T Nation

A Thread for Diabetic Bodybuilders

Hello everyone

I’m think that we should start a tread for people with diabetes who lift weights. This could be for fitness buffs, power lifters, olympic lifters, bodybuilders and any other type of weight lifters.

This thread could cover topics specific to diabetes and weightlifting such as:
-impact on insulin use (ie lowered, higher, basal rate changes)
-bodybuilding diets and the impact on blood sugars
-supplements (protein powders, creatine, etc…)
-ability to loose weight and drop BF% (ie getting ‘cut’)
-ability to put on muscle mass (ie ‘bulking’)
-types of workouts
-types of cardio

In addition, this could be a great forum for mutual support. Any comments, help, discussion from anyone would be great. I’d like other weightlifters/bodybuilders with Type I diabetes to post questions and answers and opinions on this tread, all in a diabetes context.

I’ve been bodybuilding on and off (mainly off recently…) for the last 10 years. There are often problems and adjustments that we need to make in bodybuilding in order to take our diabetes into account-in terms of blood sugars, insulins, etc…

I’m currently trying to get back into bodybuilding. I’ve always found that there is very little information out there about diabetes and bodybuilding.

So, considering that there are already a number of diabetic bodybuilders on this forum, why not pool the incrediable amout of experience, knowledge and wisdom about bodybuilding and diabetes.

So, anyone (with Diabetes), please post a question/suggestion for all to read and learn from.

Anyone willing to join in?

Do you guys cut by not taking your insulin and pissing away your calories?

[quote]CPerfringens wrote:
Do you guys cut by not taking your insulin and pissing away your calories?[/quote]

I found that insulin is key when cutting. When I cut I just lowered my carbs and still took the insulin dosage that was needed. The insulin let me gain muscle while losing fat. I went from 9.4% with 165 LBM to 4.9% with 176 LBM from January to June.

I have done a ton of research on insulin sensitivity and modulation for a theory project I designed, if you guys are interested check out my thread in Alpha

http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=2389424

I won’t take up space reposting the same info I have there but, I will definately follow this thread and look forward to learning and contributing where I can. I am not diabetic I will add but for someone using diabetic meds, I thought this might be of intrest to you:

INSULIN IS A POWERFUL PROTEASOME INHIBITOR
Insulin’s anti-catabolic effects are well known. In most cases it is assumed that
this quality can be attributed to insulin’s cortisol suppressing capabilities. This is
true, but insulin’s greatest anti-catabolic effect is inhibition of the proteasomepathway.
Insulin molecules experience difficulty when attempting to bind to their receptor-sites on cells that are experiencing low ATP levels. Training decreases circulating insulin levels while increasing the activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome-pathway and BCAKAD. Sipping a carbohydrate drink during training mediates this to some extent due to elevated insulin secretion.

Obviously a carbohydrate / BCAA drink with peptide glutamine and creatine monohydrate would be more effective. (Peptides tend to resist rapid break-down in solutions better than free form amino acids)

Some chemically enhanced beasts administered 4-10 iu of a fast acting insulin,
such as Humalog, immediately after a work-out and downed a drink providing the
following:
2-4 g L-Arginine
50 g Whey Protein
25 g L-Glutamine (or) Peptide Glutamine
10 g Creatine Monohydrate
25-75g Dextrose
16 oz. Water
The dry ingredients were pre-mixed and water was added only
immediately before consuming to prevent degradation of L-Glutamine and creatine.

Hyper-Recovery Benefits of Insulin

  1. Signals muscle cell up-take of BCAA’s while hindering BCAKAD (allowing for supracompensation).
  2. By triggering the storage rate-limiting enzyme responsible for glycogen replacement
    (Glycogen Synthase) Insulin increases cellular synthesis and storage of glycogen.
  3. Significantly increases cellular up-take of creatine and other amino acids required for ATP
    synthesis, cellular repair, and growth.
  4. Inhibits excessive cortisol release and activity.
  5. Inhibits the glycogen-releasing hormone (Glucagon) to some extent. (Dose dependent)
  6. Increases total cellular water and electrolyte content in muscle tissue.
  7. Inhibits proteasome activity.
  8. Acts synergistically with all other anabolic hormones and hormone-like substances to
    induce hyper-recovery.
  9. Inhibits SHBG synthesis by the liver which then in turn results in an increase in AAS bioactivity.

[quote]CPerfringens wrote:
Do you guys cut by not taking your insulin and pissing away your calories?[/quote]

Well, that’s one way to do it, but its not very health.

Usually, alot of diabetics use a low-carb diet to shed bodyfat. The problem is that insulin in so anabolic that you don’t really want to go without it if you are a diabetic bodybuilder.

[quote]laroyal wrote:
Some chemically enhanced beasts administered 4-10 iu of a fast acting insulin,
such as Humalog, immediately after a work-out and downed a drink providing the
following:
2-4 g L-Arginine
50 g Whey Protein
25 g L-Glutamine (or) Peptide Glutamine
10 g Creatine Monohydrate
25-75g Dextrose
16 oz. Water
[/quote]

If a diabetic were to take their fast acting humalog post workout, would it actually start to work fast enough, considering it takes approximately an hour to peak? Should the insulin be taken earlier so that it is peaking when the post workout drink is to be consumed? Should a diabetic ever be taking 25-75g of dextrose, considering that there are currently no injectable insulins available that could cover the quick blood sugar spike the dextrose would give? I would think that type one diabetic’s would need to consider that.

[quote]laroyal wrote:
Some chemically enhanced beasts administered 4-10 iu of a fast acting insulin,
such as Humalog, immediately after a work-out and downed a drink providing the
following:
2-4 g L-Arginine
50 g Whey Protein
25 g L-Glutamine (or) Peptide Glutamine
10 g Creatine Monohydrate
25-75g Dextrose
16 oz. Water
The dry ingredients were pre-mixed and water was added only
immediately before consuming to prevent degradation of L-Glutamine and creatine.[/quote]

Yah, that sounds like what I do. This stuff fucking rocks. It has completely transformed my workouts, I’m lifting more then ever, have a great pump that lasts for hours afterwards, great focus and energy.

I got this from a good buddy of mine on the bodybuilding.com site:

German Creatine Mono - 5g pre - 2g post
Beta-Alanine - 1.5gpre - 1.5g post (I use HMB instead)
Bcaa - 5g pre-5g during-5g post
Arginine-AKG - 3g pre-1.5-post
Glutamine - 5g pre-5g post
Caffeine/Tyrosine tabs 200 to 300mg caffeine-250 to 375mg tyrosine pre

So, maybe I am a chemically enhanced beast after all - though I don’t look like one… I take 5 - 10 U of fast acting insulin (Novolog through a pump) immediately after a workout and then take about 60 g of carbs - so that the insulin, taken right after the workout, can have its maximum anabolic effect with the carbs preventing me from going low.

[quote]jonkipling wrote:

If a diabetic were to take their fast acting humalog post workout, would it actually start to work fast enough, considering it takes approximately an hour to peak? Should the insulin be taken earlier so that it is peaking when the post workout drink is to be consumed? Should a diabetic ever be taking 25-75g of dextrose, considering that there are currently no injectable insulins available that could cover the quick blood sugar spike the dextrose would give? I would think that type one diabetic’s would need to consider that.[/quote]

Overall, I think that this is being over analyzed. Its not like there’s this magical 30 min window were the anabolic effects of insulin and therefore muscle growth either happens or doesn’t happen.

BUT,

You are somewhat correct. I take my fast acting insulin immediately at the end of the workout and then have my post-workout carbs about 30 mins later - at which time the insulin has started working.

You could take the fast acting insulin when you are 30 mins away from being done your workout and then have the pwo carbs immediately at the end of the workout - like that your insulin would be working by the time you take your pwo carbs. BUT, I think that this is dangerous because insulin injected into a muscle will be absorbed faster and you could actually start going low by the end of the workout. I don’t do this UNLESS my blood sugar is high during the workout.

In terms of dextrose, no, I don’t take dextrose. I’ve just posted my creatine stack below. I have my pwo carbs as complex carbs because dextrose would probably cause a blood sugar spike.

[quote]

If a diabetic were to take their fast acting humalog post workout, would it actually start to work fast enough, considering it takes approximately an hour to peak?

Should the insulin be taken earlier so that it is peaking when the post workout drink is to be consumed? Should a diabetic ever be taking 25-75g of dextrose, considering that there are currently no injectable insulins available that could cover the quick blood sugar spike the dextrose would give?

I would think that type one diabetic’s would need to consider that.[/quote]

Injecting insulin without carbs before a workout would be a very bad idea. You’d be asking for a trip to the hospital. The benefit, if any, would be minimal anway. Humalog starts lowering blood sugar within 15 minutes, so there’s no need for pre-workout injection.

There’s no reason why a Type 1 diabetic should avoid dextrose or any other sugar provided they know what they’re doing. Understand, that even a person with a fully functional pancreas would initially undergo a large blood sugar spike after ingestion. The important thing is that blood sugar returns to normal after 2 hours. Humalog has the same effect.

It might just be splitting hairs and it probably doesn’t matter, but it is my understanding that a diabetic should strive to keep their post meal blood sugars below 140mg/dl.

That wouldn’t be possible with the dextrose, so taking it is perhaps a bad idea. A non diabetic can handle a blood sugar spike much quicker than someone who has to inject insulin. Would the 2+ hours it takes to correct the blood sugars be beneficial for the diabetic, or would it be catabolic? I’m not really sure.

Oh cool! I know of a few T1D on tnation but I never realized there were so many.

For me the intensity of exercise completely affects the amount of insulin, or even if I take insulin for the rest of the day. Right now I hit the gym at about 4am. I will take insulin and/or wat if my blood sugar requires it.

I eat my breakfast when I get home, about 5:30amd, and take my insulin and then up until about 2 pm I don’t need to take insulin again. I actaully have to stay on a very tight schedule to keep from getting too low. This is actually kind of annoying but it is generally the same everyday.

I also notice that intense cardio, spinning, can really crash me if I don’t have fruit or a glucose gel ready to take.
Although I am diabetic I am highly insulin sensitive and take very low doses yet I am still plauged with low blood sugar.

Maybe you need to have more frequent snacks? How much and what do you take for your basal insulin?

[quote]jonkipling wrote:
It might just be splitting hairs and it probably doesn’t matter, but it is my understanding that a diabetic should strive to keep their post meal blood sugars below 140mg/dl.

That wouldn’t be possible with the dextrose, so taking it is perhaps a bad idea. A non diabetic can handle a blood sugar spike much quicker than someone who has to inject insulin.

Would the 2+ hours it takes to correct the blood sugars be beneficial for the diabetic, or would it be catabolic? I’m not really sure.
[/quote]

How do you define post meal? 15 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours after ingestion? Whether your diabetic or not, your blood sugar will spike higher than your basal level after ingestion.

However, it returns to normal after 2 hours. This is why diabetic tests make the patient eat a large carb meal, then have there blood tested AFTER 2 hours. If it hasn’t returned to normal within this time there’s a problem.

Catabolic? You have to do some research. During those 2 hours, your cells upregulate glucose transportors, causing glucose and amino acids to be shuttled into the cells from the blood.

[quote]rondastarr wrote:
Oh cool! I know of a few T1D on tnation but I never realized there were so many.

For me the intensity of exercise completely affects the amount of insulin, or even if I take insulin for the rest of the day. Right now I hit the gym at about 4am. I will take insulin and/or wat if my blood sugar requires it.

I eat my breakfast when I get home, about 5:30amd, and take my insulin and then up until about 2 pm I don’t need to take insulin again. I actaully have to stay on a very tight schedule to keep from getting too low. This is actually kind of annoying but it is generally the same everyday.

I also notice that intense cardio, spinning, can really crash me if I don’t have fruit or a glucose gel ready to take.

Although I am diabetic I am highly insulin sensitive and take very low doses yet I am still plauged with low blood sugar.[/quote]

What kind of insulin are you using? If you aren’t already on Humalog, look into it. It will change your life. Eat whatever and whenever and still maintain perfect control. It’s short clearing time also means, you won’t have insulin cirulating while you exercise, and therefore won’t crash.

However, you will pretty much be a pin cushion: injecting after every meal, so get a pen.

I am on Lantus and Novolog right now. I pretty much am a pin cushion as I take 6-7 shots a day. This method does allow me to have a bit more freedom with eating however during the week I stay on a very tight schedule. I eat the same thing almost everyday, it is easier that way for me plan and keep up with getting the protien I need.

