T Nation

Study: Spike Insulin Post-Workout?

[quote]BoxBabaX wrote:
Not directly related, but interesting nonetheless.


Are you kidding? It’s directly related! Then again I may be a little biased. lol

To summarize: try for insulin pre-workout, but not post. (see the “Nitric Oxide Stimulators” article part II for more info).

I’ve been beating the pre-workout nutrition drum so hard that I finally broke down and wrote books about it. It’s still the most anabolic (think growth, strength, recovery) supplement/nutritional intervention we know of.

Great thread!

[quote]David Barr wrote:
BoxBabaX wrote:
Not directly related, but interesting nonetheless.


Yeah, that article is unreal informative.

Pre workout nutrition is, in fact, more important, and you don’t need to carry a shaker cup with you to the gym.

What would a good pre work out meal look like?

A few apples, BCAA’s, and a few scoops of whey?

[quote]David Barr wrote:
BoxBabaX wrote:
Not directly related, but interesting nonetheless.

Are you kidding? It’s directly related! Then again I may be a little biased. lol

To summarize: try for insulin pre-workout, but not post. (see the “Nitric Oxide Stimulators” article part II for more info).

I’ve been beating the pre-workout nutrition drum so hard that I finally broke down and wrote books about it. It’s still the most anabolic (think growth, strength, recovery) supplement/nutritional intervention we know of.

Great thread![/quote]

Well my plan worked, I was trying to get you out of the wood work!!! LOL :).

[quote]Sklander wrote:
David Barr wrote:
BoxBabaX wrote:
Not directly related, but interesting nonetheless.

Yeah, that article is unreal informative.

Pre workout nutrition is, in fact, more important, and you don’t need to carry a shaker cup with you to the gym.

What would a good pre work out meal look like?

A few apples, BCAA’s, and a few scoops of whey?[/quote]

not sure about the apples, seems like a lower GI carb would be recommended? BCAAs and apples and a few scoops of whey sounds like a good pre or peri workout meal according to that article. I think the author is suggesting protein shake pre-workout and as a whole meal postworkout?

good article btw, thanks for posting!

It seemed like the roundtable authors did all agree the partitioning meals does lead to lower insuling release overall, which seems to be one standard of a healthy diet.

Was hoping Mr. Barr would chime in on this - my damn internet connection was down, but this discussion did make me remember that it has been a couple years now since David has been telling us about utilizing Surge pre-workout.

Good goin, actionjeff!

Has any one seen this? :

Nutrient Administration and Resistance Training

Chad M Kerksick and Brian Leutholtz

Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory, Center for Exercise, Nutrition and Preventive Health Research, Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, Baylor University

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2005, 2:50-67doi:10.1186/1550-2783-2-1-50


The impact of resistance training on muscle hypertrophy is well known. For years, resistance training athletes have been interested in identifying which forms of nutritional supplementation will provide the greatest support in an effort to maximize the training adaptations from resistance training. Many findings and suggestions have been reported in this regard and are outlined below:

-Resistance training modestly stimulates protein synthesis and further stimulates protein breakdown resulting an overall negative protein balance after exercise.

-As the training status of an individual progresses, the magnitude of changes seen in protein synthesis and breakdown diminishes after each exercise bout as well as a diminished increase of protein synthesis after each subsequent exercise bout.

-Infusion or ingestion of amino acids is an effective way to increase amino acid concentrations at rest or after resistance exercise.

-Availability of amino acids after resistance exercise increases protein synthesis.

-Essential amino acids do appear to play a primary role in protein synthesis and adding carbohydrate to them may enhance this effect.

-Ingestion of carbohydrate alone after resistance exercise causes marginal improvements in overall protein synthesis while maintaining a negative net protein balance. No studies have found carbohydrate to be detrimental and it may be useful to enhance palatability; however the additional caloric burden may not be desired.

-A small dose of essential amino acids after resistance exercise has been found to stimulate protein synthesis to a similar degree when compared to studies that used much larger doses of both amino acids (EAA, NEAA, or both) or that were combined with carbohydrate.

-Ingestion of amino acids after resistance exercise has been shown at many different time points in several studies to stimulate increases in muscle protein synthesis, cause minimal changes in protein breakdown and increase overall protein balance. It has not been conclusively determined what time point is optimal. Similar changes have been found for studies that have administered amino acids alone or with carbohydrate immediately upon completion of an acute exercise bout, 1 h after completion, 2 h after completion and 3 h after completion. Interestingly, ingesting nutrients before the exercise bout may have the most benefit of all the time points.

