny that a lot of supplements are dismissed by an author and just because the company they represent doesn’t carry it, we believe it. I’ll give you a real good example. A company (who’s name I won’t mention) says that their products work on 95% of the people. Ok, so that leaves 5% that it may not work on. “It didn’t work on you? oh, you must be in that 5%” *that’s what I expected, but the answer they gave me and others was, “You must not be using it right” or “up your protein to 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight”…hmmmmmm, so if I up my protein to 1.5 grams per pound and don’t use your supplements, will I still grow? Get my point. Vanadyl may not work for you. I tell that to everyone. My clients all respond different, so I don’t put any of them on the same diet, training or supplements. I do agree with your assessment of bodybuilders. But, you can get vascularity without going single digit. I had some good vascularity in my forearms and shoulders when I was in my twenties with 12-14% bodyfat.

I take vanadyl as well, but I don’t know if it contributes to vascularity. I do notice a big increase with the consumption of a lot of simple carbs (probably taken in conjunction with vanadyl)

Kinda interesting- when I spray on Androsol, my skin seems to get tighter (probably from the alcohol evaporation), and I’ll look super cut. (Probably from the way the light shines on the skin from the alcohol. I’ll flex in the mirror for a minute, and my veins pop out, especially in the shoulder area and foreams.

Bodz- I see your point but I have to point something else out about your comments. You said, “It’s funny that a lot of supplements are dismissed by an author and just because the company they represent doesn’t carry it, we believe it.” The other side of that is that some companies, say Biotest, do not sell certain supplements because they do not think they are worth taking. For example, Biotest does not sell HMB or oral prohormones. They do not because they do not believe these products are worth using and/or may be dangerous (usnic acid etc.)

Now, other companies, Twinlab comes to mind, do carry these products. Do they carry them because they think they’re good supplements? No, they carry them because people will buy them! Even Met-Rx is still adding useless amounts of HMB to certain products. Why? Because it works? No, because they can sell it to those who don’t know any better and make a profit. Biotest could sell it too. Tim could have made a lot of dough back when oral “andro” was so popular. He didn’t because he didn’t think the possible side effects were worth it and didn’t like the delivery system. He lost some potential profit for not jumping on the bandwagon. Instead, he waited until a better delivery system was developed.

That’s the difference in supplement companies as I see it. We (T-mag/Biotest) don’t put down other products simply because we don’t sell it. We don’t sell it because, for most people, the product is crap.

On a side note, I’ve noticed Tim won’t put out a “me too” product either. In other words, how easy would it be to make a creatine in Kool-aide formula? Other companies make a lot of money off those products. Instead Tim wants to be more innovative and original. If he does make a similar product it’s because he thinks he can really improve upon what’s out there. Not trying to start an argument, just my thoughts on the topic.

I notice an improvement whenever I increase my water intake. I don´t like the constant pissing
very high (like 2 gallons per day) causes but
the change in vascularity almost makes it worth it.
On the subject of supplements, glycerol might help do some degree but caffeine or ephedrine might actually be detrimental. This may seem like an odd statement considering their thermogenic and diuretic effects which are good for definition. The drawback is an increase in
hormones (aldosterone, I think) which cause water retention.

Certainly androgens which don´t convert into estrogen might increase vascularity by increasing blood volume , also
theoretically, EPO might work.

Water is a real key for me . . . Also, insulin levels will make a difference - high levels (like after a good recovery formula) will give you more vascularity.

Two summers ago i got down to around 7 or 8 percent bf. i started noticing that i get very vascular whenever it is really humid.its almost nasty. i live in Georgia so im pretty much vascular all the time even though im only ten percent bf.

Chris, this is to clear something up. I was speaking of T-mag/Biotest. I was also speaking of Twinlab. I remember when Twinlab dismissed Vanadyl and then later came out with their own version. While I agree that you guys wait until you get a better delivery system before you bring out the same product that you previously dismissed, it is still a matter of readers taking what someone says “too literally”. If you said cow shit was ergogenic, you’d have some of these readers calling asking where they could get it. Tim dismissed vanadyl a while back. Fine, his opinion. But, some of these readers take it too literal. “Tim said it, so it must be true”. I remember Bill P. said a lot of things that people believed also. We trusted him. We hoped to trust Tim and the gang also. I want to thank T-mag for having varying opinions. Cy wilsons article even said, “if it works for you…”. No two people are alike. I for one do not do well on creatine. Wether it is powder, liquid or a liquid with any other ingredients. That’s me. As far as not selling something. That is up to your company. I for one, would rather see you guys sell a good multi-vitamin/mineral and a fish oil/flax oil combo or seperate. I think carrying the “essentials” that you list as first in the list of necessary, before the Tribex, MD6, Andro/Nandro, etc. You have done articles on this. I wish you guys would offer it. If you don’t want to sell something like Vanadyl because you don’t believe in it. That is fine with me. But, you guys have some of the best minds in the business. I think by now you could come out with a good combo of the previous mentioned items. I could go back through your search engine and see the alpha lipoic, coQ10, etc that you recommend. You guys would make a killing on it. The oils might not be as profitable, but it would make you a better all around company.

I agree, Bodz. I wish Biotest would come out with a multi-vit/mineral product, too. Most of us take one anyway and I’m sure Tim could come up with something better geared towards male lifters than the Centrum I’m taking now. He’s thought of it, of course, and I recommended it to him and TC a while back too. Maybe in the future; Biotest is a young company.

Speaking of vitamin/mineral supplements, does anyone have any recommendations?

I use the vitamin formula by SNAC. The company that introduced the ZMA that Biotest carries. It is only two capsules daily. Simple and cheap. I do add Twin Lab multi mineral and their stess B complex. Like I said, I wish Biotest would make one.

I take the Atkins Basic 3 multi, but only because I get a major discount on it. If not for that cost would be prohibitive. For cheap and decent quality, the VitaminShoppe One Daily without Iron is my top recommendation. If you buy the large jar it’s cheap as dirt. It’s one pill daily, two if you want a megadose (the pill’s already high potency). Just my opinion.

try a couple of ripped fuel and caffiene itworks for me