T Nation

Two questions: 1. Insulin Resistance. 2. Creatine products.

I don’t remember ever getting a response the last time I asked these questions so here it goes.

  1. There is alway so much talk about insulin resistance and being a fat tub o shit. But this by itself doesn’t make sense to me. If one was highly insulin resistant I don’t think you would get fat. I remember John Berardi(I think) saying something about lean individuals being insulin sensitive but their fat cells being insulin resistant. Which begs the question, are the lean individual’s muscles insulin sensitive? Would that be correct terminology? Therefore fat people have insulin sensitive fat cells and insulin resistant muscle cells?

  2. Okay creatine and salt. There was talk before of salt helping creatine transport far more than an insulin spike. Not so much interested in the physics of that…although that would be great. I do remember someone saying a certain company had a creatine product with salt in it or something. So the product name or a dosage of salt per gram of creatine would be most helpful thanks. :slight_smile:

I have no idea about question #2 but on question #1 you are right in that lean individuals have insulin sensitive muscles. Basically too much insulin resistance leads to diabetes and once one becomes diabetic the body becomes totally resistant to insulin and that is when whole body weight loss would occur.


Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify then this lean individual also has insulin resistant fat cells? Also when you say a person is insulin resistant what are we talking about fat mass, muscle mass…or both? It makes sense as you said when a diabetic becomes totally insulin resistant that weight loss would occur. But up until then I’m not understanding what exactly is insulin resistant? Also am I right in assuming that since insulin resistant people produce more insulin as a result of their resistance to it, that the ratio of insulin that they produce compared to a normal person is too great. That is to say they are not only producing a greater amount of insulin to compensate for their resistance but are actually producing more perhaps much more? In effect they are overcompensating? Sorry for the run on sentences. Thanks again Kelly. :slight_smile:

When you’re insulin resistant, your muscle cells do not take up blood glucose very well. Therefore, it appears to your body just as if a normal person ate to many carbs at one meal and you have excessive blood glucose and then the liver converts the extra blood glucose that should be going into muscle cells but cann’t, into triglycerides which are then stored as fat in fat cells. So with poor insulin sensitivity, your blood glucose supplies less muscle glycogen and the liver makes more triglyceride for fat storage. You need good insulin sensitivity for glycogen storage.

Thanks Heb. :slight_smile:

Can you change your insulin sensitvity over time? I know you can make it better with supplementing fish oils and ALA. When I was younger i ate a lot of sugars and sweets and a result of that is that I was real fat. Well 2 years ago I lost 88 pounds and have kept it off for those 2 years while staying under 15% bodyfat. I have been supplementing with good fats(fish oils,flax, and olive) and eating moderate carbs(30-40% of diet). I know my insulin sensitivity was affected be eating all that bad stuff in my younger years, but will it get any better with time while eating like I do. Like, Say will it be better in a year if I keep on doing the same diet than it is right now. Thanks for any help.

Stolic et al. Glucose uptake and insulin action in human adipose tissue-influence of BMI, anatomical depot adn body fat distribution. Int J Obes Metab Disord 2002;26:17-23

It is both my understanding and experience that insulin sensitivity can be improved by a combination of supplementing with fish oils (EPA/DHA), CLA, ALA, etc along with regular exercise. I feel supplements have helped me but regular exercise has the best benefit for me. I notice that during periods of less exercise, even if I adjust my maintenance calories acordingly, calories start going to fat a lot easier. I believe that once you have impaired insulin metabolism, the benefits of supplementation and exercise are not permanent but provide temperary improvement. And that is how most people that start with normal insulin/glucose metabolism become insulin resistant - through a gradual decline of poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyle. IMO, like everything else, it takes an ongoing constant effort to improve/maintain insulin sensitivity.

I have heard of a “sodium pump” regarding creatine Scott from Infinityfitness.com recommends the FSI brand

ALA is in Alpha Lipoic acid or alpha lineolic acid? I too am a sufferer of insuline insensitivity, and consequent low blood sugar, and understand now why I have such a hard time packing on lean mass. Is there any other way to increase sensitivity such as fasting or any dietary means? It’s a little hard to live on supplements, and costly. There has to be a way to regain your sensitivity if it was born from abuse. Or am I being overly optimistic? Is there any glucogenic counter response we can illicit???
This is a very important subject. I’m glad you guys brought this up. I too put on fat even with adjusted calories if I miss four workouts!!!


Thanks Bobby. Your the only one that could answer that question even in part. :slight_smile:

ALA we are talking about is Alpha Lipoic Acid. It is used in diabetic patients to increase insuling sensitivity. Berardi has said that the best way to increase insulin sensitivity is through supplementing ALA, fish oils, and chromium. He also says to stay away from low carb diets and says that caffeine also lowers insulin sensitivity. From my experiences you can make it better but not for good. If I go back to eating bad stuff I can get fat pretty easily. I just asked Heb this and he answered it in the previous post to me. Hope this helps.

