T Nation

Insulin/Diabetes and Heavy Lifting


Dear gurus of the T NATION
I am 18 year old with diabetes
I've been injecting insulin since 2 years ago, and started seriously lifting for about a year now.
Like everyone else on this site, I stay away from dumb shit fads and pretty boy bullshit when it comes lifting.
I lift heavy, I lift frequently and most importantly I lift smart.
and the result showed some serious growth that I am very proud of.

Ive always known about the insulin's function as an anabolic hormone, but I've only skim the surface of this topic, and the deeper I look into it the more complex it gets.

As a novice, I humbly ask all of you for guidance and directions.

How can i manipulate this hormone for muscle growth and still maintain a healthy lifestyle as a diabetic?

a nice refresher course on the effects of insulin/hypertrophy wouldn't hurt either.


How can i manipulate this hormone for muscle growth and still maintain a healthy lifestyle as a diabetic?

You're kidding right? You're 18, you've got diabetes and need daily insulin injections so you won't die and you're asking how you can 'manipulate' insulin for muscle growth?

You are correct in that insulin is a complex hormone and that it is involved in muscle glycogen uptake, fat storage, blood sugar level regulation and much more besides. I don't pretend to understand it but I know enough to know that a diabetic should not be taking/not taking insulin for any reason other than to treat diabetes.

Insulin manipulation involves dietary changes to cause spikes/drops in blood sugar anyway and has nothing to do with exogenous insulin supplementation. If you try to raise your blood sugar level by not taking your insulin shots you will end up in the ER or worse.


So to sum up:

1 You have a serious medical condition.
2 You want to manipulate the hormone you are injecting for it to maximise muscle gains.
3 You are asking for advice on this on an internet forum.

My thoughts:

1 Bummer.
2 Interesting...
3 You idiot.

About the best you can do is find a doctor that lifts and see what they say. Perhaps that would be a better direction to steer this thread; let people know where you are and see if anyone here knows someone local to you.


Playing around with insulin if you're healthy is pretty risky. Doing it when you're sick...

Be careful as hell, do small changes and document how it makes you feel, tell someone you're doing this. Some carbs and some insulin shortly after that before the workout maybe.

Or just don't do it.

Could this be moved to the steroid forum. Doesn't really belong here methinks.


[quote]kakno wrote:
Be careful as hell, do small changes and document how it makes you feel, tell someone you're doing this. Some carbs and some insulin shortly after that before the workout maybe.

MODERATOR: WTF? You let this shit get posted but not mine? The OP sounds almost as reckless as Kakno.


Your post got posted, this forum is weird.

Yes, I gave him some ideas about how he should do it if he chose to do it. Why? Cause he's made up his mind and won't stop because some dudes on the internet say "don't". I'd rather he do it "safely" than just guess or worse and kill himself.

You're wrong in a lot of ways, but who cares.

OP, I can damn near guarantee that you don't know enough about your body to be doing this. Read this book or something similar: http://www.lww.com/product/Lippincotts-Illustrated-Reviews-Biochemistry/?978-1-60831-412-6

Read a lot of threads on insulin in this forum.

Really reconsider doing this, since you could actually die or fall into an insulin coma. If you do it anyway, be really really careful, and don't do it without researching this thoroughly. Tell people around you. If something happens, people need to know what is happening and why. It could save your life.

Still wanna do it?


I've been a type one since I was 16 and seriously every time this topic gets posted there's 5 people who immediately warn the dangers of using insulin to gain muscle... Okay, I argue back It's 1000x more dangerous for him to not use insulin.

If you have a pump I find this much easier. Just do what everyone else does on this site and who workouts to gain weight does... Eat. Put food in your mouth and bolus in insulin accordingly. Obviously you know your body and insulin/carb ratio better than anybody on the planet so you take care of that part.

To sum up:
1) Eat
2) Inject the appropriate amount of insulin
3) Check BS 1-2 hours after
4) Repeat


Hi I am also a diabetic type1 25 years old iv been lifting serious for 6 years now.
I have studied this subject in depth and am still learning but yes as a diabetic you can manipulate your insulin
Safely sure it’s what your supoosta be doing, your always trying to manipulate your insulin to counteract the carbs/sugar fed into the body .i tend to look at it as though everyone has diabetes !where a non diabetic automatically and subconcisiouly takes the insulin you will have to manually do this .if for example your ratio is 1unit of insulin for every 10grams per 100 then you would take 1 unit of insulin for eating a pice of bread that contains 10grams of carbs .

More excercise will result In a more sensitive level of insulin absorption so you will have to figure your own out .but everyone should think like a diabetic and eat low gl foods all day except straight after the gym where you should take hi gi foods glucose or most refined sugars will work to spike your insulin to help aid in protein synthesis make sure you weigh the sugar, also if you weigh 70kg you should be consuming at least 70grams of carbs to make sure you have sufficient glycogen recovery .

there is a lot more info there for you on the subject and I’m always learning so if you have any more questions give me a shout !


Before you embark on any physical fitness program,
please consult a doctor.