Growth vs Build: Comparing Transparent Labs Muscle Builders

Understanding the nuances between nutritional supplements can be a daunting task, particularly when faced with choices that appear similar on the surface. Transparent Labs BUILD and Transparent Labs GROWTH are two such supplements, and we acknowledge that these product names seem to suggest the same end goal (i.e. "muscle building" is synonymous with "muscle growth" in semantics).  

However, these formulas each offer distinct benefits. This article will distinguish these products, providing a detailed side-by-side comparison to help you decide which one aligns with your fitness goals. 

Transparent Labs GROWTH: Amplifying Muscle Hypertrophy with Phosphatidic Acid

Transparent Labs GROWTH is a specialized single-ingredient formula for enhancing muscle growth and recovery through the effects of Mediator® (phosphatidic acid). Phosphatidic acid is a phospholipid that plays a crucial role in cell signaling and is known to activate the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, a central regulator of muscle protein synthesis [1].

Key Ingredient: Phosphatidic Acid

  • Function: Phosphatidic acid (PA) activation of mTOR results in the phosphorylation of downstream cellular targets, thereby initiating protein synthesis [2]. This activation is potentiated in response to resistance training, as endogenous production of PA increases in skeletal muscle tissue exposed to mechanical tension [3]. Interestingly, supplementation with phosphatidic acid—which constitutes an exogenous source of PA—appears to have muscle-building effects independent of endogenous PA [4]. This indicates that PA supplementation may confer an additive effect on muscle protein synthesis when combined with diligent resistant training.  
  • Benefits: Several studies have demonstrated that supplementation with PA can significantly enhance muscle thickness, strength, and lean body mass in resistance-trained individuals [5, 6]. These findings are supported by clinical trials showing that PA supplementation leads to measurable increases in maximal strength and muscle mass. Moreover, its ergogenic benefits are noted to be independent of protein intake, highlighting its standalone efficacy in augmenting muscle hypertrophy. 

Transparent Labs GROWTH contains an evidence-based dose (1,500 mg) of patented Mediator® phosphatidic acid per serving, making this product a valuable addition to the supplement regimen of athletes and gym-goers aiming to maximize their muscle-building potential, and for those looking to maintain lean body mass during fat-loss phases.

BUILD: Enhancing Performance with a Synergistic Blend of Ingredients

Transparent Labs BUILD is a comprehensive ergogenic formula designed to support overall athletic performance, endurance, and recovery. It features a unique blend of ingredients, each selected for their evidence-based benefits in enhancing physical performance and promoting recovery.

Key Ingredients in BUILD

  1. Epicatechin:

    • Function: Epicatechin is a naturally occurring flavonoid predominantly found in cocoa and green tea leaves. Renowned for its potent antioxidant properties, epicatechin has garnered significant attention for its role in muscle physiology. One of its key functions is the inhibition of myostatin (growth and differentiation factor-8), a protein that negatively regulates muscle growth [7]. Furthermore, it activates adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is instrumental in energy homeostasis, thereby promoting lipolysis, fatty acid oxidation, and improved glucose uptake in muscle tissues [8].
    • Benefits: Epicatechin aids in nitric oxide production, a critical factor that enhances vascularity and blood flow [9]. Improved blood flow ensures more effective nutrient delivery to muscles during physical exertion, leading to optimized muscle performance and recovery [10]. Collectively, these benefits make epicatechin a valuable addition to muscle-building and performance-enhancing regimens.
  2. Peak02™ (Adaptogenic Mushrooms):

    • Function: PeakO2™ is a comprehensive blend of six adaptogenic mushrooms, namely Cordyceps, Reishi, King Trumpet, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail. These mushrooms collectively enhance the body's ability to adapt to both physical and mental stressors, including high-intensity and long-duration exercise.
    • Benefits: Clinical research has demonstrated that PeakO2™ significantly improves oxygen utilization and increases time to exhaustion, both key factors for athletes looking to push beyond their current performance limits [11]. Other research has shown improvements in VO2 max, anaerobic threshold, and perceived exertion in participants supplementing with PeakO2™ [12]. Thus, taking PeakO2™ can lead to marked performance enhancements in as little as 7 days.
  3. elevATP® (Ancient Peat and Apple Extract):

    • Function: elevATP® is a natural combination of ancient peat and apple extracts designed to increase the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s primary energy currency. This blend leverages the synergy of its components to stimulate endogenous ATP production, thereby enhancing cellular energy availability. ATP, being a pivotal molecule in energy transfer within cells, is essential for muscle contractions, nerve impulse propagation, and chemical synthesis.
    • Benefits: Supplementation with elevATP® has been demonstrated to increase intracellular ATP levels, leading to improved strength, power, and performance during high-intensity exercise. Notably, elevATP® enhances mitochondrial efficiency and supports the physiological demand for energy during strenuous physical activities. Additionally, research suggests that elevATP® may play a role in delaying the onset of muscle fatigue, thus extending workout durations and intensities​​.
  4. AstraGin® (Astragalus membranaceus and Panax notoginseng):

    • Function: AstraGin® is a patented blend of Astragalus membranaceus and Panax notoginseng. It enhances nutrient absorption, ensuring that your body efficiently utilizes the nutrients you consume. The proprietary formulation works by upregulating mRNA and protein expression levels of transporters and enzymes in the intestinal lining, thereby increasing the assimilation and bioavailability of essential nutrients.
    • Benefits: Research shows that AstraGin® can increase the absorption of various nutrients, including amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, thereby supporting overall health, energy levels, and performance [13]. 
  5. SenActiv® (Panax notoginseng and Rose Hips extracts):

    • Function: SenActiv® is an adaptogenic blend of Panax notoginseng and Rose hips extracts designed to promote muscle energy and recovery. The bioactive constituents of these herbal extracts work by enhancing the regeneration of muscle cells and mitigating inflammation, thereby facilitating quicker recovery times and improved muscle endurance.
    • Benefits: Research indicates that SenActiv® can significantly improve muscle recovery, reduce muscle damage, and support overall exercise performance. Studies have demonstrated that individuals supplementing with SenActiv® experienced decreased levels of exercise-induced muscle soreness and markers of muscle damage, such as creatine kinase. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of SenActiv® contribute to the maintenance of healthy muscle tissue, reducing the risk of chronic injuries that could impede athletic progression.

Comparing GROWTH and BUILD: Which One Is Right for You?

Both GROWTH and BUILD offer unique benefits tailored to different aspects of athletic performance and recovery. Here’s a closer look at how these products differ and which one might be best suited to your fitness goals:

Key Ingredient(s) Mediator® Phosphatidic Acid Synergistic Blend of Adaptogenic Mushrooms,  ATP (cellular energy) Fortifiers, and Bioavailability Enhancers
Primary Benefit Increased Muscle Hypertrophy Enhanced Athletic Performance (e.g. Muscle Strength and Endurance)
Ideal For Active individuals focusing on muscle mass gains and improving body composition Athletes and gym-goers seeking overall performance enhancement
Unique Benefits
  • Stimulates mTOR signaling pathway
  • Promotes muscle protein synthesis
  • Anabolic effects independent of protein intake
  • Improves endurance through adaptogens
  • Increases ATP availability and nutrient absorption
  • Supports recovery from intense training sessions

Can I Take GROWTH and BUILD Together?

GROWTH and BUILD are by no means mutually exclusive, and these two supplements complement each other quite well. While GROWTH primarily acts through enhancing anabolic signaling and muscle repair, BUILD augments endurance and overall athletic capacity through its comprehensive ingredient profile. Thus, you get the best of both worlds—form and function—when taking these products concurrently. 

However, GROWTH and BUILD are both designed to be effective on their own. The decision to use one, the other, or both should be guided by your specific fitness and physique goals. 

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