T Nation

does ephedrine and /or caffeine effect insulin sensitivity negatively and if so what can be done?

I have read where both of these lower insulin sensitivity…If I take them before a workout, what happens when I have my high GI carbs post workout? And is it a bad idea to take EC with the pre workout hydroslate/maltodextrin mix?

Supplement with ALA.

WHICH needs a more indepth answer then just taking ALA. what about taking cinnamon its cheaper!

glycogen recovery post-workout is not very insulin dependant - the muscle cells sop up glucose quite nicely. If you’re worried though, you should time the post-workout drink after the caffeine is starting to wear off - it’s only got a half-life of a couple hours. Take the caffeine two hours before you work out, it’s energy will help the session. Then, post workout, take a small amount of low GI carbs (ie. thick bread) to start leaking the glucose into the system. THEN, an hour later, slam your Surge back (once the caffeine is mostly gone).

To my knowledge cinnamon has only been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in fat cells but not muscle cells. However, alpha lipoic acid primarily stimulates glucose uptake in muscle cells, which is more beneficial if you are trying to lose fat. Also, insulin sensitivity is not that important during a workout as exercise alone increases glucose uptake into muscle cells. Simply working out without taking E&C causes an endogenous release of catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that is enough to antagonize insulin’s effects on glucose transport. Taking them to close to your workout may decrease insulin’s effectiveness after your workout so I agree with El_Machinae in that you should take E&C a couple of hours before the workout.

How would you recommend taking ALA on a mildly reduce carb diet to facilitae fat loss? What amount and dosage?

Studies have shown insulin sensitivity benefit of ALA at doses of 200mg, 3 times a day (600mg total) The half life of ALA insulin sensitivity effect is apparently short - couple of hours. I have read numurous reports from individuals on various forums using doses of 500-1000mg, 3 times a day (up to 3g total) and have experimented with these amounts myself. If taking doses in this range while eating low carb, I definately have experienced the feeling of low blood sugar, so from my experience and the reports of others, doses in that range will clear glucose from the blood, possibly to the point of beginning ketosis if carb intake is low and ALA dose is high enough. With low blood sugar, your body should burn more fat as less glucose is available - similiar to theory of ketogenic diet. Most use large doses to drive more carbs into muscle and store more glycogen and eat extra carbs to achieve this, but I found, since I eat moderate carb, that large doses had the side effect of causing low energy due to low blood sugar, so I stick to 300mg, 3 times a day max, with carb meals only, unless on Mag-10 cycle, etc where carb intake increases. You’ll have to experiment.

Heb, makes perfect sense. I’ll likely do a mag-10 cylce soon so I’ll be experiementing in the meantime while on moderate carbs. Thanks for the information.

When you say moderate carbs, what percentage of cals did you eat in carbs. I’m eating around 30%C and 2250 cals(maintenance aroung 2500) on a cutting cycle. I’m experimenting with 600 mg of ALA and have not got any side effects of low blood sugar yet. I guess it could also be individual too. I’m also doing HIIT 3 times a week, so I don’t want to have too low of energy.

I noticed the low blood sugar effect when taking a gram at a time at meals with less than 40-50g carbs. I never noticed that effect when limiting ALA to 600 mg a day. Try taking 1000mg, 3 times a day (even with some no carb meals) for 3-4 days and see what effect it has.

Just curious to why you took ALA with low carbs. I thought it was better to take it with carbs. Correct me if I am wrong.

I meant no carbs instead of low carbs.

Taking 1000mg ALA with a zero carb protein shake was an experiment to see if it would have an effect on the uptake of amino acids in the absence of carbs and a side effect noted was taking high dose ALA in the absence of carbs while on a low to moderate (<150g/day) carb diet, left me feeling lethargic and tired as if with low blood sugar. I was experimenting on the effects of ALA. You might want to try your own experiments. Others have reported ALA helps achieve ketosis when starting a keto diet and I could believe this from my experiences.

Thanks, will try that.