Chromium Picolinate: As mentioned, when sugar enters muscle cells it is synthesized there then converted into glycogen where it is retained and used as fuel. Insulin plays a major role in moderating sugar metabolism however the muscles of many people are insensitive to insulin to varying capacities. This is why so many people get or stay fat when they’re eating healthy meals consisting of fruits and complex carbohydrates. Insulin transports sugars to the tissue cites, but often times the muscles reject much of the delivery, returning the rejected sugar back into the bloodstream where it can eventually turn to fat.
Tissue sensitivity for insulin is enhanced when sufficient amounts of chromium are present in the body. In its picolinate form, chromium is a micronutrient that shuttles more sugar into the tissues cooperating with insulin as the chaperones of fuel.
The best times to use chromium picolinate is during high carbohydrate meals. As noted, the body prefers to replenish depleted glycogen after exercise. So by supplementing a good carbohydrate meal (drink or meal) with chromium will ensure more glycogen repletion and less accumulation of body fat. Additionally, those who use chromium picolinate regularly experience better shape and tone as their muscles are holding more energy inside the tissues.
L-Carnitine: Like chromium, L-carnitine has a similar action. But instead of shuttling sugar into the tissue cites, L-carnitine shuttles fat. Inside each cell contain organs called mitochondria. The mitochondria are often referred to as the cells factories were fat is processed to be burned as fuel. An analogy is that mitochondria are like the fireplaces in your home, while the logs represent the fat. As long as you shovel the logs into the fireplace, they will be metabolized and create heat and energy. If the logs cannot enter the fireplace, there’s simply nothing to burn. And the logs will never be burned as long as they stay outside the fireplace.
L-carnitine acts as the shuttling agent that grabs the logs and tosses them into the fireplace. More scientifically, L-carnitine attaches itself to fat and chaperones it into the mitochondria.
Fat is the longest acting source of energy, a source that’s almost impossible to run out of. Sugar, on the other hand, can be depleted in just a few seconds or minutes of activity--try an all out 100 meter dash and see how much energy you have remaining. When sufficient amounts of L-carnitine are present in the bloodstream fat will consistently be delivered into the mitochondria and used as fuel.
The best times to take an L-carnitine supplement is 1 hour before exercise and immediately afterwards. Once inside the body, L-carnitine will start to recruit fat and begin transportation to the mitochondria. When exercise ceases, and energy requirements subside, L-carnitine will continue to shuttle fat into the mitochondria were it can be stored for future use.
Velvet Deer Antler: Soviet sports scientists began experimenting with velvet deer antler extracts on athletes as a natural [and safe] anabolic steroid alternative. Findings indicated an increase in work capacity, decreased skeletal muscular fatigue, improved mental functions, and increased recovery from training.
One controlled studied found that antler extracts improved performance in athletes on an exercise cycle from 15 kg/m dynamic work to 74 kg/m, a considerably large increase.