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Do You Need Insulin To Build Muscle?

Nine Things That Improve Insulin Sensitivity: Accelerate Fat Loss & Build Muscle Faster!

Nine Things That Improve Insulin Sensitivity: Accelerate Fat Loss & Build Muscle Faster!

Insulin sensitivity is SO important for fat loss because when you are insulin resistant, the body is much more likely to store the food you eat as fat. Insulin resistance also produces inflammation in the body, causing a whole bunch of health problems that any sane person wouldn’t want to deal with. Besides making it nearly impossible to lose significant amounts of body fat or pack on muscle, poor insulin sensitivity has all of the following negative effects: • It reduces athletic performance. • It inhibits sleep and makes you tired. • It slows recovery from training or injury. • Muscle soreness and pain are more severe. • It leads to diabetes if you don’t fix it. • It raises triglycerides and increases heart disease risk • It leads to a boatload of other health problems—you’ve heard the misery suffered by diabetics (sleep apnea, nerve problems, gut issues, eye and feet problems, and so on). Don’t worry! There are simple everyday things you can do to improve insulin sensitivity and optimize everything about your life. This article will give you a quick run-down on how insulin works and what you can do NOW to improve it. What Insulin Is & Why It Matters Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas. When you eat a meal, your blood glucose (sugar) rises after you digest the food. Insulin goes into action, binding with your cells in order to store the glucose either in muscle as glycogen (the energy source for the muscle) or as fat. If you are healthy, the body “prefers” to replenish glycogen first, only storing excess glucose as fat if glycogen stores are topped off. When you develop insulin resistance, the cells aren’t readily binding to insulin. The body has to pump out more insulin to get the high blood glucose that’s circulating Continue reading >>

Guest Post: The Function Of Insulin In Muscle Building

Guest Post: The Function Of Insulin In Muscle Building

Before getting started, here are a few things you need to know: Bulking and cutting is not seasonal. Learning how to control your insulin can help your body burn fat and build muscle every day. Muscle is made of protein. In order to build muscle, your body must synthesize more protein than it catabolizes. Insulin plays a part in muscle growth and the storage of muscle glycogen. Too much insulin will prevent fat burning and lead to body fat storage. In order to burn fat and build muscle on the same day, consume carbohydrates strategically, especially around workout time. Understand What Insulin Does Insulin is a growth hormone secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin has an essential role in the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates and it has a crucial role instantly after exercising. Insulin also improves the uptake of glucose into skeletal muscle, liver, and fat cells. Additionally, insulin also plays a part in bodybuilding since it is an anabolic hormone. Besides being a fat storage/anabolic hormone, insulin also plays an important part in suppressing the appetite. However, insulin has a negative role since it contributes to the increase in unwanted fat in the body. Insulin is involved in the burning of body fat as fuel but when the level of insulin in the body is high, it prevents the use of fat as body fuel. On the other hand, when the level of insulin is low, it results in improved fat burning capacity. Another important role of insulin is regulating a lot of body processes. Without insulin, these body processes would not be regulated. For instance, muscle protein breakdown will speed up via a process called proteolysis. The additionally circulating protein in the blood will be converted to glucose via a process called gluconeogenesis, and the final resul Continue reading >>

