What is N-Acetyl Cysteine?

N-Acetyl Cysteine


What is N-Acetyl Cysteine?  Being that it’s something we’ve only talked to you about once before, you may only be vaguely familiar with it.  Way back in March, we wrote this blog post about the different benefits and side effects that you should know about when you see N-Acetyl Cysteine listed as an ingredient in the nutritional facts list on one of your supplements.  We strongly recommend that you take a moment to read it and refresh yourself before continuing on…

…Welcome back.  Now that you remember what N-Acetyl Cysteine does, you will have an easier time learning what N-Acetyl Cysteine is and why you should even care.


What is N-Acetyl Cysteine?

All right, so we know that N-Acetyl Cysteine is undeniably useful, as proven by this study published last year by multiple doctors in the Cell Journal[1], but… what is it?

In short, N-Acetyl Cysteine is more commonly known as Acetylcysteine and is a medication used to treat paracetamol poisoning.  While that’s the primary use, that’s not what we mean when we talk about N-Acetyl Cysteine, or NAC, especially when referring to bodybuilding and fitness.

Our NAC is the amino acid cysteine with an acetyl group attached to it.  The acetyl is attached to make it a little more stable and less of a potent shot for people who aren’t dealing with an overdose!  Think of NAC as a recovery agent that you can use to help rebound from the most intense and absurd diets, lift sessions, and even lengthy cardio trainings.  Enhancing your natural antioxidants to work harder repairing your muscles while you’re training is what NAC is all about!

What N-Acetyl Cysteine Isn’t

NAC is not going to be a miracle pick me up.  You can’t just rely on pure NAC after you’ve finished and expect your body to recover from the hell you just put it through.  We also don’t think you should be trying to supplement with NAC on your own at all, if we’re honest.  Try to use Pillar or another product that already contains the correct levels of NAC to help you protect yourself from the adverse side effects of lengthy strenuous training.



[1] Mokhtari, Vida, et al. “A Review on Various Uses of N-Acetyl Cysteine.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5241507/.


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