Hydromax Glycerol: The Ultimate Non-Stim Pre-Workout Ingredient?
Hydromax Glycerol: The Ultimate Non-Stim Pre-Workout Ingredient?
HydroMax glycerol is a cutting-edge supplement ingredient, gaining popularity in pre-workout and intra-workout supplements. It is used to hydrate the body, improve endurance, and increase muscular pumps during physical activity.

Glanbia Nutritionals discovered and trademarked HydroMax glycerol, which is the most concentrated and pure powdered glycerol on the market (65% glycerol and 35% silica by weight). HydroMax glycerol remains highly stable in nutritional supplements, is allergen-free, has a long shelf life (3 years), and is made in the U.S.A. [1]

Glycerol, also known as 1,2,3-propanetriol, Alcool Glycériné, Glicerol, Glucerite, Glycerin, Glycerine, Glycérine, Glycérine Végétale, Glycerol Monostearate, Glycérol, Glycerolum, Glyceryl Alcohol, Monostéarate de Glycérol, and Vegetable Glycerin is a naturally occurring colorless, odorless, and sweet-tasting chemical. It has been used in food products for decades. [2] Glycerol is produced from glucose, proteins, pyruvate, triacylglycerols and other glycerolipid metabolic pathways. [3]

Up until recently the primary form of glycerol found in nutritional supplements was glycerol monostearate (GMS). GMS is composed of glycerol and stearic acid, both which are derived from fat sources or oils that undergo glycerolysis or esterification. [4]

Many supplement producers are moving away from GMS because it's less stable, has a shorter shelf life, and when offered in powdered form, it can only reach a potency of 5 to 12% glycerol by weight before it begins degrading. [5]

HydroMax is not only more concentrated than GMS but it's also water dispersible when compared to GMS which can leave a waxy residue in your mouth, in your shaker, and clump in the tub of your workout supplement. It's safe to say that no one wants a waxy-tasting pre- or intra-workout.

HydroMax Glycerol Recommended Dosage, Use, and Benefits

HydroMax glycerol taken orally as a fitness supplement can prevent dehydration during exercise, improve exercise performance, and increase muscular pumps during physical activity. [2] Upon oral consumption, glycerol is rapidly absorbed and distributed throughout body fluids, except in the brain and eyes, and then is slowly metabolized via the liver and kidneys. [6] Oral ingestion of glycerol is a safe and effective way to obtain its benefits.

Consuming 1g/kg of bodyweight of glycerol prior to moderate exercise in hot, dry conditions decreases urine volume and thermal burden despite increased sweat rate and decreased rectal temperature. [5] Consuming 2.9 to 3.1g/kg of bodyweight of glycerol with water decreases urine volume for 32 to 49 hours compared to consuming water alone, decreases fluid consumption prior to and during dehydrating activities like physical exercise, and keep athletes hyperhydrated for long periods of time. [5]

Hyperhydration occurs when HydroMax glycerol is absorbed and distributed throughout the intracellular space, leading to an increased concentration of fluid in blood and tissues. [5] One study found that glycerol increases the body's volume of body fluids by 300 to 730ml. [3] HydroMax is an exceptional agent for hydrating and preventing dehydration during exercise whether it's due to exercise intensity and/or ambient temperature.

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When consumed pre-workout HydroMax not only delays dehydration but also increases exercise efficiency, decreases physiological stress, lowers heart rate, and prolongs exercise endurance time. Consuming 1.2g/kg of bodyweight of glycerol prior to exercise decreased mean heart rate by 2.8 to 4.4 beats per minute compared to placebo. [5] This decreased heart rate is likely due to glycerol's thermoregulation effects.

One study found that consuming a glycerol and carbohydrate drink prolonged exercise endurance time by 16.4 to 24.4 minutes compared to consuming a carbohydrate drink without glycerol. [7] A 20-day study of 40 subjects found that consuming 1.2g/kg of bodyweight of glycerol alongside 26ml/kg of bodyweight of water improved aerobic and anaerobic exercise performance compared to consuming only water, regardless of whether the subjects performed exercise or were sedentary during that 20-day period. [3]

These findings further support the use of HydroMax pre- and intra-workout to increase athletic performance.

Consuming 0.7 to 2g of glycerol increases plasma and intramuscular volume, which increases muscle size during physical activity. [5] Bodybuilders know this as "the pump"; stacking HydroMax with weightlifting sets in the 8 to 15 repetition range is a recipe for an exceptional pump. Pre- and intra-workouts containing HydroMax typically include a dosage in this 0.7 to 2g range.