The Muscle-building Messenger: Your Complete Guide To Insulin

The Muscle-building Messenger: Your Complete Guide To Insulin

Years ago, insulin was only discussed in reference to diabetes. Insulin is the hormone that drives glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells, and diabetes is the loss of the ability to control blood glucose levels. Yet insulin is so much more than a hormone that controls glucose. For one, it's highly anabolic, which means it's critical for building muscle. Insulin also has a dark side, because it can increase fat storage. The challenge is to learn how to spike insulin to optimally recover from workouts and grow, while also blunting it to stay lean. Do you know all the facts about insulin and how to use it to your advantage? Don't be so sure. If not, my insulin guide will teach you how. Insulin And Muscle Insulin is actually a protein, and it is produced and released by the pancreas whenever you eat carbs, protein, or both. (That is, if the pancreas is working properly). Yet unlike the proteins that are the physical building blocks of muscle, this is a functional protein, much like growth hormone. Like all other proteins, insulin is a chain of amino acids strung together. But the way this protein chain is folded makes it act more like a signaling mechanism than a building block. From the pancreas, insulin enters the blood stream and travels to various tissues, including muscle tissue. The muscle fibers (or cells) are lined with insulin receptors, similar to a docking station. Once the insulin molecule docks onto the receptor, it signals the muscle cell to open up gates. This allows allow glucose, amino acids, and creatine to enter the muscles. This process is a major reason why insulin is so important for building muscle. Another reason is that when insulin docks onto the muscle cells, it instigates biochemical reactions in the muscle that increase protein synthesis, Continue reading >>

The Muscle-food Gospel

The Muscle-food Gospel

Building muscle and losing fat simultaneously is, let’s face it, the holy grail of body transformation. But look no further, as HFM called on sports nutritionist Matt Lovell to show you how Many experts contend that it is impossible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. They argue it’s more efficient to focus on building muscle and then getting lean or, conversely, getting lean then building muscle. But having worked with Olympic athletes, international rugby players and the average gym user, I’ve found it is possible to do both. But you need to be strategic with your training, nutrition and recovery, and monitor your results closely. Your results will primarily revolve around the understanding of how to manipulate one hormone. Mastering it is the key to managing your body composition for the rest of your life. That hormone is insulin. How insulin builds muscle Insulin is produced when your blood sugar levels rise above a certain point, which is dependent on the food you have eaten. Its role is to reduce blood sugar to within an acceptable range, by removing the surfeit from the blood. Any surplus sugar will be used to top up your sugar stores (glycogen) in your muscles and liver. When they have been replenished, the rest is converted into fat and driven into the cells. This is how you get fat, by eating too many high-carb foods. However, you can use insulin to help build muscle. Do this by eating a high-carb meal to spike insulin levels and combine it with a high-protein food source, so that protein gets driven into the muscle cells to help build and repair new muscle cells. Most of you will be doing this already in the form of a post-workout whey protein shake. Many people who are overweight to begin with have a problem in this regard. Because of what a Continue reading >>

Optimizing Insulin Sensitivity For Muscle Gain And Fat Loss

Optimizing Insulin Sensitivity For Muscle Gain And Fat Loss

There's more to insulin sensitivity than eating 6 meals per day. Learn how to fully optimize insulin sensitivity to build muscle and lose fat. Bodybuilding is one of the toughest sports there is to train for. It's not for the casual trainee. It’s a constant and grueling uphill battle filled with dedication and determination. Training, nutrition, supplementation, rest, and recovery must be planned out seven days a week, 365 days a year. The only goal is to maximize muscle while stripping bodyfat to single-digits; bodybuilders have chosen to pursue an extremely difficult and testing lifestyle. One of the toughest parts of bodybuilding is finding the balance between shredding and building at the same time. So how do you find that perfect balance between massive and cut? Fortunately there are a few often-overlooked, but simple tricks; they are unquestionably the most important things any serious lifter must to do – the surprisingly simple steps to radically improving your insulin sensitivity! Developing a lean, muscular physique without first taking into account the many ways insulin sensitivity can be improved is like trying to run a marathon with no aerobic conditioning: you will fail. Insulin sensitivity is one of the crucial parts of bodybuilding to go the distance and developing a head-turning appearance. Insulin Sensitivity The regulation of blood sugar is one of the most important bodily processes for both general health and wellbeing, and muscle-building. Blood sugar is regulated through the pancreas, which secretes insulin whenever a certain amount of sugar is detected in the blood. Once released, insulin stimulates the absorption of sugar into muscle and fat cells; think of insulin like a key that opens the door for glucose. Decent insulin sensitivity encourag Continue reading >>

How To Control Insulin Levels To Lose Fat And Build Muscle

How To Control Insulin Levels To Lose Fat And Build Muscle

When considering that insulin has a good side, but a bad side to it as well, knowing how to use insulin to gain muscle mass, while avoiding its fattening effects at the same time, becomes absolutely crucial. Follow these five rules and you should have no problems in achieving that. Rule nº 1 – Know the glycemic index (GI) The several different types of carbohydrates you consume may help or hinder your capability to control insulin. Carbohydrates can be classified in two basic categories: 1) having a high glycemic index, and 2) having a low GI. The glycemic index refers to the rate by which carbohydrates turn into glucose in the bloodstream. Foods with high GI are those that quickly get to the digestive system (meaning, they are quickly digested) and to the blood flow. Since those carbohydrates quickly reach the blood stream, they end up by increasing the blood glucose levels. This, in turn, causes an increase in our insulin levels, something that takes place so that our body can use the glucose. Low GI foods are those that go through the digestive system slower (slow absorption), gradually entering the bloodstream, and leading to more consistent insulin levels. Generally, simple sugars, like table sugar (sucrose) have a high GI, whereas most complex carbohydrates, like sweet potato, have a low GI. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, fruits are naturally rich in fructose, a simple carbohydrate, although most fruit have a low GI. There are two reasons that explain this. On the one hand, most fruits are rich in fibres, which delay the digestive process. Moreover, fructose cannot be used as fuel by the muscles in its original form. First, it must be converted into glucose by the liver. This is a long and slow process, which keeps most fruits in Continue reading >>

Insulin: To Spike Or Not To Spike?

Insulin: To Spike Or Not To Spike?

Post-exercise nutrition is critical for maximum gains. The stimulus of training triggers signaling pathways within muscle cells that allows for greatly enhanced muscle protein synthesis rates. These pathways do not stay active for long, however. There is a window of opportunity immediately post-exercise in which one can significantly increase the anabolic effects of ingested nutrients. This window stays open for a couple of hours at most. After that, the impact of nutrient intake on muscle protein synthesis gradually declines. The more “trained” you are, the faster the anabolic sensitivity dissipates. The obvious question for most at this point is, “What nutrients will allow me to best take advantage of this anabolic window?” It has been known for many years that protein, or more specifically amino acid availability, is critical to maximize the effects of your post-workout feeding. What has also been recommended is that you ingest a high glycemic–index carbohydrate along with your protein. This would not only replace glycogen used during your workout, but also create an insulin spike that would presumably enhance protein synthesis. After all, insulin is an “anabolic” hormone. Over the years there have been many studies performed to illustrate the importance of timing post-workout protein and carbohydrate intake. Surprisingly, there have been only two studies looking at the true influence of carbohydrates and/or insulin in combination with protein on the rate of muscle protein synthesis post-workout. After all, it seemed obvious that you needed an insulin spike to maximize protein synthesis. If we take a look at those two studies that did question the importance of adding high-glycemic carbs to post-workout protein drinks, what we find might surprise you. I Continue reading >>

Why You Don’t Need Carbs After A Workout: Post-workout Nutrition Myths Busted

Why You Don’t Need Carbs After A Workout: Post-workout Nutrition Myths Busted

But, you may also come across claims that taking in carbohydrate after exercise will stop you burning fat. Who’s right? If I wanted to make a case for the importance of taking in carbs after a workout, it would go something like this: After a tough workout, your body is depleted of glycogen – the name given to carbohydrate stored in your body – which needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Failure to do so is cheating your muscles and putting the brakes on recovery. Stored glycogen in muscle cells will also pull water into those cells. This increases cell volume, triggering changes in the muscle that will ultimately lead to faster growth. The best way to do this is with a rapidly digested carbohydrate with a high glycemic index. Dextrose, maltodextrin, waxy maize starch or Vitargo will all do the job. The carbs also jack up your insulin levels, which helps to shuttle nutrients into muscle cells, as well as blocking the post-exercise rise in cortisol levels, which would normally have a catabolic effect on your muscles. In short, to truly maximize recovery and muscle growth, carbs after a workout are essential. Insulin will be spiked, cortisol will be shut down, and glycogen will be restored as the post-workout gods deliver you directly to recovery heaven. Or will they? Actually, they won’t. Here’s why: It’s true that muscle glycogen is synthesized more rapidly if you take in some carbs immediately after a workout rather than several hours later. In fact, delaying the consumption of post-workout carbs for just two hours has been shown to slow the rate of muscle glycogen resynthesis by as much as 50% [6]. But as long as you’re getting enough carbohydrate in your diet, glycogen levels will return to normal after a day or two, regardless of when that carbohyd Continue reading >>

You May Not Need The Post-workout Carbs After All

You May Not Need The Post-workout Carbs After All

One thing we hear about from supplement companies and people at the gym is the ratio of carbohydrates to protein you need to take after a workout. If you don’t get that insulin spike you won’t be absorbing and using the protein in your meal to build muscle, right? As a fan of paleo eating I always found this point to be a curious one. Did primitive man get just the right balance of carbs to protein after a hunt, which was his workout? Probably not. So why would we have evolved in a way that building optimal muscle and strength is dependent on a big insulin boost while we consume protein? That’s not to say that doing what is “natural” is the best for muscle building and athletics, but rather, if I want to be healthy and strong at the same time, maybe reason casts doubt on the hypothesis that spiking our insulin with carbs is necessary. A study published by Nutrition and Metabolism casts doubt on this hypothesis being important at all. The study looked at older men specifically. Why older men? Because losing muscle as you age is one critical aspect to a decrease in overall health. So the researchers took our commonplace wisdom and compared two groups, one that consumed carbs and protein in a 2 to 1 ratio and the other that consumed only protein. The latter group consumed exactly the same amount of protein as the former. After taking blood samples and muscle biopsies, the researchers discovered something that contradicts our present views on how we should eat post-workout. At first, the individuals who consumed the carbohydrates with their protein had an insulin spike along with their hyperglycemia (increase in blood sugar), which should be a surprise to no one. They also had a greater portion of the protein ingested incorporated into their muscle. However, just Continue reading >>

Control Insulin, Lose Fat And Build Muscle.. Simple

Control Insulin, Lose Fat And Build Muscle.. Simple

This is a follow on from yesterday’s post so i’d have a read of that first for full context, I hope it helps INSULIN HAS ONLY ONE REAL JOB: Similar to the handy man who can fix everything around the house but still has his regular 9-5 ‘real job’, insulin is similar in that it has loads of secondary jobs but only one main job. Its main job is to maintain safe and steady blood glucose levels around 80-100mg/dl. When glucose levels rise above 100, insulin is secreted by the pancreas and takes the extra glucose out of the blood and takes it storage. There are three types of storage depots for extra glucose: 1) Muscle glycogen 2) Liver glycogen 3) Fat cells Insulin doesn’t care where it gets stored so if you have a spill over of muscle and liver glycogen (i.e. too much glucose), its gets added to fat cells. That’s how insulin levels affects fat accumulation on the body i.e. this is how it makes you fat! THREE BENEFITS OF INSULIN! 1) BUILDS MUSCLE: As you can see above, glucose gets stored in muscle glycogen; which can allow you to workout harder for longer but insulin also stimulate protein synthesis by directing ribosomes to make more protein (protein is manufactured by ribosomes). This means that insulin is required to build muscle. 2) PRESERVES MUSCLE: Insulin also stops the breakdown of muscle. On top of being very anabolic (it helps to build muscle), it can also stop you losing any muscle you have. This same principle applies to keeping metabolism elevated. It gives your body this amazingly feedback loop of ‘the more lean muscle your body has, the faster your metabolism, which gives you more energy, which means you don’t need ‘pick me up’ foods, which allows you to train at a higher intensity, facilitating more lean muscle, thereby further increasing Continue reading >>

How Can Maltodextrin Help You Gain Muscle?

How Can Maltodextrin Help You Gain Muscle?

Maltodextrin is derived from corn and is technically a polysaccharide or complex carbohydrate; that is made up of weak bonded long chain monosaccharides. Maltodextrin is a common component in many protein shakes and sports performance drinks, with many products claiming that they are ‘sugar free’ because technically it is not classed as a sugar. It is used as a ‘filler’ in many supplements because it is cheap, tasteless and does not appear on the nutrition label as a ‘sugar’. Carbohydrates have had bad press, with many fad diets such as low carb and ketogenic gaining huge popularity. Many weight trainers are armed with lots of protein and essential fatty acids with carbs tending to be left out/neglected. This is a huge error and when used in the right manner carbs boost muscle growth, prevent muscle loss and even rev up your metabolism. To use maltodextrin to your advantage, you must initially learn how it utilised by the body for energy. Maltodextrin is quickly broken down into glucose after consumption; this causes a rapid spike in the blood insulin levels. Whilst the body can use fat and proteins for energy, glucose is needed so that the body can perform at optimal levels when training. Glucose is the preferred fuel source for the working muscles and the brain, and surplus glucose is stored in the liver and muscle to be used at a later date. If the energy stores are full in the muscle and liver, the glucose is then converted into body fat. This is why consuming the right amount of maltodextrin/carbs is essential for building muscle, fuelling your gym schedule and metabolism. Too many carbs is the issue due to its adverse effect on increasing your percentage body fat but the right amount is absolutely paramount in you achieving your physique goals. The que Continue reading >>

Does Insulin Stimulate Muscle Growth?

Does Insulin Stimulate Muscle Growth?

You probably heard about insulin before. It’s the hormone that’s released when you eat those tasty carbohydrates and that makes you fat. At least, that is what all your diet books have told you right? But if insulin is so bad for your physique, then why do bodybuilders inject insulin? Well I’m glad you asked. Insulin 101 One of the main functions of insulin is too keep your blood sugar under control. Your body can become resistant to insulin and this results in diabetes. In recent years, insulin has gotten a bad name as ‘’the evil storage hormone’’. Insulin is demonised as a hormone that stores the food you eat as body fat and prevents your body from using body fat as a fuel. This is principle where most low carb diets are based upon: eating less carbs results in less insulin release, which results in less body fat. While that sounds nice in theory, things are nowhere near as simple as that. A topic I’m sure I’ll be talking a lot about in the future. So a lot of people are afraid of insulin because they think it’s bad for their health and weight. Yet many dedicated gym rats intentionally try to increase insulin levels through food strategies or even injections because they think it will help them build muscle mass. But are they right or wrong? Insulin and building muscle Chances are if you have the guts to read one of my research reviews, you’ve been reading about fitness for a while. In that case, I’m wondering what you currently believe the effect of insulin is on building muscle? Is it extremely effectively, totally useless, somewhere in between? Second question: how sure are you of your answer? Because not all scientists agree with each other on this question. Simply because there’s quite a few studies saying it’s working, but just as man Continue reading >>

Master Your Insulin Sensitivity For Rapid And Sustained Muscle Building [part 3 Of 3]

Master Your Insulin Sensitivity For Rapid And Sustained Muscle Building [part 3 Of 3]

