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How Does Insulin Help Build Muscle?

The Insulin Advantage

The Insulin Advantage

Here's what you need to know... If you think bulking and cutting are seasonal, think again. By controlling your insulin you can allow your body to build muscle and burn fat daily. Muscle is made of protein. To build muscle, your body must synthesize more protein than it catabolizes. Insulin is responsible for muscle growth and the storage of muscle glycogen. Excess insulin production will lead to the storage of body fat and the inhibition of fat burning. To build muscle and burn fat on the same day, manipulate your insulin production by consuming carbs strategically. Prioritize carb consumption around workout time. Daily Manipulation Forget the idea of the seasonal "bulking" and "cutting" phases that the newbies love to talk about. Instead, bulk and cut throughout the day, maximizing muscle gains while controlling body fat. How? By manipulating insulin. Depending on your background, you probably think of insulin as either the anabolic Holy Grail or the natural enemy of fat loss. Which is it? Insulin is Like a Weapon It's human nature to label something as good or bad, but this myopic outlook often does us more harm than good. Those wanting fat loss call insulin the "bad" hormone that's making us chubby by inhibiting fat burning and increasing fat storage. Those wanting muscle growth call insulin the anabolic and anti-catabolic phenomenon. How can one hormone be a fat boy's nemesis and a skinny boy's best defense? The truth is, insulin is like a weapon: it can hurt you or help you. And the good news is we can accurately predict how insulin will act. Know Your Opponent Insulin is an anabolic hormone. In fact, it's even more anabolic than growth hormone. The problem? It's indiscriminately anabolic and doesn't care whether it helps with the building of muscle or the accumul Continue reading >>

Bodybuilders And Insulin

Bodybuilders And Insulin

The practice of non-diabetic athletes injecting themselves with insulin is apparently also being embraced by track-and-fielders and other athletes seeking to build endurance, says Dr. Warren Willey, a physician specializing in family and sports medicine. The southeastern Idaho doctor became aware of the problem several years ago when he saw a non-diabetic weightlifter pass out outside a restaurant. Willey ran back into the restaurant, grabbed some packets of sugar and poured them into the young man's mouth. The bodybuilder recovered and acknowledged taking insulin, which he said had helped him gain about 10 pounds and increase muscle fullness. After writing a firsthand account of the experience in the Physician and Sportsmedicine magazine, Willey has gotten inquiries from patients on how and whether to take insulin and from physicians asking about how patients abuse the hormone. Up to 10% of bodybuilders may be using insulin, according to a recent report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Bodybuilders openly discuss how to use it on muscle-building sites on the Internet, where advertisers also sell insulin and the syringes to inject it, and several cases of comas and fainting have been reported in medical journals. Roberto Marcelletti, a personal trainer and competitive bodybuilder in Jersey City, N.J., wrote to Ironman magazine to protest the "largest and most shredded competitors" he'd ever competed against in a 2001 bodybuilding competition. "I know GH [growth hormone] and insulin are being used and are undetected by urine samples," he wrote. In a recent telephone interview, Marcelletti said he believes that the use of insulin is growing, putting him at a disadvantage in competitions because he never uses it. "It's being pushed upon amateurs," Marcelletti sai Continue reading >>

The Science Of Carb Cycling: How It Works And How To Do It Right

The Science Of Carb Cycling: How It Works And How To Do It Right

If you want to know what carb cycling is, how it works, and whether you should do it or not, then you want to read this article. I don’t know about you, but I like simple. And here’s a simple fact for you: You don’t need to do anything particularly special or fancy to build the body of your dreams. Cut fat. Supercharge performance. Transform your body. Download your simple carb-cycling template now! At least 80% of the game is just understanding and applying a relatively small number of physiological principles related to diet and exercise. And I’d go as far as saying that the majority of what’s left is just patience and persistence. You don’t need convoluted training programs or diets. You need fundamentals. That said, once you have the fundamentals firmly in place, you can look to gain slight edges. This is where things like supplementation, fasted training, periodization, and carb cycling come into play. In this article, we’re going to dive deep into carb cycling and learn what it is, how it (supposedly) works, and how to do it. We’re also going to review many of the fundamentals that supercede it, and ultimately, we’re going to get an answer to the most important question: Is carb cycling better than traditional dieting? That is, can it really beat the simplest way to diet? Let’s get to it. What is Carb Cycling? Carb cycling is a method of dieting that involves planned increases and decreases in carbohydrate intake (and generally in caloric intake as well). There are many different carb cycling protocols, but most have you alternate between at least two of three types of days: High-carb days High-carb days typically call for 2 to 2.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight. They are usually your highest calorie days. Low-carb days Low-carb Continue reading >>

Insulin And Muscle Mass

Insulin And Muscle Mass

Why do we lose muscle as we age? The obvious answer for most people is lack of sufficient exercise. Muscles work on a use-it-or-lose-it basis, as do most of the organs and tissues of the body. Without the stimulation provided by exercise, the neuromuscular connections between the brain and the muscular system gradually fade, and muscles atrophy, or shrink. The loss of muscle mainly affects the type 2 muscle fibers, those linked to muscular size and strength, and the balance between type 1s, the weaker, so-called endurance muscle fibers, and the more powerful type 2 fibers veers toward a dominance of type 1s. That explains much of the frailty associated with the aging process. Besides a lack of exercise that places stress on type 2 fibers, namely resistance exercise, such as weight training, a major cause of muscle loss with aging is the gradual decline in the synthesis and secretion of anabolic hormones, including testosterone, growth hormone and insulin. There’s crossover between anabolic hormones and exercise, since regular exercise helps maintain measures of the hormones with age. Inevitably, of course, they drop to some extent in most people. People who are clinically deficient in any of the anabolic hormones often experience dramatic beneficial changes in body composition and strength when the missing hormones are supplied. That explains the current popularity of growth hormone therapy to treat aging symptoms. Giving GH to an older person who’s deficient in it results in significant improvements in such factors as skin thickness and bodyfat, which in turn often leads to a subjective feeling of turning back the clock. Testosterone is even more important for those who want to maintain or develop muscle with age. Without adequate testosterone, you simply won’t m Continue reading >>

How Food Affects Your Muscle-building Hormones

How Food Affects Your Muscle-building Hormones

You've heard the phrase "you are what you eat," right? More accurately, you are how your body responds to what you eat. What you put in your mouth can have a dramatic effect on your hormones—the all-important chemicals that tell your body what to do. When it comes to building performance-fueling muscle, knowing how your body responds to carbohydrates, fats and proteins will help you get bigger, faster. Here's how each of those nutrients can affect your hormones, and how much you should eat of them to build the muscle you want. Carbohydrates Your body's growth hormone levels play a significant role in—you guessed it—muscle growth. Growth hormone levels increase significantly when insulin levels are low. Levels of testosterone, the hormone responsible for things like strong bones, muscle growth and protein synthesis, also increase when insulin is low. So obviously, if you're looking to build muscle, it's to your benefit to keep your insulin levels in check. You can control the levels of insulin in your blood by monitoring the kinds of carbs you eat. Complex carbs do not spike your blood sugar and the resulting insulin response as much as simple carbs do, because complex carbs are released into the bloodstream at a slower rate. A full 50 to 60 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates (studies have shown that growth hormone actually fails to cause growth if you restrict carbs from your diet), and 45 percent of them should be complex carbs. Throughout the day, you should munch on complex carbohydrates like oats, potatoes and beans. Skip the simple carbs unless you are within the four-hour window following your workout. During that time period, consume simple carbs like white rice, thoroughly cooked pasta and fruits, at a rate roughly 1.2 grams per Continue reading >>