Outside of the fitness industry glycerol has a number of uses including but not limited to: as a fragrance ingredient, skin-conditioning agent, emulsifying agent, brain pressure reducer, fainting treatment agent, and fluid/pressure reducer for the cornea prior to an eye exam. [8][2]

Now that we've covered the recommended dosage, use, and benefits of HydroMax, let's examine potential side effects.

HydroMax Glycerol Side Effects

HydroMax glycerol is extremely safe when consumed orally in doses of less than 5g/kg of bodyweight. [6] Most pre-workout and intra-workout products contain 2 grams or less per serving.

To experience serious side effects a 180lb person would have to consume over 410 grams of glycerol. Given the hydrating properties of glycerol, some users may notice an increase in body weight; do not be alarmed as this is merely water weight and not fat mass.

Glycerol attracts water in into the gut so excessive oral ingestion, 2 to 3 grams in a suppository, or a 5 to 15 mL enema can have a laxative effect. [2] I imagine most readers and consumers in the fitness industry don't plan to supplement rectally but it's worth noting that as with most supplements, more isn't always better.

HydroMax glycerol yields diminishing returns if the dosage is too excessive.

Other side effects from oral ingestion of excessive amounts of glycerol include headaches, dizziness, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and thirst. [2] Do not inject glycerol intravenously via IV unless under close supervision of a healthcare professional; improper injection can seriously and permanently damage red blood cells. [2]

Please do not let these finding dissuade you from using HydroMax glycerol. When used appropriately it offers numerous benefits with no side effects.

If you're still not convinced the FDA designated glycerol as safe to be used in food "with no limitation other than current good manufacturing practice." The Environment Canada Domestic Substance List has classified glycerol as "low human health priority" and "not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful." [4][8]

So go ahead and use HydroMax glycerol in your pre-workout and intra-workout; it could be that missing piece to help take your workouts from good to great.
Glycerol Bottom Line
HydroMax glycerol is safe, natural, and effective performance-enhancing supplement that should be a year-round staple in your pre- and/or intra-workout regimen.

Gycerol FAQs

Where can I find HydroMax Glycerol today?
When this article was written there was only one major supplement retailer that sold HydroMax glycerol as a stand-alone product. However, this product is quickly gaining popularity as a potent ingredient in pre-workout and intra-workout products. Products that contain HydroMax glycerol include:
  • MTS Vasky – 2g per 6.95g serving
  • Cellucor Alpha Amino – The 2nd ingredient of 7 listed in a 3g proprietary blend per 12.8g serving
  • Betancourt Nutrition Pump'd – 1g per 7g serving
Is HydroMax Glycerol safe to stack with other supplements?
The research thus far indicates that HydroMax glycerol is extremely safe to stack with other supplements with no known drug interactions. [2] One study found that consuming 1g/kg of bodyweight of glycerol and 11.4g of creatine reduced body core temperature, reduced rate of perceived exertion, and had no negative effects on running economy when subjects exercised in a room with an ambient temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. [5]

HydroMax glycerol is commonly stacked with other pump and endurance-promoting ingredients like creatine, taurine, agmatine, and nitrates in popular pre-workout and intra-workout formulas.
1) "Products - Hydromax." Glanbia Nutritionals. N.p., 2015. 2) "Glycerol: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings." WebMD. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version, 2015. 3) Patlar, Suleyman, Hasan Yalçin, and Ekrem Boyali. "The Effect of Glycerol Supplements on Aerobic and Anaerobic Performance of Athletes and Sedentary Subjects." Journal of Human Kinetics 34 (2012): 69–79. PMC. 4) "CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21." U.S. Food and Drug Administration. N.p., 1 Apr. 2014. 5) Bartos, Jeremy. "HydroMax Glycerol Powder 65%." Glanbia Nutritionals. N.p., Aug. 2014. 6) Patlar, Suleyman, Hasan Yalçin, and Ekrem Boyali. "The Effect of Glycerol Supplements on Aerobic and Anaerobic Performance of Athletes and Sedentary Subjects." Journal of Human Kinetics 34 (2012): 69–79. PMC. 7) Beis, L. Y., et al. "The Effects of Creatine and Glycerol Hyperhydration on Running Economy in Well Trained Endurance Runners." National Center for Biotechnology Information. J Int Soc Sports Nutr., Dec. 2011. 8) "Glyceryl Monostearate." Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Environmental Working Group (EWG), 2015.