I am hoping to get an insulin pump as I will be getting medical insurance with my new job. From what I can tell I think it will really help me.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]AlteredState wrote:

However, if one injects 2-4 iu insulin 60 minutes before training and consumes carbs and whey, then they experience a dramatic increase in work output and a reduction in rest time needed between sets. This seems to be especially true for a legs training session, probably due to the sheer size and required bloodflow of the hips and lower limbs.

This also effectively minimises catabolism as well as getting a very good pump and a delivery of all the needed nutrients to the muscle immediately it’s needed.

If you think about it, why has the peri-workout drink become such an area of interest? Because it allows you to ‘prestart’ the post workout recovery process as well as minimising training induced catabolism.

Insulin pre-workout ‘turbo charges’ this aspect of nutrition and performance.

However, although I have used it myself (I’m not diabetic BTW) and enjoyed the experience, I would not recommend it to anyone who is not ‘in tune’ with their body and is fully alert for early signs of a hypo.[/quote]

I completely agree. I do the same thing, but the key point is that it’s a small dose of insulin and you cover it with carbs and whey.
I thought the original question was about injecting insulin pre-workout WITHOUT carbs, which is a recipe for disaster.

Hey Ronda,

What’s the clearing time for Novalog?
I’d personally take injections all day over some contraption strapped to my body. What problems do you hope to solve with a pump?

[quote]Hodgie wrote:
Hey Ronda,

What’s the clearing time for Novalog?
I’d personally take injections all day over some contraption strapped to my body. What problems do you hope to solve with a pump?[/quote]

Novolog peaks in about 2 hours.

I have problems with the Lantus, it is a baseline that basicly keeps pulling your blood sugar down. My problem is that with my activity level some days the Novolog isn’t even needed and I have to keep eating carbs all day long just to keep my blood sugar stable.

Where other days when I have a lower activity level my blood sugar can’t get down to a normal range. This makes it very hard for me to lose weight. Once I do lose weight I have to change the does of Lantus but if I don’t catch it I will keep having low blood sugars, having to eat, and gain it back.

Do you find having a pump that bothersom? I have wonders wear I would put it if I wore a dress or if I was at the beach. I know lot of girls will hook it on their bra but what if I am wearing somethign low cut… lol, these are my worries.

Plus have you ever had the tubing catch on somethign and tear out? Where to you put it when to sleep? And what I really want to know, sorry if this is to personal, but what about sex? Imean if you move what can you say, “oh becareful of the tubing there”…
This questions have been plauging me!

[quote]rondastarr wrote:
Hodgie wrote:
Hey Ronda,

What’s the clearing time for Novalog?
I’d personally take injections all day over some contraption strapped to my body. What problems do you hope to solve with a pump?

Novolog peaks in about 2 hours.

I have problems with the Lantus, it is a baseline that basicly keeps pulling your blood sugar down. My problem is that with my activity level some days the Novolog isn’t even needed and I have to keep eating carbs all day long just to keep my blood sugar stable.

Where other days when I have a lower activity level my blood sugar can’t get down to a normal range. This makes it very hard for me to lose weight. Once I do lose weight I have to change the does of Lantus but if I don’t catch it I will keep having low blood sugars, having to eat, and gain it back.

Do you find having a pump that bothersom? I have wonders wear I would put it if I wore a dress or if I was at the beach. I know lot of girls will hook it on their bra but what if I am wearing somethign low cut… lol, these are my worries.

Plus have you ever had the tubing catch on somethign and tear out? Where to you put it when to sleep? And what I really want to know, sorry if this is to personal, but what about sex? Imean if you move what can you say, “oh becareful of the tubing there”…
This questions have been plauging me![/quote]

I don’t, nor have I ever used a pump. Seems like it would be way more of a hassle than injections.

The Lantus is what is causing your lows. Here’s what I do, it works great. Ditch the Lantus, and get some Humulin N. It peaks around 12 hours and is cleared by 14.

Inject it ONCE per day, usually before bed, so it peaks as you get up in the morning. This will cover the glucose that is released from your liver in the morning.

There rest of the day is covered by Humalog with every meal, or Novalog in your case. This essentially means that there is no long-acting insulin circulating throughout the day.

This will get rid of your unexpected hypos. However, you must be able to look at any plate of food and know how much Novalog is required to cover the glucose load. It takes some practice at first, but it’s oh so worth it.