T Nation

Artifical Sweeteners and Post Workout Shake


I have been cogitating over something. We know that an insulin response after a workout is highly desirable because it promotes anabolism.

Also, I have read a few different articles about artificial sweeteners and weight gain, and want to say that Chad Waterbury (I'm not sure on this point) has argued that artifical sweetners cause an insulin reaction too, bc of the body associating sweetness with blood sugar. My question, then, is why not load up the postworkout shake with artifical sweeteners, and save the calories?


I don't see AS creating an insuline response. People IMO theorize that people who consume diet products and are overweight, must be that way because they're spiking insulin due to the AS. However, that's just one part of an overall nutritional intake.

I'd like to know why the body would secrete insulin, just because something tastes sweet. I thought it released insulin because blood sugar is high...


"Save Calories"?
Is there ever a time PWO that we don't want Cals (or at least insulin w/o Cals)?

JF-The response is conditioned... a preemptive strike if you will. I remember reading that sugars in the mouth can cause a response, but not AS.

I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.


Yeah i was wondering the same thing, i would think that the body would release insulin in response to an increase in blood sugar and not in response to a sweet taste. I wonder if anyone has actually done a scientific study to test this theory?


I can't see how artificial sweetners can cause any kind of significant insulin response, if any at all. Remember, these products are primarily developed to helped those with diabetes control their insulin levels, so do you not think it would be unethical and illegal if they were selling these products under such false pretenses?


1.Neither sweetener affected peak insulin levels in subjects with or without diabetes

2.Ingestion of aspartame or saccharin containing beverages by fasting subjects, with or without diabetes, did not affect blood glucose homeostasis.


Response to single dose of aspartame or saccharin by NIDDM patients.

Horwitz DL, McLane M, Kobe P.

Department of Medicine, University of Illinois, Chicago 60680.


I was wondering about this same thing...this thread has some good info. One thing to add though, is that sometimes maltodextrin is added to sugar free products and I think that DOES cause an insulin response. I read an article for diabetics that warned to stay away from it.


maltodextrin is a carb though, and not classified as an artificial sweetener.


Point taken, my mother is diabetic.

I would see that in a bulking phase, we might not care about the calories, but if you're trying to cut and preserve muscle, this would be potentially useful. Also, I think one would still want to have some carbs left, for glycogen replenishment.