Body Building Sports

August 1, 2008

The Use Of Conjugated Linoleic Acid In Bodybuilding Sports

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): a trans fat for your health?

If you’re a bodybuilder, it’s probably true that you’re always on the lookout for bodybuilding enhancers. And in fact, you’re going to have more muscle definition if you utilize some natural fat losing supplements as well. One of the newest on the market that looks promising in regard to both of these is conjugated linoleic acid, also known as CLA.

Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid it’s found in small amounts, mostly in animal products, including meat and dairy products. It was first discovered in 1978, and its recent profile suggests that it builds muscle, reduces body fat, and may even improve health overall.

As yet, most studies of CLA have been done on animals, but human trials are soon to start and researchers are very excited about what they’ll find. In the meantime, it’s thought that moderate amounts of CLA taken in supplement form are most certainly not harmful and may in fact be helpful with a few possible exceptions, including those suffering or at risk for diabetes.

Surprisingly, one of the foods that contains a lot of CLA is the “manufactured cheese food” Cheez Whiz. Of course, this isn’t a particularly healthful food for the diet overall, so your best bet is to get it in supplement form.

When you get your CLA in supplement form, you can control how much you take because you use premeasured softgel capsules. In addition, you don’t have to take in a significant increase in calories to get the CLA you need.

It isn’t quite yet understood how CLA works, but it’s thought that it counterbalances linoleic acid’s negative effects, and it also may regulate protein and fat metabolism. It is thought that it regulates metabolism and energy retention, and that it may function as a growth factor.

It also positively impacts immune function, and may inhibit lean tissue wasting caused by cytokines. What this translates to as far as bodybuilding is concerned is that you may actually increase lean muscle mass, reduce body fat, and boost immune function overall.

Yet another exciting development with CLA is that it may also help reduce cholesterol levels, and it provides powerful antioxidant protection. It may also help fight cancer.

It does have some caveats, mostly in regard to gastrointestinal upset and in certain cases, blood sugar control. At present, if you have diabetes or are at risk for, it is not advised that you take conjugated linoleic acid until more is known about its effect on blood sugar levels and control. If you do have gastrointestinal upset from taking CLA, cutting down on the amount you take should take care of this particular problem.

What, then, are the practical applications, in sum, in regard to CLA among bodybuilding enhancers? It may not only boost your workout and give you greater energy, but can be natural fat losing supplements and may increase lean muscle mass safely, assuming you don’t have and are not at risk for diabetes. It will also help you boost immune system function, so that you are better able to address your workouts. Because it increases the proportion of fat you can use as energy, in addition, it may also give you more endurance during your workout.


Blog at