-It is possible for the mechanisms involving amino acid transport and protein synthesis to be overwhelmed with extremely high, continuous levels of amino acids. The likelihood of this occurring is rare even upon considering the highest of protein intakes among individuals.

-An optimal dosage in which to ingest amino acids at this time does not exist. Studies using similar techniques while resistance training have used 6 g EAA only, 6 g EAA + 6 g NEAA, 12 g EAA only, 17.5 g whey protein, 20 g casein protein, 20 g whey protein, 40 g mixed amino acid, 40 g EAA only all with similar increases in protein synthesis and protein balance. Athletes who desire to increase muscle mass or are involved in power sports should consider consuming protein supplements that will provide amino acids in similar amounts used in these studies.

-Intact proteins or combinations of them that are commonly used in popular protein supplements appear to elicit similar increases in protein balance after resistance training as compared to other studies using free amino acids.

"Comparing research that used drinks consumed immediately after a workout (Tipton et al., 2001) versus those ingested an hour after training (Rasmussen et al., 2000), the results are surprising: it seems that post workout meal ingestion actually results in 30% lower protein synthesis rates than when we wait!

So every time we thought that we were badass for drinking “as soon as the weight hit the floor, we were actually short changing ourselves. Not a big deal, that�??s why we read T-Nation. Let�??s just learn, adapt, and move on.”

from the Barr article.

Isn’t he basically bashing every other author on this site with this part?

And, why would it reduce protein synthesis by drinking it later than earlier?

“And, why would it reduce protein synthesis by drinking it earlier than later?” -jehovasfitness (I changed the order of earlier/later…)

Well one thing I can think of would be that after you workout, your muscles have a general down-time where they are not sent immediately into the rebuilding stage and just kind of sit there are rest, as you have just expended their energy entirely (assuming you workout hard enough).

So why would immediate protein consumption reduce their synthesis rate? Perhaps the muscle is better off if you wait 1 hour for it to prepare itself for the rebuilding stages. That is, if you overload your system with protein right away, they won’t be fully prepared to start the rebuilding cycle and won’t actually exhaust as much energy repairing themselves (ie, protein synthesis) than if you had waited a while for the muscles to “get ready.” This is purely speculation however…

The ultimate study to show whether pre- or post-workout insulin spikes are better for recovery and growth would utilize the non-insulin producing type 1 diabetic.

Simply you could take type 1s and let them eat a protein/carb meal with fast-acting insulin before working out, or let them eat/dose the same thing after workout. Then see who does better with recovery/growth. For fun you could also throw in a dual, pre- and post-workout meal group as well.

Speaking from personal experience, I would expect the pre-workout meal/insulin dose group to outperform the post-workout group not primarily because of better recovery or growth post-workout, but because their pre-workout food intake allows them to have better workouts on a consistent basis.

Thus their better workouts contribute to better growth. And the role of insulin is relatively minimal in the entire scheme of things for these two groups.

However the dual group might show some more interesting things. In fact, it would be best to split the dual group up into a pre-workout meal and a post-workout meal either right away or after 1-2 hours waiting time.

Given what was said earlier about synthesis increasing if you wait to eat post-workout you might see that the best method overall to maximize growth & recovery would be to eat the pre-workout meal and then wait post-workout and eat 1-2 hours later once you are hungry (hunger might actually be the best signal to wait for as it could in part be due to your muscles signaling to the brain that they are ready to rebuild). This is usually what I do… =P

WRT P+C/P+F (i.e. JB’s Massive Eating), Joel Marion has written about the beneftis of this type of diet.

“A Defense of Massive Eating”

Great thread guys, thanks OP.

Lot’s of great information here, but I’m still unable to ascertain exactly what a pre workout meal would look like. My protein shakes are all very low carb - should I throw down a rice cake with it or something?

(in cutting phase right now)

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Good lookin out bushido.

perhaps exercise upregulates certain gene expression in the time following the workout, and immediate ingestion of food interferes with this process.

it would make sense evolutionarily.

Also, we don’t only grow during the 2 hours post-workout.

This is a great thread.

I have found that a pre workout meal of a scoop of whey and various fruits, honey, and maybe some BCAA’s goes a long way. I have energy throughout the workout.

