But the most annoying yet frequently asked questions I get nowadays center around peptide reconstitution…
What liquid do I use for reconstituting peptides?
How do you calculate the right peptide dosage?
Where can I learn more about what peptides to mix (or not to mix)?
I’ve come to realize learning how to reconstitute peptides is the dullest yet most necessary part of learning how to use these Golden Age agents.
It’s not fun … it’s outright boring and far less exciting than hyping up how a newly discovered peptide will be an industry-breaker.
No exceptions — everyone has to eventually stop talking, do the math, prepare their syringe, and inject themselves.
This article is a long-overdue summary of EVERYTHING you absolutely MUST know about peptide reconstitution (and what you don’t know, you don’t have to know)!
What is Peptide Reconstitution?
Peptide reconstitution can be defined as the act of adding water to a lyophilized (i.e. freeze-dried) peptide for the purpose of transforming it into an injectable solution that can be used by the human body for therapeutic purposes.
That was a mouthful, so let me take a step back and explain what “lyophilization” is:
“a process used for preserving biological material by removing the water from the sample, which involves first freezing the sample and then drying it, under a vacuum, at very low temperatures.
Lyophilized samples may be stored much longer than untreated samples.”
Without getting too deep into the niche science of peptide thermodynamics, peptides are inherently fragile compounds and freeze-drying them allows us to keep them stable at room temperature for a few weeks to a few months.
(NOTE: With the exception of compounds like GHK-Cu, the vast majority of peptides in their lyophilized form will look like a white powder)
However, you can’t really “do” anything with these peptides in their solid form because the amount needed for an effective dose would be naked to the human eye.
That, and their extremely poor bioavailability via oral delivery means we can’t exactly swallow these powders or put them under our tongues.
So what do we do to get around this?
First, we have to lyophilize the peptides in order to keep their purity and efficacy over a long period of time.
Second, we have to use a special form of water to “reconstitute” the peptide (i.e. dissolve the peptide back into a liquid).
The majority of peptides need to be refrigerated after reconstitution to preserve their usable life span and tend to be highly sensitive to both light and temperature exposure.
For ANY peptides user, it is extremely important to know how to withdraw bacteriostatic water while simultaneously injecting it into the peptide vial and avoiding any damage to the peptide itself.
I can’t legally film myself showing you how to reconstitute peptides, so the next best thing is this video below that I’ve continuously referred back to over the past 5 years:
The reconstitution process is critically important to learn when one starts out using peptides as you’ll be doing it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. you inject a peptide.
Bacteriostatic vs Sterile Water
If you are sourcing your peptides from a research chemical company, you must also purchase sterile or bacteriostatic water in order to reconstitute the peptide for storing in a refrigerated area afterwards.
There is a subtle yet significant difference between the two:
“Sterile water is purified water that has been distilled and brought to a pH between 5.0 to 7.0.
There is no sort of preservative or antimicrobial agent added to it.
Sterile water is available for injection use such as intravenous, intramuscular and subcutaneous”
“Bacteriostatic water is a sterile form of water that has been brought to a pH between 4.5 to 7.0.
It also is prepared with a bacteriostat, a compound used to prevent any bacterial growth.
This bacteriostat is usually 0.9% benzyl alcohol.”
To be clear: The benzyl alcohol, a.k.a. benzoic acid, does not KILL bacteria, but rather stops bacteria from growing (hence the “static” part of bacteriostatic water).
This addition to sterile water is helpful as we are always going to introduce some minuscule amount of bacteria into our peptide solution due to imperfect sterile needle technique.
Even if some bacteria exist, there’s not nearly enough to give you a bacterial infection.
The only major downside to bacteriostatic water is that benzyl alcohol is an immune system irritant, so some people may notice inflammation at the site of injection.
This is normal, but there are outliers where some individuals become fully sensitized to benzyl alcohol.
Some of these same people have an awful reaction to it necessitating them ending their peptide use.
In the latter camp, these people are usually suffering from autoimmune issues and need to find a way to work around it (reach out to me in my Fully Optimized Health group and I’ll see what myself or Nick Andrews can do for you).
