T Nation

Manipulating Insulin for Muscle?


#1

I am an idiot, so here we go.

According to my limited knowledge, insulin is a storage hormone. So in theory, if we spike insulin it could blunt cortisol production and perhaps drive more nutrients into the muscle (if the individual is insulin sensitive enough. Wouldn't a individual maximize his muscle gains if he eats something high in Glycemic load (ex. one or two pieces of chocolate) before his meals? Perhaps even some high GL food in the morning to blunt the sky high cortisol levels?

Thoughts?


#2

Energy is stored in muscle and fat. Insulin is anabolic for muscle and fat. However this depends on the individual’s physiological state. To take advantage of insulin, you cycle carbs and time them for different times of the day where they are most effectively used (post workout and mornings). This allows for faster gains in muscle while keeping bodyfat levels controlled.

Personally, I find this approach to be too complex. However if done properly I believe this system has many merits.


#3

wouldn’t constantly spiking insulin lead to desensitization over a period?


#4

I don’t know much about the mechanics of it, but why would you want to spike insulin before your meal as opposed to during your meal/digestion process? Spike the insulin when there are nutrients to be delivered, not in preparation for them right?


#5

Insulin is produced in the pancreas mainly in response to blood glucose levels. When some (not all) carbohydrates are consumed, they are metabolized in various parts of the body into (among other things) glucose. For most carbohydrates this glucose makes it’s way into the blood and the body responds by producing insulin. Insulin transports the glucose into the liver, muscle, and fat tissue. Please note that fructose is only metabolized in the liver and does not raise blood glucose levels. If the body needs the glucose for energy (such as during and after exercise and first thing in the morning) then the majority of the glucose will make it’s way to the muscles where insulin is also known to increase protein synthesis.

If the body does not need glucose for energy, most of it will be stored as fat tissue. It is a good idea to get most of your carbs in the morning and after exercise. As for the rest of the day, it is a good idea to get the rest of your carbs from vegetables and fruit (in that order). Please not that this is an oversimplification and if you have any questions or want me to go into more detail just ask and I will be happy to oblige.


#6

[quote]Mondy wrote:
I am an idiot, so here we go.

Thoughts?[/quote]

I agree.


#7

[quote]mcook123 wrote:
If the body needs the glucose for energy (such as during and after exercise and first thing in the morning) then the majority of the glucose will make it’s way to the muscles where insulin is also known to increase protein synthesis. If the body does not need glucose for energy, most of it will be stored as fat tissue. [/quote]

But wouldn’t spiking insulin the day after a workout increase protein synthesis, since protein is needed for recovery? Does insulin affect fat or protein storage, or simply carb storage?


#8

I am a type 1 diabetic who has tried to use my condition to my advantage in the gym. I can first tell you that it’s not as easy as you may read to gain weight/muscle by just injecting shit loads of insulin, etc. But, for those who want to maximize their own insulin response I would say to simply eat a moderate to low carb diet always (especially at evening and when your not active) and only after an INTENSE workout (one that will deplete your glycogen stores) eat a large simple sugar/protein meal/drink. When you deplete your glycogen stores during an intense workout your body is ripe for growth. My muscles are so receptive to insulin and sugars after a hard workout (especially large muscle groups) that I don’t even need insulin with my recovery shake. My muscle sucks it up like a sponge.

The use of insulin and more importantly, the manipulation of your bodys insulin is all about timing, yes timing is most important. You only want to spike insulin and drink/eat large amounts of sugar after a workout that depletes your bodies storage of glycogen. Go buy a glucometer. Many athletes are now using glucometers to maximize their performance. And of course, if you have high insulin levels all the time or high when your stores are not depleted you will get…FAT.
Cheers…
Happy mothers day Mom Dukes!!!


#9

[quote]tiggersdesire wrote:
I am a type 1 diabetic who has tried to use my condition to my advantage in the gym. I can first tell you that it’s not as easy as you may read to gain weight/muscle by just injecting shit loads of insulin, etc. But, for those who want to maximize their own insulin response I would say to simply eat a moderate to low carb diet always (especially at evening and when your not active) and only after an INTENSE workout (one that will deplete your glycogen stores) eat a large simple sugar/protein meal/drink. When you deplete your glycogen stores during an intense workout your body is ripe for growth. My muscles are so receptive to insulin and sugars after a hard workout (especially large muscle groups) that I don’t even need insulin with my recovery shake. My muscle sucks it up like a sponge. The use of insulin and more importantly, the manipulation of your bodys insulin is all about timing, yes timing is most important. You only want to spike insulin and drink/eat large amounts of sugar after a workout that depletes your bodies storage of glycogen. Go buy a glucometer. Many athletes are now using glucometers to maximize their performance. And of course, if you have high insulin levels all the time or high when your stores are not depleted you will get…FAT.
Cheers…
Happy mothers day Mom Dukes!!![/quote]

Thanks for clearing that up. I’ll stick with high gi carbs in the mornings and post workout then.


#10

[quote]Mondy wrote:
mcook123 wrote:
If the body needs the glucose for energy (such as during and after exercise and first thing in the morning) then the majority of the glucose will make it’s way to the muscles where insulin is also known to increase protein synthesis. If the body does not need glucose for energy, most of it will be stored as fat tissue.

But wouldn’t spiking insulin the day after a workout increase protein synthesis, since protein is needed for recovery? Does insulin affect fat or protein storage, or simply carb storage?[/quote]

Your body does not store carbohydrates per se, but if there is an excess it will conver them to fat and stored. (this is not 100% accurate, but for the intents of this discussion it is). As for an insulin spike the day after training, yes it will help if you have one in the morning but will not be necessary throughout the rest of the day since your glycogen stores are not being seriously depleted and your muscles are less receptive to insulin.