I normally sip on a creatine glu supplement that I am trying out with BCAA’s.

About 30 - 45 minutes after workout I do a shake with various frutis, vegetables and ~ 40 gms whey. All these carbs that I have been reading that people consumer post workout just don’t sit well with me. The idea of all that maltodextrin and dextrose going into me is just unsettling.

Can anyone else shed any light on this?



[quote]gi2eg wrote:
perhaps exercise upregulates certain gene expression in the time following the workout, and immediate ingestion of food interferes with this process.

Exercise does change gene expression in muscle. The most significant recent discovery in this field is the shift in IGF-1 gene splicing towards the Mechano Growth Factor (MGF) splice variant that occurs post-exercise in muscle tissue. This field has many questions that remain to be answered however…

I wouldn’t expect nutrient ingestion to really interfere with any processes. However as I was eluting to, there may be a down-time shortly after you are done exercising (<1 hour PWO) when the majority of these changes in the genetic expression profile are taking place.

In these events, the muscle undergoes the final push of hypertrophy and prepares for rebuilding. Thus it would be irrelevant to take protein supplements immediately after you are done working out, as your body is not yet in the optimal state for muscle repair. So in deciding between a protein shake immediately post-workout or one/two hours post-workout, you might be better off one/two hours PWO.

I put up some article abstracts for those interested in this rapidly expanding field. I find it interesting in the 2nd article they say immediate PWO protein ingestion stimulates the best recovery, but in the third article they do the protein ingestion at 1 hour PWO and see an increase in muscle FSR at 2 hours whereas the control group has nothing. There appears to be a little disparity here… Hope this isn’t too off topic!

Signal transduction pathways that regulate muscle growth.
Wackerhage H, Ratkevicius A. (2008)

Institute of Medical Sciences, Foresterhill, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK. h.wackerhage@abdn.ac.uk

Progressive high-resistance exercise with 8-12 repetitions per set to near failure for beginners and 1-12 repetitions for athletes will increase muscle protein synthesis for up to 72 h; approx. 20 g of protein, especially when ingested directly after exercise, will promote high growth by elevating protein synthesis above breakdown.

Muscle growth is regulated by signal transduction pathways that sense and compute local and systemic signals and regulate various cellular functions. The main signalling mechanisms are the phosphorylation of serine, threonine and tyrosine residues by kinases and their dephosphorylation by phosphatases.

Muscle growth is stimulated by the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) system, which senses (i) IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1)/MGF (mechano-growth factor)/insulin and/or (ii) mechanical signals, (iii) amino acids and (iv) the energetic state of the muscle, and regulates protein synthesis accordingly. The action of the mTOR system is opposed by myostatin-Smad signalling which inhibits muscle growth via gene transcription.

Protein co-ingestion stimulates muscle protein synthesis during resistance type exercise.
Beelen M, Koopman R, Gijsen AP, Vandereyt H, Kies AK, Kuipers H, Saris WH, van Loon LJ. (2008)

Movement Sciences, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands; , Netherlands.

In contrast to the impact of nutritional intervention on post-exercise muscle protein synthesis, little is known about the potential to modulate protein synthesis during exercise. This study investigates the impact of protein co-ingestion with carbohydrate on muscle protein synthesis during resistance type exercise.

Ten healthy males were studied in the evening after consuming a standardized diet throughout the day. Subjects participated in 2 experiments, in which they ingested either carbohydrate or carbohydrate with protein during a 2h resistance exercise session. Subjects received a bolus of test drink prior to and every 15 min during exercise, providing 0.15 g.kg(-1).h(-1) carbohydrate with (CHO+PRO) or without (CHO) 0.15 g.kg(-1).h(-1) protein hydrolysate. Continuous intravenous infusions with L-[ring-(13)C6]phenylalanine and L-[ring-(2)H2] tyrosine were applied, and blood and muscle biopsies were collected to assess whole-body and muscle protein synthesis rates during exercise.

Protein co-ingestion lowered whole-body protein breakdown rates by 8.4+/-3.6% (P=0.066), compared to the ingestion of carbohydrate only, and augmented protein oxidation and synthesis rates by 77+/-17 and 33+/-3%, respectively (P<0.01). As a consequence, whole-body net protein balance was negative in CHO, whereas a positive net balance was achieved following the CHO+PRO treatment (-4.4+/-0.3 vs 16.3+/-0.4 micromol phe.kg(-1).h(-1), respectively; P<0.01).

In accordance, mixed muscle protein fractional synthetic rate (FSR) was 49+/-22% higher following protein co-ingestion (0.088+/-0.012 and 0.060+/-0.004 %.h(-1) in CHO+PRO vs CHO treatment, respectively; P<0.05). We conclude that, even in a fed state, protein co-ingestion stimulates whole-body and muscle protein synthesis rates during resistance type exercise. Key words: muscle, protein synthesis, exercise, nutrition.

Leucine-enriched essential amino acid and carbohydrate ingestion following resistance exercise enhances mTOR signaling and protein synthesis in human muscle.
Dreyer HC, Drummond MJ, Pennings B, Fujita S, Glynn EL, Chinkes DL, Dhanani S, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. (2007)

Department of Physical Therapy, Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555-1144, USA.

We recently showed that resistance exercise and ingestion of essential amino acids with carbohydrate (EAA+CHO) can independently stimulate mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and muscle protein synthesis in humans. Providing an EAA+CHO solution postexercise can further increase muscle protein synthesis. Therefore, we hypothesized that enhanced mTOR signaling might be responsible for the greater muscle protein synthesis when leucine-enriched EAA+CHOs are ingested during postexercise recovery. Sixteen male subjects were randomized to one of two groups (control or EAA+CHO).

The EAA+CHO group ingested the nutrient solution 1 h after resistance exercise. mTOR signaling was assessed by immunoblotting from repeated muscle biopsy samples. Mixed muscle fractional synthetic rate (FSR) was measured using stable isotope techniques. Muscle protein synthesis and 4E-BP1 phosphorylation during exercise were significantly reduced (P < 0.05). Postexercise FSR was elevated above baseline in both groups at 1 h but was even further elevated in the EAA+CHO group at 2 h postexercise (P < 0.05).

Increased FSR was associated with enhanced phosphorylation of mTOR and S6K1 (P < 0.05). Akt phosphorylation was elevated at 1 h and returned to baseline by 2 h in the control group, but it remained elevated in the EAA+CHO group (P < 0.05). 4E-BP1 phosphorylation returned to baseline during recovery in control but became elevated when EAA+CHO was ingested (P < 0.05). eEF2 phosphorylation decreased at 1 and 2 h postexercise to a similar extent in both groups (P < 0.05).

Our data suggest that enhanced activation of the mTOR signaling pathway is playing a role in the greater synthesis of muscle proteins when resistance exercise is followed by EAA+CHO ingestion.

This one’s good too…

Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exercise.
Tipton KD, Elliott TA, Cree MG, Aarsland AA, Sanford AP, Wolfe RR. (2007)

The Univ. of Birmingham, School of Sport & Exercise Sciences, Edgbaston, Birmington B15 2TT, UK. K.D.Tipton@Bham.ac.uk

Timing of nutrient ingestion has been demonstrated to influence the anabolic response of muscle following exercise. Previously, we demonstrated that net amino acid uptake was greater when free essential amino acids plus carbohydrates were ingested before resistance exercise rather than following exercise.

However, it is unclear if ingestion of whole proteins before exercise would stimulate a superior response compared with following exercise. This study was designed to examine the response of muscle protein balance to ingestion of whey proteins both before and following resistance exercise. Healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to one of two groups.

A solution of whey proteins was consumed either immediately before exercise (PRE; n = 8) or immediately following exercise (POST; n = 9). Each subject performed 10 sets of 8 repetitions of leg extension exercise. Phenylalanine concentrations were measured in femoral arteriovenous samples to determine balance across the leg.

Arterial amino acid concentrations were elevated by approximately 50%, and net amino acid balance switched from negative to positive following ingestion of proteins at either time. Amino acid uptake was not significantly different between PRE and POST when calculated from the beginning of exercise (67 +/- 22 and 27 +/- 10 for PRE and POST, respectively) or from the ingestion of each drink (60 +/- 17 and 63 +/- 15 for PRE and POST, respectively).

Thus the response of net muscle protein balance to timing of intact protein ingestion does not respond as does that of the combination of free amino acids and carbohydrate.

Haha… this is something that is never going to be 100 per cent testable. Each person is different.

Whatever helps you lift heavier, longer, and correctly is what you should do.

Eat lots of protein and train really hard. Period.