Insulin Surge and Anaconda Protocol

Since I can’t post in the Anaconda forums I have to post my question here: what is providing the insulin surge in the Anaconda protocol since the carb sources in the FINiBARs are low-glycemic?

Is the insulin surge induced just by the hydrolyzed casein? My understanding is that hydrolyzed casein has pretty strong insulin spiking capabilities.



Casein hydrolysate, leucine, and the FINiBARs do raise insulin levels as it only takes around 25 grams of carbs to spike insulin, per CT. And there are higher GI carbs in the FINiBARs, just not too much.

Leucine, an amino acid, spikes insulin levels? Never heard that before.

Whats interesting is that when I test my BS at home, it is always spiked after my protein drinks. Which makes me think despite the insulin release, the ratio of I:G is still very much towards the glucagon.

Whether it is whey or casein, the fact that it is hydrolyzed will create a rapid anabolic effect. In this case, rapid enough to stimulate insulin levels. And yes, studies have shown that leucine, along with a few other AA’s do in fact increase insulin levels.

[quote]davidcox1 wrote:
Leucine, an amino acid, spikes insulin levels? Never heard that before.[/quote]

Maybe not “spikes” but does appear to raise or enhance. Honestly I wasn’t completely sure when I wrote it, just going off the top of my head of what I thought to be true. I did a little looking though and it does appear to be true.

It does appear that it only leads to insulin release early on and “only transiently.” There does appear to be some mixed results, however as far as leucine’s ability to lead to insulin secretion.

Proteins, especially isolates like whey, cause greater stimulation of gut hormone release (especially GLP-1 and glucagon) than other food types like carbohydrates. This is not a simple biological response to account for entirely, but the action of these two peptides results in greater insulin release. So any whey protein should “spike insulin” quickly. Part of it depends on the protein form as well; see references, make your own conclusions. Also keep in mind that an empty or near-empty stomach is going to absorb a liquid protein drink really fast.

I added some abstracts to research in this area, including this most recent Dec 08 Metabolism publication looking specifically at leucine stimulating glucagon and insulin release:

Metabolism. 2008 Dec;57(12):1747-52.
Leucine, when ingested with glucose, synergistically stimulates insulin secretion and lowers blood glucose.

Kalogeropoulou D, Lafave L, Schweim K, Gannon MC, Nuttall FQ.

Endocrine, Metabolism and Nutrition Section, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA.

Our laboratory is interested in the metabolic effects of ingested proteins. As part of this research, we currently are investigating the metabolic effects of ingested individual amino acids. The objective of the current study was to determine whether leucine stimulates insulin and/or glucagon secretion and whether, when it is ingested with glucose, it modifies the glucose, insulin, or glucagon response. Thirteen healthy subjects (6 men and 7 women) were studied on 4 different occasions. Subjects were admitted to the special diagnostic and treatment unit after a 12-hour fast. They received test meals at 8:00 am. On the first occasion, they received water only. Thereafter, they received 25 g glucose or 1 mmol/kg lean body mass leucine or 1 mmol/kg lean body mass leucine plus 25 g glucose in random order. Serum leucine, glucose, insulin, glucagon, and alpha-amino nitrogen concentrations were measured at various times during a 2.5-hour period after ingestion of the test meal. The amount of leucine provided was equivalent to that present in a high-protein meal, that is, that approximately present in a 350-g steak. After leucine ingestion, the leucine concentration increased 7-fold; and the alpha-amino nitrogen concentration increased by 16%. Ingested leucine did not affect the serum glucose concentration. When leucine was ingested with glucose, it reduced the 2.5-hour glucose area response by 50%. Leucine, when ingested alone, increased the serum insulin area response modestly. However, it increased the insulin area response to glucose by an additional 66%; that is, it almost doubled the response. Ingested leucine stimulated an increase in glucagon. Ingested glucose decreased it. When ingested together, the net effect was essentially no change in glucagon area. In summary, leucine at a dose equivalent to that present in a high-protein meal, had little effect on serum glucose or insulin concentrations but did increase the glucagon concentration. When leucine was ingested with glucose, it attenuated the serum glucose response and strongly stimulated additional insulin secretion. Leucine also attenuated the decrease in glucagon expected when glucose alone is ingested. The data suggest that a rise in glucose concentration is necessary for leucine to stimulate significant insulin secretion. This in turn reduces the glucose response to ingested glucose.

