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Supplement Review Ballistic Labs Berberine Supercyclo

Calling all carb lovers! Oh … that’s everyone! Okay, now that we have your attention, we’d like to introduce our readers to the new glucose disposal agent made by Ballistic Labs called Berberine Supercyclo. If you love the fullness that carbohydrates give your muscles and the maxed-out glycogen levels, it’s going to be your new best friend whether you’re in the off-season or dieting. We all know that many high-carbohydrate foods taste amazing, but they’re also a great source of energy, which is key to maximizing muscle performance. Unless you’re following a ketogenic diet, carbs are the primary fuel source fueling your metabolism. Unfortunately, eating excess carbohydrates (above what your body needs to maintain adequate blood glucose levels) will spike insulin levels and reduce fat utilization. But if you can help shuttle more of these carbohydrates into forming glycogen, you can maximize athletic performance and get some of the best workouts of your life. This is also an effective way to assist with fat loss, but we’ll touch on that later. The team at Ballistic Labs wants to make sure the carbs you eat are benefitting you to their fullest potential, which is where Berberine Supercyclo comes in.

Carb Loading

First, a very brief lesson on carbs. For simplicity’s sake, all starchy or simple carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, fructose or galactose after they’re eaten. These monosaccharides are used to form other molecules in your body, including the high-energy substrate ATP and glycogen (which is stored in the liver, muscle cells, cardiac tissue and brain). When you eat, insulin is released to aid in nutrient uptake by the cells. Glucose disposal agents (GDAs) mimic how insulin works in the body, enhancing the delivery of carbs (glucose) to the muscle cells. As an athlete, you likely focus your carb intake around your training sessions, and a GDA can enhance how well this nutrient is used, making them less likely to be stored as fat.


Berberine is an alkaloid extracted from different plants and has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine. Several studies have shown berberine’s effectiveness as a GDA recognized for its ability to improve biomarkers of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Berberine has been found to increase glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, and it also inhibits α-glucosidase activities as well as promoting glucose uptake in muscle cells. It works by increasing phosphorylation of the insulin receptor insulin receptor substrate-1 and protein kinase B. But berberine’s main mechanism is through activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) while inhibiting the enzyme protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), which is a negative regulator of the leptin and insulin signaling pathways and can lead to insulin resistance and the resulting increased storage of glucose as fat.

Berberine works by activating the enzyme AMPK. When activated, this enzyme mobilizes a number of metabolic pathways, including glucose transportation. Through this activation, the body is supported to push glucose to the muscle cells. For muscle cells to increase their access to obtaining energy, they trigger the activity of AMPK enzymes. This facilitates the uptake of glucose and fatty acids from the blood and delivers it to the cells. Because of this enzyme, the breakdown of glycogen and fat is excessively increased, which prevents the excessive storage of fat and glycogen.


Unfortunately, berberine has incredibly low bioavailability, which means the body doesn’t absorb or utilize it very well. It works well on paper or if administrated intravenously, but once regular berberine hits your digestive system from oral sources, only about 0.36 percent of it can enter the systemic circulation. This makes it ineffective and something we couldn’t recommend. Ballistic Labs set out to solve this absorption problem by encasing berberine with a beta-cyclodextrin, which is a delivery system used in the pharmaceutical industry to enhance absorption. Cyclodextrins are sugar molecules bound into a doughnut shape that are water-soluble, which helps increase the absorption of other insoluble compounds such as berberine. The insoluble compound is held in the hydrophobic cavity, and the cyclodextrin acts as a water-soluble “carrier” molecule. This makes Berberine SuperCyclo™ more soluble, leading to a better absorbability rate over normal berberine.

How to Take Berberine Supercyclo

Berberine Supercyclo is easy to use. Simply take one to two capsules before a meal containing a high quantity of carbs. Each capsule delivers 200 milligrams of berberine-cyclodextrin complex. Pulling from research, a standard dose of normal berberine can range from 800 to 2000 milligrams per day, split between at least three doses at the higher end. You definitely want to take this with food (obviously, that’s the whole point of it, but we had to say it). But remember, this dose is assuming there’s no drug-delivery system added to berberine. So the effects of Berberine Supercyclo could be achieved with a lower dose.

More on Glucose Disposal Agents (GDAs)

Professional athletes have been using pharmaceutical GDAs such as metformin for many years, but now natural GDAs are the hot new kid on the block of sports supplements, and we can make a strong argument for their inclusion in your stack. Shuttling glucose to your muscles more effectively will yield great benefits, especially for physique-focused athletes or those involved in endurance sports. Not only will you have better pumps in the gym, but you’ll also store less fat, get leaner and have greater energy for training and life from enhanced glycogen formation. Dare we say, with Berberine Supercyclo, you can truly have your cake and eat it too? Whether you’re following a high or moderate carbohydrate diet, Berberine Supercyclo is a very useful supplement to add to your stack once you’ve got your basics covered. For even better results, try taking a double serving of Berberine Supercyclo during refeeds to help shuttle more carbohydrates into glycogen and amino acids into muscle tissue. 

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