T Nation

Whey and Insulin

Would consuming whey protein right upon waking cause an insulin spike?

in what context r u asking the question. It is a good idea to consume protein upon rising. It will promote a positive nitrogen balance and it will be absorbed easily , due to your previous fasted state, but an insulin spike, not unless u took it with a simple sugar.

however, upon rising ur body could be considered to be in a state similiar to what happens with an insulin spike- but that could be debated as well.

I don’t think it will be anywhere near as pronunced as with simple carbs. However, in BODYOPUS Dan Duchaine recommended taking whey protein at the beginning of the low carb cycle. He reasoned that whey will cause a mild insulin spike and since one would not be eating any appreciable amount of carbs, the insulin would help to get the body into a ketogenic state just that little bit quicker.

I would have to conclude that eating whey in a fasted state would produce an insulin spike.

Generally speaking, it is accepted that whey enters the bloodstream and muscles quickly and if I remember correctly, LARGELY in the form of glutamine.

Proportedly, this causes blood sugar and blood amino acid levels to drop BELOW baseline, so yes, I have to conclude that it takes insulin to drive these levels below baseline.

Again, the working model is that baseline levels drop low enough to cause catabolism if blood sugar is not stabilized within 1-2 hours after consuming whey. This means you can eat whey every 2 hours all day long, or eat something that works more slowly within perhaps 90 minutes after a primarily whey meal. Or you can eat a steady supply of carbs every two hours to stave off catabolism.

So, I guess what I would say is, take whey pre and post workout where it can enter the muscles through active transport and the window of opportunity, and within 2 hours have something slower.

By the way, I have never gotten an answer to the question of what causes the “window of opportunity” post workout.

I assume it is non-insulin mediated transport, BUT I have never gotten any of the experts to say that it is not:

a) short term icreased insulin sensitivity, which it could also be.

To be very short YES eating anything will cause some type of insulin response be it small or large. Whey sure how big depends on the whey. If its say a Hydro whey that would be significant due to the fractions being small they pass the gut very fast with minimal or no digestion, a concentrate it would be smaller digestion has to take place.

If your looking for an insulin spike add some simple sugars.