AICAR Guide: Dosage, Benefits, Side Effects, & More (2022)
AICAR is an analog of adenosine monophosphate (AMP). It was first used in the 1990s to preserve blood flow to the heart during surgery. At the time of writing, AICAR is being investigation as a potential treatment of cardiac ischemic injury following a heart attack.
In preclinical studies, AICAR has shown promise as an anabolic agent. It has been reported that AICAR can stimulate muscle fiber activity, which is a precursor to muscle growth. AICAR may also stimulate fat loss and increase glucose uptake in the skeletal muscle.
This comprehensive AICAR guide will tell you everything you need to know about this drug. We’ll start by discussing what AICAR is and how it works. Next, we’ll discuss its general benefits and those related to bodybuilding, before revealing the optimal AICAR dose.
What is AICAR?
AICAR (5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside) is an analog of AMP that can stimulate the activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (APMK), an enzyme present in every body cell. AMPK activation helps keep energy balance in the body. [R][R]
AICAR was initially investigated as an agent to preserve blood flow to the heart during surgery. Later, human trials explored whether it could treat cardiac ischemia after a heart attack. In these trials, AICAR proved to be effective at high doses with only mild side effects. [R]
AICAR has also shown promise as a potential treatment for type 2 diabetes. A human trial involving patients with this condition reported reduced glucose production after AICAR treatment. The patients also experienced an improvement in their glucoregulation. [R]
How Does AICAR Work?
AICAR has demonstrated the following effects:
1) Activates the AMPK
In skeletal muscle, acute administration of AICAR reportedly activated the AMPK. Upon activation, AMPK stimulates energy-generating processes (i.e., glucose uptake and fatty acid oxidation) and shuts down the energy-consuming ones, thus making more energy available for use. [R][R]
2) Increases Nitric Oxide Production
Nitric oxide helps blood vessels expand to promote proper blood flow. It can also provide various health benefits, such as better brain function, lower blood pressure, and improved exercise performance. Aside from that, it helps with penile erection. [R][R]
3) Increases ATP levels
In isolated human endothelial cells, AICAR treatment increased fatty acid and glucose oxidation, causing an increase in ATP production. Raised ATP levels reduce fatigue, increase strength and power, and improve body composition. [R][R]
4) Activates Glycogen Phosphorylase
AICAR activates glycogen phosphorylase and stimulates myocardial glycogenolysis in skeletal muscle cells. Both these processes help break down glycogen, a carbohydrate, into glucose. You could thus credit them for providing immediate energy. [R]
How can AICAR help Bodybuilders?
Here is how AICAR helps bodybuilders:
1) Makes More Energy Available During Exercise
AICAR’s ability to activate AMPK makes it a performance enhancer. AMPK is the body’s energy regulator and is activated while you’re exercising. Once activated, AMPK makes energy more available, ensuring you don’t get exhausted too quickly. [R]
2) Facilitates Easy Muscle Development
AICAR reportedly increases glucose uptake by your muscles, meaning it enables your muscles to absorb more glucose from the blood. Which is great news as if the uptake is low, high blood glucose levels will reduce protein synthesis, making muscle development tricky. [R]
3) Helps You Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle
That AICAR stimulates fatty acid oxidation (fat burning, in simple words) is excellent news for anyone who wants to get rid of stubborn body fat. The increased FAO may help you in another way: it will provide you with more energy during those weight-lifting exercises. [R]
Other AICAR Benefits
In addition to helping you build muscle and lose fat, AICAR has demonstrated antioxidant properties and may thus help with the signs of aging. It has also been shown to be beneficial for metabolic disorders, type 2 diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
Here are the general benefits of AICAR:
1) Might be beneficial for type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Of the more than 37 million Americans with diabetes, approximately 90 – 95% have type 2 diabetes. [R]
In a clinical study of patients with type 2 diabetes, AICAR treatment (45 mg/kg/hr) produced a significant decrease in glucose production. The AMPK activator also improved glucoregulation, which is crucial for normal blood glucose levels in your body. [R]
2) Has anti-inflammatory properties
In various preclinical studies, AICAR has demonstrated a protective role in inflammatory conditions like atherosclerosis, lung injury, colitis, and hepatitis. [R]
For instance, a cell-based study reported that AICAR reduced the replication of the hepatitis C virus in the treated cells. Another preclinical study found that this AMPK activator may ameliorate ischemia-reperfusion injury in your kidneys. [R][R]
3) May protect heart health
As noted above, AICAR has been clinically used to prevent and treat cardiac ischemic injury (injury arising from reduced blood flow) after a heart attack.
In addition to the above effect, AICAR has demonstrated the ability to:
Consider taking AICAR with Cardarine for extreme heart health, as Cardarine (GW-501516) has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
4) Might fight cancer
A cell-based study showed that AICAR induces apoptosis (cell death) and inhibits migration and invasion in prostate cancer cells. In addition to these effects, AICAR-treated prostate cancer cells exhibited increased chemosensitivity to docetaxel, an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug. [R]
Another study revealed three different ways AICAR may exhibit its anti-cancer effects. These include stimulation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, reduction of Akt phosphorylation, and the activation of cell death by different metabolic pathways. [R]
Best AICAR Dosage for Bodybuilding
An initial 10 – 15 dosage will be good to check how your body responds to it. There’s a general consensus among AICAR users that the optimal dosage range lies between 10 mg and 50 mg, with the maximum dose mostly preferred by users with prior experience with performance enhancers.
Keep in mind that AICAR has very low bioavailability when taken orally (less than 5%). It’s thus suggested to administer this AMPK activator via subcutaneous injections. [R]
AICAR treatment activates AMPK in the body. This performance enhancer can help bodybuilders by making more energy available during exercise and helping you lose fat without losing muscle. Aside from that, it has demonstrated significant efficacy in type-2 diabetes trials.
Overall, AICAR is a great compound to take if you want to seriously enhance the energy levels that you have. ATP is the “powerhouse of the cell,” as we learned in biology, and AICAR increases that.
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Of course, let us know if you have any questions down below, and we’ll
❓ How To Use AICAR?
AICAR is usually administered subcutaneously due to its poor bioavailability.
❓ What Does AICAR Do In The Body?
AICAR activates AMPK in the body. It also inhibits adenosine kinase in cardiac cells, stimulates lipolysis in the adipose tissue, and enhances ATP production in AICAR-treated cells. Moreover, it induces differentiation in various body cells (neural stem cells, embryonic stem cells, etc.).
❓ Does AMPK activation help you lose weight?
Yes. Various studies have shown that one of the effects of activating AMPK is a significant drop in body fat and, by extension, body weight.
❓ What is the half-life of AICAR?
AICAR has a relatively short half-life of 1.4 hours when administered intravenously.