T Nation

Insulin and Protein

I’ve been under the impression that when you take carbohydrates with protein, it’s more effective. The increased amount of insulin carries the amino acids to your muscles, building more muscle, yada yada. I sent a letter to the Glycemic Research institute, and they sent me back an interesting letter. Is it that they misunderstood me, or am I wrong?

Here is the my email::

The foods/carbohydrates that cause high levels of insulin in a short period of time always rollercoaster, up and then down. Are there foods/carbs, or a combination of foods/carbs that will cause a rapid increase of insulin as well as a sustainment of that increased level for an extended period of time? I was told that the best possible combination for this is dextrose and maltodextrin, but this suggestion seems very general to me. Can you clarify this issue?

I am requesting this information for bodybuilding purposes, as I would like to figure out the best combination of carbohydrates to accompany a protein supplement for post-workout.

And the reply:

Dear George,

As the nutritionist to Mr. Universe, Ms. Galaxy, Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, World Powerlifting Federation, and the Olympic teams, we have conducted clinical studies at the University of Florida on professional athletes for the past 20 years.

The premise that elevating insulin levels build muscle is ABSURD and wrong.

Dr. Allen

They must not like any competition for their bodybuilders.

[quote]georgeb wrote:

As the nutritionist to Mr. Universe, Ms. Galaxy, Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, World Powerlifting Federation, and the Olympic teams, we have conducted clinical studies at the University of Florida on professional athletes for the past 20 years.

The premise that elevating insulin levels build muscle is ABSURD and wrong.

Dr. Allen
[/quote]
This response is simplistic and wrong. While insulin itself may not “build muscle” (as if any hormone does this by itself), insulin is the most anabolic hormone that your body produces. Without it, you wouldn’t be gaining much muscle mass at all considering it helps to shuttle ALL nutrients into storage.

As far as your original question, yes, insulin does play a role in how you would absorb nutrients which is why I would only play around with zero carb protein shakes or the like when getting into extreme low carb dieting.

Professor L agrees with Professor X.

Simplistic and wrong. They most likely gave a terse reply to dissuade any potential attempts at abusing the exogenous hormone (Humulin, etc.). They (he) may not realize that you’re only talking about maximizing “natural” results through nutrition. (Of course other factors affect muscle building but insulin is still chief among them.)

A clear example of the anabolic and anti-catabolic effects of insulin is seen in untreated Type I diabetics (who can’t secrete insulin, of course). They lose upwards of 30 pounds in a month or two! I have seen this first hand.

From a research perspective, pull up recent reviews on dietary protein by Peter Lemon (who taught both JB and I, among some much heavier hitters in the field). You’ll see clear graphs of how the post-workout insulin spikes obviously coincide with increased protein synthesis or improved “net protein balance”.

And we non-diabetics can easily manipulate our own pancreases without having to use injections. Endogenous (internal, natural) insulin is under “manual control” like no other hormone.

That’s kinda funny…

Dr. Lonman, I like your last statement!

[quote]Lonnie Lowery wrote:
Endogenous (internal, natural) insulin is under “manual control” like no other hormone.
[/quote]

Lowery’s post got me to thinking about type I diabetics’ insulin control in conjuction with weight training. Anyone have any thoughts on how someone following a bodybuilding lifestyle who also has type I diabetes may manipulate this disease to their advantage by having complete control over insulin delivery. I’de be interested in hearing people’s thoughts as I myself am a diabetic who has been weight training for about six years now.

I sent an email back to him asking to explain his answer to me a little more in depth, and I promptly recieved a message from his secretary that he is unable to answer my question. Very helpful.

[quote]georgeb wrote:
he is unable to answer my question.[/quote]

Yeah, we got that much from his first response.

Since the “professionals” couldn’t answer my question… What about you guys? What is the best carb combo for post workout? Of course there’s cytogainer, but any other ideas?

Can you spike insulin with just regular food. So if I workout, drink my protein shake, then have some food high in carbs…will this spike insulin…I don’t know anything about this subject so yeah I’m looking into it now.
Thanks.

dl-

Just to plug a book that I just read about this subject:
“Nutrient Timeing”

Great book explained all about this subject.

[quote]Driven88 wrote:
Lowery’s post got me to thinking about type I diabetics’ insulin control in conjuction with weight training. Anyone have any thoughts on how someone following a bodybuilding lifestyle who also has type I diabetes may manipulate this disease to their advantage by having complete control over insulin delivery. I’de be interested in hearing people’s thoughts as I myself am a diabetic who has been weight training for about six years now. [/quote]

from what I’ve read people with diabetes get the short end of the stick. The best they can do is get to “normal” benifits, even when taking insulin beyond there needs

[quote]georgeb wrote:
Since the “professionals” couldn’t answer my question… What about you guys? What is the best carb combo for post workout? Of course there’s cytogainer, but any other ideas?[/quote]

Biotest Surge is extremely popular for this. Check out the product thread.

[quote]georgeb wrote:
Since the “professionals” couldn’t answer my question… What about you guys? What is the best carb combo for post workout? Of course there’s cytogainer, but any other ideas?[/quote]

There’s a whole forum full of information here. Why not hit search and find out for yourself?

I’ll get you started. Go to the front page, click on Articles, go to Diet and Nutrition. Look for stuff by John Berardi, David Barr, Lonnie Lowery, etc.

When you hit search, look for “Solving the Post-Workout Puzzle”.

Finally, use Surge. Click on the product for a product thread on that.

Why on Earth would you expect random people who work for a living to sit around and spend time educating you on the role of insulin within the body?

I’m sure if random people started writing to me at work, asking me for advice within my field, I’d simply purchase a larger recycling box… I’d imagine they all have some type of work they should be doing.

Now, here, on the other hand, is a great place to ask such a question…