Here’s an article from MuscleMedia Summer 1997 issue on Glycerol – one of the best kept secrets of drug-free bodybuilding


I’ve been experimenting with glycerol, the compound talked about in your September issue. I have some feedback and a question. I first tried glycerol a couple weeks ago, and took 30 ml with 16 oz. of water at seven o’clock in the morning. I kept checking the mirror all day to see if I had any more cuts in my arms and really didn’t notice anything. Last week I tried taking 50 ml with 16 oz. of water first thing in the morning and during my evening workout. I noticed a big increase in vascularity and greater separation in my muscles. Especially my shoulders and pecs. However, I’m still looking for even greater cuts. Should I try taking 75 ml the glycerol wotj 16 oz. water?Could the plasma expanding effects of glycerol raise my blood pressure too much?


Thanks for your feedback. I’ve heard from quite a few people who’ve been experimenting with glycerol, and as I predicted, the effects vary from person-to-person. As I pointed out in my September question-and-answer, I experienced fantastic results by consuming 50 ml of glycerol, mixed with 16 oz. water. I start to notice the effects in a few hours and my vascularity and muscle separation and definition steadily improve throughout the day. I even notice effects as much as 30 or 40 hours later. However, I continue to experiment with this stuff and I’ve invented a concoction which seems to produce startling results.

Here’s a recipe: I mix 50 ml of glycerol with 12 oz. water and 4 ounces a red wine. Then I had a serving of grape flavored Phosphagen HP which is loaded with simple carbohydrates and creatine. I know it sounds disgusting, but it’s actually not that bad. I drink a full serving of this slowly, the night before the photo shoot, and then I drink a half serving of this concoction about 20 minutes before I start pumping up for the photo shoot. Then I sip on the elixir during the photo shoot itself.

The alcohol works as a vasodilator, which helps increase vascularity, it’s also a natural diuretic. The simple sugars and creatine from the HP seem to increase and prolong the pump and the glycerol cuts me up and boosts my vascularity. I had my brother Sean Philips try this mixture before we had some photos taken last week, the effect was well… Unbelievable! He was shredded.

Keep in mind Shawn achieved this muscle separation without using any diuretic drugs, no herbal diuretics, no illegal diuretics. He didn’t use any fat burning drugs either like Clenbuterol, thyroid or ephedrine, and steroids had nothing to do with it. He basically worked his ass off to get in awesome shape, but use of my glycerol cocktail helped put the finishing touch on his definition.

Glycerol definitely works, at least for some people. I don’t think you’re going to notice much of an effect, if you aren’t already lean. If your body fat isn’t under 8%. The first thing you need to do to bring out greater vascularity, muscle separation, and definition is burn fat.

Once you get down to around 5, 6 or even 7% bodyfat, the amount of muscle hardness you have doesn’t seem to depend all that much on body fat. For example, in these photos my brother’s body fat is around 5.5%. However, if I were to look at these photos and guess I’d think his body fat was round 2.5%.

What Dan Duchaine helped me learn is using diuretic drugs to harden up the physique is kind of a a backwards way of doing it. The goal is not to get water out of the bloodstream, it’s to get water out of the area between muscle cells, but since diuretic drugs work at a different level, dehydration of the blood will occur first, and water will still be left between the muscles.

This is where glycerol comes into play. It acts as a plasma expander and a water magnet. It helps pull water out of the skin and pulls water from the interstitial between cells spaces without lowering blood volume or blood pressure. This really makes my muscles look granular.

Now, as far as blood pressure goes, we recently had Dr. Matt Vukovich, a new member of the EAS research staff, perform a pilot study at our new EAS Performance Center to evaluate whether glycerol increased blood pressure.

Test subjects – 5 healthy men in their twenties, reported to our lab at 8:30 A.M and rested quietly for 5 to 10 minutes. Blood pressures and heart rates were recorded. Subjects then consumed 50 ml of glycerol with 16 oz. water. Thirty minutes later, they were provided with the liquid breakfast. The test subjects heart rates and blood pressure were measured every 90 minutes for nine hours and again at the 24-hour mark. The charts below show the results

As you can tell by the graphs, there was no significant change in blood pressure following glycerol consumption. Heart rates remain fairly stable. However, we did begin to see a decline in heart rate after about 7.5 hours. This was expected as plasma volume increases, venous return (blood returning to the heart) increases, which allows the heart to have a greater stroke volume. Cardiac output is maintained by lowering heart rate.

It is interesting the blood pressure did not change. In published studies which report, the performance-enhancing effects of glycerol supplementation, test subjects’ blood volume increased about 250 ml. An increase of 250 ml without a change in blood pressure, indicates that there must be some physiological changes occurring to compensate for the increased blood volume. We are planning other study, with more subjects were we will take blood samples to see what hormone levels are changing.

The other studies, which reported an increase in blood volume 250 ml. used a dosage of about 80 ml (.68 grams per pound of body weight). They found an increase in blood volume 30 minutes into the study, which continued through the duration of the three-hour study.

Even though our pilot study showed that blood pressure did not seem to go up after cholesterol use, I still wouldn’t recommend glycerol to anyone who might have high blood pressure. I also think 50 ml of glycerol mixed with 16 oz. of fluid per dose with a maximum of 2 doses per day is plenty.

Rob Lagana

Coach and Founder at Lagana Fitness
One of the Best, Most Established Online Personal Trainers in the Country

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