Peptide Dosing Guide
This is the part of the article where peptide reconstitution becomes a boring math exercise.
Unfortunately for you and me, peptide dosing requires us to do some basic multiplication and division to ensure we’re injecting the RIGHT amount of peptide into our bodies.
So let’s try to break this down as simply as possible.
Take your time doing this… eventually it will pay off in the form of being able to do this unconsciously without needing a pen and paper.
(NOTE: This tutorial assumes you are using a peptide meant to be injected intramuscularly and/or subcutaneously into your body)
1) Determine the quantity of peptide, in micrograms (mcg), in your vial.
Any peptide vial you receive from a research chemical company will tell you exactly how much is in it (although you would already know this from the order you placed).
To use a fictional yet common scenario, let’s say we received a 5 milligram (mg) vial of BPC-157.
To convert from milligrams to micrograms, we simply multiply our number in milligrams by 1000.
(5 mg) * (1000 mcg/mg) = 5000 mcg
So in our scenario, 5 mg of BPC-157 is equivalent to 5000 mcg of BPC-157.
2) Decide how much reconstitution liquid you want to use to convert your lyophilized peptide into an injection-ready solution, and calculate the concentration of the solution.
This can be anywhere from 1-5 mL depending on your personal preferences.
So if we add 1 mL of reconstitution liquid to our 5 mg BPC-157 vial, the concentration of our solution is 5000 mcg/mL.
However, if we add 2 mL of reconstitution liquid to our 5 mg BPC-157 vial, the concentration of our solution is 5000 mcg per 2 mL… or to simplify the numbers:
(5000 mcg) ÷ (2 mL) = 2500 mcg/mL
2500 mcg/mL of BPC-157 is what we end up with.
3) Choose the size of the syringe you want to use.
DO NOT skip or underestimate the importance of this step!
The volume of your chosen syringe must be appropriate for the final reconstituted concentration of the peptide vial.
In the context of peptides, the vast majority of peptide users will opt for a 1 mL insulin syringe that expresses its measurement in the form of 100 “units” (i.e. 100 units on the insulin syringe is equal to 1 mL).
***NOTE*** I highly recommend always ensuring you have 1ML or 100 unit 32 gauge insulin syringes to inject your peptides to make all your math nice and easy.
If you squint and look closely at the needle, you’ll see each mark represents 2 units (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.).
FRIENDLY REMINDER: I talk about this at great length in Chapter 9 of The TOT Bible, but for peptides you want to get an injection needle that has a gauge (thickness) of 31 or 32. The higher the gauge, the thinner the needle. (These are known as Insulin syringes)
In my experience, 31 or 32 gauge 5/16″ 8mm is the perfect size and your subcutaneous or shallow IM injection will feel like a light pinch.
I’m going to skip ahead in our hypothetical scenario and say we want to inject 200 mcg worth of BPC-157 from our 5000 mcg/mL vial.
This will require us to measure 4 units on the 1 mL insulin syringe.
(DO NOT WORRY IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY — you will see how the math works very soon)
See how small that is on the needle itself?
You can see how it would be difficult for people to accurately measure without steady hands.
This is why some people prefer to add 2-3 mL of reconstitution liquid to the peptide vial, which would dilute the concentration to a lower amount and require more liquid to administer the same quantity of peptide.
4) Determine how much peptide you will have per unit in your syringe.
Time to crunch some more numbers!
Recapping our scenario: We have 5000 mcg of BPC-157 reconstituted in 1 mL of our liquid, which means our final solution has a BPC-157 concentration of 5000 mcg/mL.
And we intend to extract a portion of this solution using a 1mL insulin syringe that has 100 units of measurement (once more, 1 mL = 100 units).
So if we want to determine how many micrograms of peptide we will have per unit on the syringe, we divide the concentration of our reconstituted peptide solution by the number of units on the syringe:
(5000 mcg/mL) ÷ (100 units/mL) = 50 mcg/unit
5) Using the desired target dose of your peptide, determine how many units of reconstituted solution you need to extract from the vial.