In the first article of this series, I broke down bulking diets… Why they’re overrated, grossly ineffective, and potentially unhealthy. Today I’m going to introduce you to a new way of adding muscle mass, one that will build muscle and melt bodyfat – at the same time. But first, lets talk about two powerful allies in your body transformation arsenal — insulin, and insulin sensitivity. Why Insulin and Insulin Sensitivity are Keys to Maximal Muscle Mass Insulin is the most anabolic hormone you produce. It’s a powerful force for driving nutrient uptake into the cells. Insulin helps to shuttle both glucose and amino acids into your muscles, glucose for use as fuel (stored as glycogen) for workouts and daily activity, and amino acids that contribute to both repair and growth. It’s important to note that insulin is also the most potent fat storing hormone. It’s the main driver of glucose and fatty acids into fat cells, leading to increased bodyfat. This makes managing insulin one of the most important factors for putting on muscle and limiting bodyfat accumulation. With traditional “linear” bulking, where calories are constantly elevated, insulin begins to lose its anabolic benefits over time, leading to a higher accumulation of bodyfat and less muscle growth. Insulin functions as its own feedback signal. The more insulin you make, and the more often you make it, the less sensitive your body becomes to it. The body begins to ignore constant stimuli from any hormone over time. It’s like walking into a room with a fan. At first you notice the noise, but because it’s constant, you eventually tune it out. However, your body does more than just ignore the signal when insulin is present too frequently. It also downregulates production of insulin receptors, w Continue reading >>

The Facts About Insulin

The Facts About Insulin

Insulin is one of the most misunderstood hormones in your body. There are some diet plans that say to keep it as low as possible and there are some bodybuilders who want a lot of it, there are those who inject it for survival but the wrong dosage can send you into a coma. Is insulin as deadly as some say it is? What is the real truth? In this article I’ll separate fact from fiction so you can determine for yourself if this is the cause of all evil in your body or what can help you perform at your peak. What is it? Insulin is one of the most powerful hormones in the body. For starters, it regulates the carbohydrates, fats and proteins that are in the blood. When there is too much sugar (glucose) in the blood the body will regulate this by causing the pancreas to produce insulin. The insulin will then lower the glucose level by absorbing it into the body. This is something that is necessary, since too much glucose in the blood can be toxic. The body can also make insulin if too much protein is detected in the blood. The glucose can be stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. When the blood glucose levels fall, the body can convert the glycogen back to glucose and use it as energy. The insulin can also cause the excess glucose to be stored in your adipose (fat) tissue as excess body fat. When insulin levels spike too quickly, usually it will be the fat tissue that will absorb the extra glucose. This is why you don’t want too much sugar when you are trying to lose weight. Insulin and Weight Loss Yes… insulin is very good at creating stored fat, so if you are trying to lose weight you need to keep your insulin levels in check. That is a fact, but what the heck causes this fat gain to happen? The reason insulin is very good at increasing body fat is because it doesn Continue reading >>

How To Build Muscle With Diabetes?

How To Build Muscle With Diabetes?

This article is suitable for anyone interested in improving the look of their body right through to the professional bodybuilder, and athlete looking to improve performance. How do you build muscle? Lift weights? Consume enough protein? Get enough rest? {Repeat} ^ Yes, Pretty much! Everyone has the potential to build muscle over the course of their lifetime. Some people are happy with the level of muscle mass they have while others desire more for performance and aesthetic related reasons. The ability to gain muscle is highly specific to an individual’s genetics, baseline hormone levels and day to day activity. Many of these factors change as we age, reducing our capacity to gain muscle as we age. In other words, Muscle mass increases as we age up until a certain point. The effect of age on work capacity and muscle growth is a complex and lengthy subject. In fact, there is an hour long video module on the topic on the member’s site (coming soon). Anyhow, The best way to stimulate muscle growth is regular weights resistance training or loaded body movement. Even though we perform loaded movements daily, such as Squatting down to pick up our pets, Carrying the groceries to the car, Pushing annoying people ‘out the way.’ Pulling the kids around, Picking things up (hip-hinge) of the ground Day to Day Movement Isn’t Enough. None of these movements load our muscles heavily or frequently enough to stimulate gains in muscle mass. Weights resistance training is an incredibly useful tool for increasing muscle mass, especially with diabetes. The intensity (load) and frequency of training determine the stress placed on the body’s musculature and consequently determine how fast muscle tissue is gained. Training means nothing without recovery. For the body to get the best Continue reading >>

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