The creatine transpoter is a sodium dependant transpoter which means that it requires a sodium ion to be co-transported into the cell with the creatine molecule. This is at least the case in animal studies as I have not seen any human data.

Thanks Jason. After doing a little reading I came across ALA (Lipoic). I’ll take it with every meal. I’ve just upped the fish oils but will take most of them after working out like he recomends. What really confuses me is the staying away from low carb diets. Don’t carbs hurt low-blood sugar types? Or is there the cycling effect? That one confused me especially since I can only lose weight when I cut carbs.
Whatever the case, I agree: it is a lifestyle and not something you can permeneantly correct.
I’m really baffled about the advice to avoide low barb dieting though… Anyone have the “skinny” on this… no pun inteneded.

THanks for hte advice.

Low carb diets are supposed to lower insulin sensitivity and when you come off of them you will experience a rebound effect. I go low carb but not Keto. I try to not go lower than 70 grams of carbs. Some others might have a better explanation than me.


Thanks for the info on the creatine. Guess you have no idea on dosages? How about brands?

Wayne and Jason:

Far be it for me to be an expert but I think I can explain your little low carb paradox. One I don’t think John Berardi was really against low carb diets as he was against keto diets. Keto diets being the ones that blunt insulin sensitivity. Therefore a diet say 30% carbs shouldn’t be an issue. Especially if it’s predominatly low glycemic carbs. Another thing to remember is when your upping your amount of carbs say 30% to 50% lower the glycemic index and insulin index of your foods to be on the safe side. A fat lose diet should be for life right? :slight_smile:

Nkeago, here are some of my rough estimations on how much salt you would need with creatine. For every creatine molecule that is taken through the creatine transporter (CreaT) it requires 2 ions of Na+ and one ion of Cl-. Now you could take regular salt, NaCl, with the creatine but that would provide you with more chlorine than you need, which wouldn’t hurt but is not beneficial either. Consequently, I would recommend taking the rest of the required sodium in the form of sodium phosphate, Na3PO4, since the phosphate ions could be used to phosphorylate creatine within muscle cells. This is why many companies include sodium phosphate in their creatine transport formulas. Now based on my calculations [which I determined based on the molecular weights of creatine monohydrate (about 149 g/mol), NaCl (58 g/mol) and Na3PO4 (164 g/mol)] you should take about 1.94 grams of NaCl or regular salt, and 1.83 grams of Na3PO4 or sodium phosphate, per 5 grams of creatine. Any mathematicians or inorganic chemists can correct me on those rough calculations as I consider myself more of a nutritional biochemist and pharmacologist. You could also just take twice as much regular salt (3.88 grams) and get the required sodium and chlorine. You just wouldn’t get the phosphorus. As far as companies I have always liked EAS and Met-Rx creatine. The effervescent formulas are also good. However most companies do not list the exact amounts of sodium chloride and sodium phosphate. I guess you might be able to figure it out but it would be better to make your own formula. The best transport for creatine would probably be to mix it with Surge in my estimation. You could also mix it with salt in the ratios I mentioned and see if it works better for you. Hope this helps. I better get off of here before my wife strangles me!

This whole thing has seemed somewhat of a paradox. A conundrum…:slight_smile:
I always wondered why I’d get the sickest out of everyone when keto dieting, or attempting keto dieting, when I was the hypoglycemic one, and now I think I finally understand thanks to threads like this and articles by Berardi. I never realized keto dieting increases your insuline resistance. Still don’t understand how or why it does but I’m satisfied enough to know that it does. This led me to further my investigation as I have always had trouble putting on lean mass and conversly have found it easy to destroy my midsection even when seemingly slim (I have never been “obviously” fat). As I read on it became apparent that being insuline insensitive the glucose and proteins weren’t being shunted to my muscles. I have always felt that weak, twicthy feeling when I haven’t eaten right. When I blasted dognuts my workouts were great but my abs turned into the adipose version of the rings of Saturn, and I eventually got sick. It’s all making sense now.
I’m going to continue the keto for another week and then I’m going to take yours’ and Berardi’s advice and go to about 30% carbs per day or less than 100grams. You’re right it is a lifestyle and not a never ending deprivation diet that only makes things worse.
btw magnesium is highly toughted as a prize supplement for resistant types. In light of my electrolyte imbalance I experience when I sweat this really makes sense.

Thanks to all for the advice and great thread!


Glad you got something out of this thread. Good luck with your fat stripping. :slight_smile:


Great info man!!! Question…and this will show my true stupidity…but if you don’t know you don’t know. Hehhe. Okay where do I get sodium phoshate??? Going to bet this will taste like shit. Thanks alot Kenny. :slight_smile: