We’ve been on a big GDA (glucose disposal agent) kick this year, so we had to see what our friends at Magnum Nutraceuticals had in their line.
Everyone loves carbs (admit it you low carbers!) Whether it’s a towering stack of warm chocolate chip pancakes or a heaping bowl of pasta topped with grandma’s red sauce, everyone has their own guilty pleasure when it comes to the controversial macronutrient.
Unfortunately, as you age, you aren’t blessed with the furnace of a metabolism that your younger self once enjoyed. Now, even going just a bit over your carb number can spill into bodyfat gains.
Magnum has a strong answer to the carb conundrum. Magnum Mimic is a powerful and unique glucose disposal agent that will help take your biggest carb meal and get more stored into your muscles, and less into those problem areas.
Products like this are also known as nutrient partitioners, and if you’re carb-sensitive, these underrated beasts are must-haves. The question is, how is this one different?
Quick Notes on MIMIC
- It’s strong!
- Best used once per day – before biggest meal with carbs
- May not be best for “nibblers”, or people who eat several small meals
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Mimic contains a modest amount of ingredients all intended to improve your insulin sensitivity and signaling. This not only improves your body’s hormonal responses but also helps shuttle carbs tra™where they’re needed most (your muscles) and keeps them from where you don’t want them (hips, butt, stomach, etc.).
Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) is a climbing vine found prominently in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Traditionally, it’s been used as a powerful antioxidant and adaptogen.
Modern research into Jiaogulan has centered around its use for diabetes and cardiovascular issues. Two different studies using Jiaogulan found that not only did it improve insulin sensitivity in Type 2 diabetics, but it also helped reduce blood glucose levels and inhibit further increases in blood glucose.
Note that this is different than the common GDA ingredient, Gynostemma Sylvestre. Very few products have this, and those that do aren’t marketed as nutrient partitioners or glucose disposal and are dosed far smaller.
So if you’re looking for something different, this is a great start.
Berberine has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering agent. This alkaloid is found in a number of herbs, and has been used more frequently in GDA products.
Studies involving berberine demonstrate it’s incredibly effective at improving glucose disposal and regulating insulin levels. Berberine stimulates Adenosine Monophosphate-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) while inhibiting Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). Greater AMPK activation leads to a number of benefits including: improved insulin sensitivity, enhanced glucose uptake into cells, and reduced glucose production in the liver.[4,5]
As powerful as berberine is, it’s still relatively unknown by the masses. It’s a shame too, because this is one of those herbs that possess real, genuine medical benefits. More studies, and supplements, will be coming out on this astounding alkaloid, but for the time being just be happy it’s helping shuttle sugar to your muscles and not around your abs.
This is also a strong dose – 200mg is not unheard of, but we’re used to seeing products with smaller doses like 50mg. We’re starting to see why MIMIC is only to be taken once a day!
This is discussed in even more detail in our new next-gen muscle building supplements article for more info.
R-Alpha Lipoic Acid (200mg)
The good version of the good stuff!
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a fatty acid found in the mitochondria of every cell in your body that’s a cofactor in energy production. R-ALA is a biologically active form of ALA that’s more bioavailable and stable in the body as opposed to other forms.
R-ALA also helps regulate glucose and lipid metabolism in the body, as well as a powerful antioxidant. R-ALA improves glycogen storage and reduces blood sugar due to its actions with GLUT-4 (an important glucose transporter in the body).[7,8] Activation of GLUT-4 calls insulin into action, which encourages glucose uptake by muscles as well as “burning fat for fuel” by muscles.
What’s with the ‘R’?
R-ALA is not cheap, but users frequently report far better success when using it vs regular ALA. The ‘R’ stands for “Right”, which describes the rotation/positioning of the carbon molecule inside. This is how our body’s natural ALA is positioned, and it is far more efficacious and easier to bind to.
Cinnamomum Cassia 8:1 (200mg)
Cinnamomum cassia, also known as Chinese cassia or Chinese cinnamon, is an evergreen tree found throughout Asia, but originated in Southern China. If you’ve been paying attention to the news for the past few years, you’ve no doubt noticed that cinnamon is now a commonly recommended supplement for those with Type 2 Diabetes.
The reason for this is that cinnamon can inhibit several digestive enzymes including: alpha-glucosidase, sucrase, and pancreatic amylase.[9,10] Inhibiting these enzymes decreases the amount of glucose that goes into systemic circulation and avoids insulin spikes.
Furthermore, cinnamon has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood glucose levels.[11,12,13]
What’s funny is that when searching for berberine, you sometimes see “berberine vs cinnamon” come up. Well first off, berberine is stronger, but second… why not both?!