Going back to our scenario, let’s suppose we want to inject 200 mcg of BPC-157 into our body.
All we have to do is take this dose and divide it by the number we calculated in the previous step:
(200 mcg) ÷ (50 mcg/unit) = 4 units
Now do you see why selecting the right syringe is such a huge deal?
It’s hard enough to precisely measure peptide dosage using a 1 mL syringe, so imagine how much worse it would be to use a 3 mL syringe.
To use an analogy, it would be like trying to measure a teaspoon of a liquid using a graduated 5-gallon bucket.
It won’t work at all!
But at the end of the day, just do the math and you’ll have your answer for properly dosing your peptide.
Nothing else matters without this calculation done properly.
Introducing My “Fully Optimized” Peptide Dosage Calculator!
HOWEVER — calculating the peptides dosage can be a real pain-in-the-ass and sometimes you don’t have all the brainpower you need to run the numbers in your head.
God knows I’ve been in many situations where I’ve made a mistake in my calculations and ended up injecting too much/little peptide into my system.
So normally I would find a peptide calculator online and just recommend it to my private coaching clients.
But too many of them have one or more deal-breaking flaws:
- Too complicated to learn how to use
- The math powering the calculator is wrong
- Contains additional variables that don’t truly matter for accurately dosing peptides
- Inflexible in customizing the variables that DO matter for accurately dosing peptides
Which is why I am excited to announce the OFFICIAL public release of the Jay Campbell Peptide Calculator v1.0!
This calculator comes with commonly used presets for peptide quantity, volume of bacteriostatic water used and target dose.
Of course, you always have the option to enter in a customized amount.
And unlike other online peptide calculators, you can determine exactly how much you need to extract from your reconstituted solution depending on the volume of your syringe!
It follows my 5-step method of dosing peptides to the letter:
- We have a vial containing 5 mg/mL of BPC-157 (or 5000 mcg/mL)
- We want to use 1 mL of bacteriostatic water to reconstitute the peptide
- We are using a 1 mL syringe (1oo units)
- We want to inject a target dose of 200 mcg
- Therefore, we need to extract 4 units from the reconstituted peptide solution.
See how easy reconstituting your peptide is?
It takes less than 5 seconds to answer any peptide dosing questions you have.
(Plus I DO NOT answer these kinds of questions via email correspondence anymore, which was a big motivator for creating this calculator in the first place. In fact I don’t answer any questions whatsoever unless you are a member of my private membership group…Fully Optimized Health (one of the best values on the internet bar none).
Peptide Storage Guidelines
Fortunately for my readers, the instructions for properly storing peptides are virtually universal and straightforward.
The only way you will screw things up is if you forget a step or intentionally try to improperly handle a peptide.
So to keep things short and sweet, here’s what you MUST choose to know:
- For short-term storage (a few days to a few weeks), lyophilized peptides should be stored in an area that is isolated from bright light, dry, and cool (< 4 °C)
- For long-term storage (anything longer than a few weeks), lyophilized peptides should be stored at freezing temperatures (< -20 °C)
- When you take a lyophilized peptide out of the freezer, allow it to gradually warm up to room temperature before you break open the vial
- Avoid repeatedly freezing and thawing your lyophilized peptide — only do it once and with the intention to immediately put it into a reconstituted solution
- Do not shake your peptide before, during or after the reconstitution process. It must be handled delicately
- Reconstituted peptides can be held in the refrigerator for 1-4 weeks before they lose potency and start to degrade.
Peptide Reconstitution FAQ
Before I end this article, I want to answer three of the most commonly asked questions about peptide reconstitution that frequently appear in social media IM’s.
I hope these answers will be of use to people who have these questions in mind, and/or may eventually think of them on their journey with therapeutic peptides.
How long do peptides last once reconstituted?
This is one question peptide vendors and chemists love to get into shouting matches about, so I’ll keep this brief.
Assuming you are keeping your reconstituted peptide in a refrigerator at all times except when needed for injections, it should theoretically remain stable and retain its full potency for 2-4 weeks.