9 Nutrition Rules To Build More Muscle

9 Nutrition Rules To Build More Muscle

Maximize muscle growth naturally with these tips and techniques It’s straight forward. You want to build more muscle… and fast. You don’t want to add a pound of fresh beef each year – you want more! You want a thick, striated chest, peaked biceps, sweeping quads and a “bat wing” V taper! To accelerate your path to the ultimate physique, here are 9 steadfast nutrition rules to build muscle fast. Rule #1: Eat a LOT of protein Muscle is made of protein. To build muscle, you need to boost muscle protein synthesis, as well as decrease muscle breakdown. Research in the lab and the gym confirms that the best way to do this is with a diet that gets you a minimum of one gram per pound of bodyweight (a little over two grams of protein per kg of bodyweight) and closer to about 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (about three grams of protein per kg bodyweight). Some do even better with even more than this amount by getting closer to two grams. This is especially true for those following a more intense training program. So, for a 210 pound lifter that wants to get to 225, you will need 225 pounds x 1.5 g/pound = 337.5 g of protein per day. This is calculated based on your goal weight, not your current weight. Rule #2: Eat frequently Lately there are some experts who claim that eating more infrequently, such as waiting five or six hours to your next meal, may be better than eating every two to three hours. This is all based on the fact that when you wait longer between meals, it spikes protein synthesis higher. That's fine and dandy, but when you go longer between meals, you also increase muscle breakdown. And that may actually be the more critical factor in muscle growth. Sure, muscle protein synthesis is very important, but if it's just playing catch up after 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 >>

Two Hormones That Impact Fat Loss And Muscle Growth

Two Hormones That Impact Fat Loss And Muscle Growth

Sadly, health/fitness subculture seems to give both cortisol and insulin a bad rap. Truth is, these two hormones are absolutely necessary for improving body composition. Insulin and cortisol are arguably the two most demonized hormones in health/fitness subculture; it’s unfortunate that so few people actually understand how important they are for improving muscle growth and fat loss. OVERVIEW OF INSULIN Insulin is a peptide hormone secreted in the pancreas of humans in response to elevations in blood sugar levels (e.g. after carbohydrates are ingested). As insulin increases, glucose- transport proteins (GLUTs) are upregulated in cells and allow for the absorption/passage of carbs from the blood, thus lowering blood sugar levels. In this sense, insulin is a “ storage ” hormone. Unfortunately, modern-day eating habits have caused a dramatic increase in type-2/insulin-resistant diabetes, and insulin finds itself being castigated as the nemesis of human physiology as we know it. But what people seem to look right over is th at insulin is one of the most potent anabolic hormones we produce.1 Basically, if your goal is to build a lean, muscular physique then you’ ll be well served to let insulin do its thing and help your body build muscle when the time is right rather than trying to avoid it all costs like so many anti-carb zealots suggest. OVERVIEW OF CORTISOL Cortisol is one of several glucocorticoids produced in humans that is secreted primarily in response to stress (thus it is referred to as a stress hormone). It should be noted that stress isn’t always a negative thing (negative stress is more properl y referred to as distress). Glucocorticoids are a class of steroid hormones produced in the adrenal glands that regulate metabolism, development, immune functio 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 >>

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 >>

Insulin, Glucagon, Glucose, Fat And Muscle: Understanding How These Elements Interact Can Help You Build Muscle And Burn Fat

Insulin, Glucagon, Glucose, Fat And Muscle: Understanding How These Elements Interact Can Help You Build Muscle And Burn Fat