Chromium 454™ (400mcg)
Chromium 454™ is a patented form of chromium combined with Brewer’s Yeast Extract developed by Futureceuticals. Chromium is an essential mineral that helps improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, particularly glucose disposal.
Animal studies involving chromium supplementation also suggests it may increase glycogen storage and production in skeletal muscle.
If this ingredient sounds familiar, it should. You’ve also seen it before in Magnum’s focus-heavy pre workout Limitless.
To keep fat gain at bay, it’s best to take 1 or 2 capsules 15 minutes before your heaviest carb meal of the day. Most likely this is your post workout meal or biggest meal of the day.
This is a lighter dose than most other GDAs, which sometimes can be taken before any meal containing 25-50 or more carbs. Reason being, Mimic is crazy strong!
Who’s this best for?
It’s our opinion that this is best suited to dieters or bulkers who eat bigger meals at once – so you can use this prior to one of them. If you’re a three-meals-a-day plus three smaller snacks, this will work incredibly well.
But if you’re a “nibbler” – someone who eats nothing but smaller meals all day, MIMIC might not have as much of a place. We never recommend taking a GDA if you’re not going to be dropping in some carbs shortly thereafter.
Bulkers and dieters alike can use it – we’ve had success with GDAs for both purposes… but admittedly haven’t used a GDA this strong! Time to review…
No longer do you have to live in fear of carb or a monster cheat meal. Mimic allows you to eschew your carbophobia and enjoy all the foods you did in your younger years. If you’ve had issues with carbs, Mimic is definitely worth a shot.
It’s a great stimulant-free addition to any carboholics stack that can improve insulin sensitivity, glycogen storage, and blood glucose levels. There’s simply too many reasons to try it for you to not use it.
And if you’ve been looking for a strong one for them big meals… this it.
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- Huyen VT, Phan DV, Thang P, Hoa NK, Ostenson CG (May 2010). “Antidiabetic effect of Gynostemma pentaphyllum tea in randomly assigned type 2 diabetic patients“. Hormone & Metabolic Research 42 (5): 353–7.
- Hoa NK, Phan DV, Thuan ND, Ostenson CG (April 2009). “Screening of the hypoglycemic effect of eight Vietnamese herbal drugs“. Methods & Findings in Experimental & Clinical Pharmacology 31 (3)
- Li Y, et al; Bioactivities of berberine metabolites after transformation through CYP450 isoenzymes . J Transl Med. (2011)
- Liu LZ, et al; The pivotal role of protein kinase C zeta (PKCzeta) in insulin- and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-mediated glucose uptake in muscle cells . Cell Signal. (2010)
- Kim WS, et al; Berberine improves lipid dysregulation in obesity by controlling central and peripheral AMPK activity . Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. (2009)
- Zhang L, et al; Alpha-lipoic acid protects rat cortical neurons against cell death induced by amyloid and hydrogen peroxide through the Akt signalling pathway . Neurosci Lett. (2001)
- Gupte AA, et al; Lipoic acid increases heat shock protein expression and inhibits stress kinase activation to improve insulin signaling in skeletal muscle from high-fat-fed rats . J Appl Physiol. (2009)
- Wang Y, et al; alpha-Lipoic acid increases energy expenditure by enhancing adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase-peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1alpha signaling in the skeletal muscle of aged mice . Metabolism. (2010)
- Mohamed Sham Shihabudeen H, Hansi Priscilla D, Thirumurugan K; Cinnamon extract inhibits α-glucosidase activity and dampens postprandial glucose excursion in diabetic rats . Nutr Metab (Lond). (2011)
- Adisakwattana S, et al; Inhibitory activity of cinnamon bark species and their combination effect with acarbose against intestinal α-glucosidase and pancreatic α-amylase. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. (2011)
- Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, Anderson RA; Insulin-like biological activity of culinary and medicinal plant aqueous extracts in vitro . J Agric Food Chem. (2000)
- Kirkham S, et al; The potential of cinnamon to reduce blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Diabetes Obes Metab. (2009)
- Pham AQ, Kourlas H, Pham DQ; Cinnamon supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Pharmacotherapy. (2007)
- Frauchiger MT, Wenk C, Colombani PC; Effects of acute chromium supplementation on postprandial metabolism in healthy young men . J Am Coll Nutr. (2004)
- oginski EE, Mertz W; Effects of Chromium (III) Supplementation on Glucose and Amino Acid Metabolism in Rats Fed a Low Protein Diet . J Nutr. ()