But this is a “grey area” topic and there is no definitive answer.
In practice, I recommend you don’t store your reconstituted peptide for more than a two weeks where possible since we don’t know exactly how much potency is lost over time.
Can you mix peptides in the same syringe?
The answer is “YES” but I recommend you keep reading as the context behind this answer is not so straightforward.
A lot of people will say the answer to this question is a resounding “NO” but they are only half correct.
Here’s an example to show you what I mean: One of the most common combinations offered by peptide vendors is TB-500 and BPC-157.
Quite literally, it’s the two peptides mixed together at a preset dosage (ex. a vial contains exactly 250 mcg of BPC-157 and 250 mcg of TB-500) because people will often use the two of them simultaneously to accelerate recovery from injury.
When you have the two peptides sitting together for a significant period of time, it’s possible some of the BPC-157 can “react” with TB-500 (and vice versa) and therefore lead to peptide breakdown.
This is on top of the other problems present with this approach, such as a lack of flexibility in tweaking the dosages of both peptides to your individual needs, and a suboptimal dosing choice for both peptides.
Hence why it’s 100x easier to just put the peptides in individual vials and let the user reconstitute them as they see fit.
Going back to why I answered this question with a “YES”: If you are talking about mixing peptides in the same syringe and then injecting the combination immediately after, you are A-OK.
No need for you to worry about peptide degradation.
How cautious should I be about mixing peptides? Should I sterilize my entire kitchen to avoid all forms of contamination?
I put this question here for my readers who are anal-retentive… and as a friendly reminder to mySELF!
Newbies to the game of therapeutic peptides often get paranoid with regard to doing every single thing perfectly.
They wear gloves when touching every piece of equipment.
They spend 5 minutes staring at the syringe after withdrawing the reconstituted solution to make sure the liquid is exactly at a certain mark and stays there.
They freak out if everything isn’t squeaky clean.
If this sounds like you, take a deep breath and RELAX!
There is an art and science to peptide reconstitution and dosing — the lab nerd worries about doing things too perfectly and the average Joe is too braindead to worry in the first place.
All you need is to be somewhere in the middle: Knowing the theoretical technique in combination with the experience of knowing what you need to do.
Be as sterile and cautious as you reasonably can be while dosing peptides at home, but don’t make such a big deal out of it.
Conclusion: Peptide Reconstitution Is No Longer a Mystery
You now know everything there is to know about peptide reconstitution — not only what to do, but most importantly what NOT to do.
Mixing peptides is not some lost ancient art and you don’t need a PhD in Calculus to determine the proper peptide dosing for your individual health goals.
Follow some simple instructions, follow them in the right order, and follow them consistently.
Peptides are indeed our main key to the Golden Age of medicine!
We won’t get there if even the most basic details are hopelessly confusing to the average newcomer!
Which is why I have written and published my 6th book titled Optimize Your Health With Therapeutic Peptides!
I’ve gone out of my way to make it available in four different formats for my readers: Kindle, Paperback, Audible, and a glossy hardbound “Reference Edition” for my clinical readers.
The book is currently on pre-sale for $3.33 and will be officially released on February 1st!
It is already ranked #1 in Men’s Health and Alternative Medicine on Amazon in the USA, Canada, England and Australia.
With your help, I’d love to keep this must-read intel on the very top of the Amazon algorithm for as long as possible!
Doing so will help millions of awake and aware human beings to become fully optimized!
In order to serve you at the highest level possible, I AM asking for your help with a 3 step process:
- Purchase a copy of the Book on Amazon (the Kindle Version is only $3.33 until late Tuesday Night Jan 31st)
- Leave a favorable Amazon Certified Review BEFORE Friday, February 4th at Midnight PST (preferably 5 stars if this book changes your life, which I KNOW it will).
- Send me an email with the subject line “Bonus Gifts” and a screenshot of your posted review on Amazon (Before Friday Feb 4th Midnight PST)
Doing so will grant you two amazing Bonus Gifts
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