One thing about weight training and building muscle that clouds the entire process is the fact that you can train, eat and supplement completely wrong and still make gains. The bad thing with this is that it usually reinforces bad training and nutrition methods. If you train wrong and make progress what will motivate you to optimize your training to achieve maximum progress? One of the primary objectives at AST Sports Science is to continually seek to optimize nutrition, supplementation, and training methods to achieve the greatest results in the least amount of time. We spend countless hours in the laboratory, in the research library, in the gym and in intense collaboration with the most progressive minds in sports science research. We don’t think in terms of “What can we sell next?”, we look into the science with foresight and develop products based on validated physiological effects. Effects that give you maximum results in the real world. Unlike most companies in this industry, we do not try to blow smoke up your ass with distorted muscle-building promises of miracle supplements. I think it’s ironic that the companies that invest absolutely nothing in research are the very companies that run the biggest scams. It’s a jungle out there. Actually, it’s more like a side-show. You can’t just arm yourself with knowledge, you have to arm yourself with the right knowledge. The education we provide at AST Sports Science is designed to help you gain this knowledge so you can maximize your results, make more intelligent decisions, and hopefully help prevent you from wasting not only your money on worthless supplements, but also help you from wasting time as well. Look, we all want the most gains in the shortest amount of time. We strive every day to make that pos 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 >>

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 >>

The Role Of Insulin In Bodybuilding

The Role Of Insulin In Bodybuilding

Not too long ago, insulin would only be brought up in a discussion if the theme was diabetes. This is because insulin is the hormone that transports glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, and diabetes consists of the loss of ability to control blood glucose levels. However, insulin is much more than a mere hormone that controls glucose. For starters, it is highly anabolic, which also means it is essential to build muscle tissue. Nonetheless, insulin has a bit of a dark side as well, since it can make us store more fat. Therefore, the challenge is to learn how to boost insulin secretion, to optimize the recovery from trainings and to boost the muscle growth process, while preventing it from making us store more fat at the same time. What is insulin? Insulin is a protein that is produced and secreted by the pancreas whenever we have carbohydrates, protein, or both (provided that the pancreas is working properly, that is). However, unlike proteins, that act as building blocks of the muscles, insulin is a functional protein, much like growth hormone. Just like all other proteins, insulin consists of a series of chained amino acids. However, the way this chain is lined up makes it act as a signaling mechanism, rather than as a building block. How does insulin work? Secreted by the pancreas, insulin goes into the bloodstream and is carried to several tissues, including the muscle tissue. Muscle fibres (or cells) are surrounded by insulin receptors, a little like a docking station. Once the insulin molecules get in contact with the receptor, it signals the muscle cells to open their “doors”, allowing glucose, amino acids, and creatine to penetrate the muscles. This process is one of the main reasons why insulin is so important in the muscle building process. Moreover Continue reading >>

Insulin Insight: The All-important Hormone Insulin Can Be Your Best Friend Or Worst Nightmare

Insulin Insight: The All-important Hormone Insulin Can Be Your Best Friend Or Worst Nightmare

What’s one of the most written and talked-about hormones in the body, yet one that utterly confuses the average person? Insulin. As the hormone that drives glucose into cells (including muscles), it used to be discussed only in regard to diabetes. But insulin is so much more than a mechanism for controlling glucose; because it’s highly anabolic, it’s critical for bodybuilders. Insulin Factor Yet insulin has a dark side, too: It increases the storage of bodyfat. Fact is, you need to spike insulin to grow but also blunt it to stay lean. It can all get a bit confusing, and it’s high time we set the record straight. Make sure you know all the facts about insulin specifically, how and when to use it and avoid it to build a lean, muscular physique. Our insider’s guide will give you all the must-know details. Getting To Know Insulin Insulin is actually a functional protein very similar to growth hormone. Like all other proteins, it’s a chain of amino acids, but the way insulin’s chains are folded makes it act as a signaling mechanism. Here’s how it works: When you eat carbs and/or protein, insulin is produced by and released from the pancreas, enters the bloodstream and travels to various tissues, including muscle. Muscle fibers (or cells) are lined with insulin receptors, which resemble a docking station. Once an insulin molecule “docks” onto the receptor, it signals the muscle cell to open “gates” that allow glucose, amino acids and creatine to enter the muscle. It also instigates biochemical reactions in the muscle that increase protein synthesis the building of muscle tissue from the amino acids that are entering the cells. But wait, there’s more: Insulin also reduces muscle breakdown, further promoting growth. So if insulin is so important for bu Continue reading >>

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