Br J Nutr. 2008 Jul;100(1):61-9. Epub 2008 Jan 2.
Glucagon and insulin responses after ingestion of different amounts of intact and hydrolysed proteins.

Claessens M, Saris WH, van Baak MA.

Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM), Maastricht University, PO Box 616, Maastricht 6200, MD, The Netherlands.

Ingestion of dietary protein is known to induce both insulin and glucagon secretion. These responses may be affected by the dose and the form (intact or hydrolysed) in which protein is ingested. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of different amounts of intact protein and protein hydrolysate of a vegetable (soya) and animal (whey) protein on insulin and glucagon responses and to study the effect of increasing protein loads for both intact protein and protein hydrolysate in man. The study employed a repeated-measures design with Latin-square randomisation and single-blind trials. Twelve healthy non-obese males ingested three doses (0.3, 0.4 and 0.6 g/kg body weight) of intact soya protein (SPI) and soya protein hydrolysate (SPH). Another group of twelve healthy male subjects ingested three doses (0.3, 0.4 and 0.6 g/kg body weight) of intact whey protein (WPI) and whey protein hydrolysate (WPH). Blood was sampled before (t = 0) and 15, 30, 60, 90 and 120 min after protein ingestion for insulin, glucagon and glucose determination. SPI induced a higher total area under the curve for insulin and glucagon than SPH while no difference between WPI and WPH was found. Insulin and glucagon responses increased with increasing protein load for SPI, SPH, WPI and WPH, but the effect was more pronounced for glucagon. A higher dose of protein or its hydrolysate will result in a lower insulin:glucagon ratio, an important parameter for the control of postprandial substrate metabolism. In conclusion, insulin and glucagon responses were protein and hydrolysate specific.

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009 Jan;12(1):54-8.
Protein, amino acids and the control of food intake.

Potier M, Darcel N, Tom�??�?�© D.

INRA, Paris, France.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The present review presents recent findings on peripheral and central pathways involved in protein and amino acid-induced satiety. RECENT FINDINGS: A high-protein load leads to a higher decrease of energy intake at the next meal than carbohydrate and fat. A protein-enriched diet induces satiety, improves body composition and results in weight loss. At the peripheral level, proteins seem to induce the release of anorexigenic gut hormones cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptide YY, whereas the involvement of ghrelin remains uncertain. Energy expenditure and glucose are probably involved as metabolic signals in protein-induced satiety. Moreover, there is some evidence that the circulating level of leucine could impact food intake. Leucine has been shown to modulate the activity of the energy and nutrient sensor pathways controlled by AMPK and mTOR in the hypothalamus. Moreover, high-protein diets lead to activation of the noradrenergic/adrenergic neuronal pathway in the nucleus of the solitary tract and in melanocortin neurons in the arcuate nucleus. SUMMARY: Complex and redundant pathways are involved in protein and amino acid-induced satiety. Significant advances have recently allowed a better understanding of the involved cellular and molecular mechanisms. The involvement of some specific area of the brain including the hypothalamus and the nucleus of the solitary tract has to be further analyzed.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Nov;31(11):1696-703. Epub 2007 Jun 26.
Appetite hormones and energy intake in obese men after consumption of fructose, glucose and whey protein beverages.

Bowen J, Noakes M, Clifton PM.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Human Nutrition, Adelaide, Australia.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate appetite responses over 4 h to fructose beverages in obese men, relative to glucose and whey protein. Second, to investigate the effect of combining whey and fructose on postprandial appetite hormones. DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind crossover study of four beverages (1.1 MJ) containing 50 g of whey, fructose, glucose or 25 g whey+25 g fructose. Blood samples and appetite ratings were collected for 4 h then a buffet meal was offered. SUBJECTS: Twenty-eight obese men (age: 57.0+/-1.6 years, body mass index: 32.5+/-0.6 kg/m(2)). MEASUREMENTS: Plasma ghrelin (total), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1 7-36), cholecystokinin-8, glucose, insulin and appetite ratings were assessed at baseline and 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240 min after beverages, followed by measurement of ad libitum energy intake. RESULTS: Fructose produced lower glycaemia and insulinaemia compared to the glucose treatment (P<0.0001); whereas postprandial ghrelin, GLP-1 and cholecystokinin responses were similar after both treatments. Whey protein produced a prolonged (2-4 h) suppression of ghrelin (P=0.001) and elevation of GLP-1 (P=0.002) and cholecystokinin (P=0.003) that were reduced when combined with fructose, while glucose and insulin responses were similar. Energy intake after 4 h was independent of beverage type (glucose 4.7+/-0.2 MJ; fructose 4.9+/-0.3 MJ; whey 4.6+/-0.3 MJ; whey/fructose 4.8+/-0.3 MJ; P>0.05). CONCLUSION: In obese men, fructose- and glucose-based beverages had similar effects on appetite and associated regulatory hormones, independent of the differing glycaemic and insulinaemic responses. The contrasting profile of plasma ghrelin, GLP-1 and cholecystokinin after whey protein consumption did not impact on ad libitum intake 4 h later and was attenuated when 50% of whey was replaced with fructose.

Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2007 Jul;23(5):378-85.
Slow versus fast proteins in the stimulation of beta-cell response and the activation of the entero-insular axis in type 2 diabetes.

Tessari P, Kiwanuka E, Cristini M, Zaramella M, Enslen M, Zurlo C, Garcia-Rodenas C.

Department of Clinical & Experimental Medicine, University of Padova, Italy.

BACKGROUND: We tested whether ingestion of whey protein can induce greater post-prandial amino acid (AA) levels in the plasma and a higher beta-cell response than casein ingestion in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. METHODS: The study was designed as a double-blind, randomized, and controlled cross-over clinical trial. Twelve post-absorptive type 2 diabetic subjects who were withdrawn from their usual hypoglycemic therapy were studied. A medium calorie (approximately 6 kcal/kg BW), high protein (approximately 50% of total kcal) mixed meal, containing whey protein, casein, or a free amino acid (FREE AA) mixture matching the casein AA composition, was randomly administered on three different occasions. RESULTS: Following ingestion of whey protein, plasma concentrations of total, branched chain, and essential AA were 25-50% greater than after ingestion of casein (p < 0.0001), and were similar to those observed after the FREE AA meal. With whey protein, C-peptide, insulin, and pro-insulin concentrations were greater by 12-40% (p < 0.02 or less) than with casein, and similar to those with FREE AA. Glucagon-like polypeptide 1 (GLP-1) response tended to be lower with casein than with whey protein. Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) response was greater with either whey protein or casein than with FREE AA. Post-prandial glucose concentrations were similar after whey protein and casein ingestion, but lower after the FREE AA meal. CONCLUSIONS: In type 2 diabetes, the ingestion of a fast-absorbable protein results in a greater post-prandial aminoacidemia and a higher beta-cell secretion than the ingestion of a ‘slow’ protein. Whether these changes can be maintained chronically in combination with hypoglycemic therapy, possibly also resulting in better glycemic control, remains to be established.

Here is one more

Deglaire et al. Hydrolyzed dietary casein as compared with the intact protein reduces postprandial peripheral, but not whole-body, uptake of nitrogen in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. (2009) 90(4):1011-22.

BACKGROUND: Compared with slow proteins, fast proteins are more completely extracted in the splanchnic bed but contribute less to peripheral protein accretion; however, the independent influence of absorption kinetics and the amino acid (AA) pattern of dietary protein on AA anabolism in individual tissues remains unknown. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to compare the postprandial regional utilization of proteins with similar AA profiles but different absorption kinetics by coupling clinical experiments with compartmental modeling. DESIGN: Experimental data pertaining to the intestine, blood, and urine for dietary nitrogen kinetics after a 15N-labeled intact (IC) or hydrolyzed (HC) casein meal were obtained in parallel groups of healthy adults (n = 21) and were analyzed by using a 13-compartment model to predict the cascade of dietary nitrogen absorption and regional metabolism. RESULTS: IC and HC elicited a similar whole-body postprandial retention of dietary nitrogen, but HC was associated with a faster rate of absorption than was IC, resulting in earlier and stronger hyperaminoacidemia and hyperinsulinemia. An enhancement of both catabolic (26%) and anabolic (37%) utilization of dietary nitrogen occurred in the splanchnic bed at the expense of its further peripheral availability, which reached 18% and 11% of ingested nitrogen 8 h after the IC and HC meals, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The form of delivery of dietary AAs constituted an independent factor of modulation of their postprandial regional metabolism, with a fast supply favoring the splanchnic dietary nitrogen uptake over its peripheral anabolic use. [i] These results question a possible effect of ingestion of protein hydrolysates on tissue nitrogen metabolism and accretion. [/i]

Okay guys, so let me see if I got this straight. The pre-digestive state of hydrolysate protein only effects the time it takes our body to absorb the nutrients. There is no actual difference between the insulin surge created by the proteins. I was always under the impression that hydrolysate protein created a ‘greater’ insulin surge because of its bit faster absorption rate, kind of similar to the high/low GI effect. Looks like I may have been wrong.

