NAC is a very popular supplement with an excellent record. It’s been used for decades as an aid to athletic performance, to help improve lung conditions and various other purposes. NAC has been very well studied, and there is a large body of research to back it up.
What does NAC stand for?
NAC is short for N-Acetyl-Cysteine. Your body uses this compound to build an antioxidant — one of the classes of nutrients that help prevent oxidative stress on the cells. It’s available on prescription for specific conditions, but you can also buy it over the counter as a food supplement.
What does NAC do?
NAC plays an essential role in many systems. Once you take NAC, it is swiftly broken down inside the body to form another compound: L-Glutathione, an amino acid. While L-Glutathione can be found in various foods, especially particular meat and dairy products, taking NAC will ensure that your body can produce it in large amounts. For anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet, it is recommended to supplement it by taking a comprehensive formula.
Body Kitchen has recently released a Mega NAC + Quercetin that contains the perfect amount of NAC (600mg) in combination with black pepper extract, shown to improve nutrient bioavailability by at least 30%. If you happen to be searching for NAC to help you improve immunity or respiratory health, remember that NAC is a safe amino-acid that can be taken in combination with other nutraceuticals. An incredible combo would be BK’s NAC + Vit C. The combination of these products can help you cover both aspects of immunity, from strengthening immunity defense to improving respiratory health.
L-Glutathione is known to be a potent antioxidant compound. It is heavily implicated in metabolic processes and helps protect cells from damage due to free radicals. It may also operate as a neurotransmitter, potentially contributing to the promotion of mental health.
NAC is known to help protect the liver from the effects of certain toxins. NAC is so effective in protecting the liver from damage that it is sometimes given to patients in acetaminophen (paracetamol) overdose cases. NAC is also believed to have neuroprotective properties and may be useful in preventing damage to the kidneys. It’s often used in conjunction with medications that may harm the internal organs.
NAC is popular among athletes, and anyone who wants to improve their physical performance. It can help lengthen the time to fatigue, meaning that you don’t get tired as fast due to NAC’s ability to manage lactic-acid build-up. NAC seems to be most effective for medium-intensity exercises.
How long does it take for NAC to work?
Before it can go to work to help your body function at its best, NAC needs to be converted into L-Glutathione. This takes at least a full hour after you take your supplement. After an hour or two, you should start to see an improvement in things like lung function and energy levels. Some conditions may require long-term regular use of NAC before you see any improvement, so it’s important to persevere.
When to take NAC — morning or night?
The time of day when you take NAC will depend on why you’re taking it. If you plan to use NAC to promote athletic performance, it’s good to take it early in the day. Studies have shown that NAC can produce improved physical exercise performance, but only if it’s taken well before your workout or sporting event. It can take your body about an hour to break down NAC into L-Glutathione. For this reason, you’ll probably get the best results if you take your NAC supplements in the morning.
On the other hand, you may be taking NAC to help improve a lung condition. These conditions tend to be worse at night when you’re lying still and breathing more slowly. Mucus tends to build up in the lungs, making you short of breath in the morning and potentially disturbing your sleep. Taking NAC an hour or so before bed will give your body time to break the supplement down and produce L-Glutathione. The L-Glutathione can then go to work, helping you to breathe more easily. Also take into consideration that when your body is at rest, it can absorb nutrients at a greater capacity.
As with any supplement, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking NAC. In particular, you need to check that NAC doesn’t interact with any medicines if you happen to be taking any. If you plan on using NAC to address a specific medical condition you should make sure that you’re also receiving any conventional medical treatment that you may need. It’s been shown that NAC can be useful in treating lung conditions in some people, but you may still need medication, exercise, and other interventions to stay healthy. Overall, it’s a very safe compound.