As anyone who has ever worked out consistently knows, building muscle and achieving peak performance are not easy tasks. Whether you want to look like Jay Cutler, or perform like Lance Armstrong, getting to such a level is seemingly impossible without some sort of extra anabolic aid. It could be something as simple as good nutrition or additional supplementation. On the other hand, it could be some sort of anabolic or testosterone booster. The truth is that everyone in the gym is looking to achieve their goals, whatever they may be--faster and more efficiently than everyone else. The question becomes how to do so…
Could it be… mustard?
Mustard May Just Change Your Life.
As it turns out, all those times you loaded your hot dog up with mustard may have been more beneficial than you ever imagined. A recent study in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), found a remarkable commonality between the condiment mustard and anabolic steroids. More specifically, the plant steroid homobrassinolide (HB), which is found in mustard producing plants, showed a similar anabolic effect to steroid usage. But before you go thinking some crazy scientist sat in a lab injecting a bunch of wanna-be bodybuilders with mustard, hold on…
The study, which showed mustard’s anabolic benefits, was actually done on rats and in very high doses of HB. In fact, each rat was given 60 mg/kg/day, which equates to giving a 175 lb. human 4.8 grams of HB per day. This is an extremely high dosage. So much in fact, it would be physically impossible to eat enough mustard to obtain the need amount of HB. Before you lose faith in this new and promising anabolic ingredient for which mustard produces, there still may be hope for those looking for a safe and natural performance aid.
What Exactly is Homobrassinolide?
HB is a brassinosteroid. What is that?
Well, scientifically speaking, it is a plant derived polyhydroxylated sourced from 5a-Cholestane. Basically, HB is a plant steroid that is structurally very similar to animal and insect steroids. In other words, HB is on the same level as many of the steroids that popular culture has become so fixated with, regarding the use in sports and other controversial performance enhancing capacities. Judging by the FASEB study however, HB differs from anabolic steroids in one very distinct and potentially beneficial way.
Big Muscles, Zero Side Effects
The study involving HB showed a number of distinct and surprisingly resourceful outcomes. Perhaps the most notable was that HB causes little to no side effects; increasing the lean mass of rats while improving their physical performance and even increasing their metabolism. Of the rats that were given high doses of HB for 24 days, their lean muscle mass increased greater than the rats that were not given the plant steroid. Additionally, each rat was fed a diet consisting of 23.9 percent protein, which begs the question:
What if they were fed higher amounts of protein?
Interestingly enough, the rats that were fed a higher protein diet and given HB showed little variation from those on a lower protein diet. However, all rats that were given an elevated dosage of HB, showed significant rat muscle cell hypertrophy and decreased protein synthesis degradation in exposed rat skeletal muscle cells. What’s more…the rats also experienced improved grip strength among an abundance of muscle cells. Not only did HB lead to muscle cell growth, but it also promoted exponential muscle cell growth.
I will be the first to hop on a bandwagon if I believe it will help my fitness goals. If something seems safe and helpful to achieving my goals, why not try it?
Of course, some things can turn out to be unsafe and counterproductive, but I suppose that is just part of the risk involved in training and pushing your body toward desired results. Looking for an edge can be a slippery slope at times, but it can also pay out big if you are on the money. After analyzing the FASEB study, it appears as though there is very little risk involved in eating mustard. However, based on the results of the study--and the subsequent dosage of HB used--it appears as though putting a squirt of mustard on your turkey sandwich or mixing it in with your tuna will likely yield no significant difference in your physical attributes. It may however, add a psychological optimism if you believe that any dosage of HB can produce anabolic results. It’s hard to tell just how little or much HB is required to produce performance results in humans.
But, hey…if you like mustard, I say go crazy and see what happens!
Jamison Hill – Jamison is an accomplished trainer and nutritional expert with a background in bodybuilding and healthy lifestyle improvements. He has competed in natural bodybuilding and written the self-help fitness book The Optimal Balance Plan. In his free time, Jamison enjoys playing the guitar, riding his bike and doing anything outdoors.