Sorry for the hijack crowbar.

No I think you are right. The hydrolyzed whey causes a different response. In the glucagon/insulin response to whey and soy proteins paper the insulin response of whey isolate versus hydrolysate look to be just a bit different.

It probably wouldn’t pass a stat test but you can see elevated basal insulin release after the peak drops from the isolate whereas the hydrolysate has just a bit larger peak maximum and insulin release returns to baseline faster.

The glucagon response for hydrolyzed whey is easily greater than the others though, that is easy to tell in their data.

It is a complex issue though. Part of the response is just from having food enter your stomach I think which would complicate the casein versus hydrolysate comparison.

It would be interesting to see what kinds of limits the body has in being able to do it repeatedly throughout a day (ie, can you drink 10 protein drinks in 10 hours and get 10 strong, consistent hormone spikes?).

I just took a look at the graphs, kinda weird that insulin levels end up lower than their starting points only 60min PWO. I guess this makes it critical to re-stimulate insulin levels after training ASAP to ensure PWO meal nutrients are fully delivered to the newly exhausted muscles.

[quote]Rusty Barbell wrote:
It would be interesting to see what kinds of limits the body has in being able to do it repeatedly throughout a day (ie, can you drink 10 protein drinks in 10 hours and get 10 strong, consistent hormone spikes?).[/quote]

Interesting indeed. I wonder if the same insulin resistance issues apply when the cause is from protein rather than carbs as well.

Yo their protocol doesn’t involve exercise at all. They just have the people come in after fasting, drink the sample and sit there and give blood samples.

The case you bring up I think would only be applicable if you exhaust all of what your body has stored or still circulating as it begins to re-build the muscle cells, although I am not sure how quickly it begins to do that, so immediate post-workout nutrition may or may not be necessary. I think between the short-term muscle response (inflammation, test, GH, IGF-1/MGF) and longer-term regrowth process (actual proliferation) you have at least a few hours before things are truly in gear. It would be nice to see a definitive study on that though… I am looking but can’t find anything clear and will give up soon to do other stuff…

Also the responses between protein and carbs are pretty different, especially with the gut hormones like GLP-1, GIP and glucagon which all effect insulin.

Very interesting stuff guys. So, where does this leave us in terms of peri-workout nutrition? quotes like this (which I had already ran across): “These results question a possible effect of ingestion of protein hydrolysates on tissue nitrogen metabolism and accretion.” make me wonder if we’re not right back to square one–using good ol’ plain whey isolate (and carbs and L-leucine) peri-workout?


Crowbar, could you send me a link to that study? I’d like to read it in context. Based on the data we’ve looked at so far, there seems to be only minor differences in the insulin stimulation and digestive times of isolate and hydroslate.

Nothing to go crazy about IMO. I really like how Dr. Berardi addresses pre/post workout nutrition in his article Scroll down to “Interactions Between Resistance Exercise and Nutrition” if you want to get straight to the nitty-gritty. I found this part very interesting too,

“Stimulation of protein synthetic pathway:
Insulin Treatment - 50% higher
Amino Acid Infusion - 150% higher
24 Hours Post-Exercise - 100% higher
Amino Acids Immediately Post-Exercise - 200% higher
Amino Acids and Carbohydrate Immediately Post-Exercise - 350% higher
Amino Acids and Carbohydrate Given Immediately Pre-Exercise - 400% higher”

Vette6, sorry I’ve only (unfortunately) read abstracts of the study, so I can’t provide a link to the actual study. I’ll look into the Berardi information.

Here’s another quote from the researchers in that study (which looked at protein utilization for 8 hours postprandial):

Despite similar overall net postprandial protein utilization, our results indicate important differences in metabolic partitioning and kinetics between protein sources characterized by a preferential utilization of dietary nitrogen by for splanchnic protein syntheses after HC [hydrolyzed casein] ingestion at the expense of the incorporation into peripheral tissues

Again, I realize this is just one study but it does make you question the value of hydrolyzed casein peri-workout.


By the way Vetta6, the link to the Berardi info didn’t work when I clicked it; I tried to find the info on his site but had no luck–could you posibbly check your link?



Here you go man,