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Insulin and Bodybuilding

Insulin and Bodybuilding – Isn’t Insulin a drug to treat Diabetics?


Insulin and Bodybuilding

Before I started hitting the gym and reading up on how to put on muscle I thought that Insulin was used to treat high blood sugar levels in diabetics, little did I know about how it’s affects work wonders for muscle growth. In every healthy human insulin is produced in the pancreas, and it is produced on demand in order to regulate blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar causes dehydration and loss of nutrients through urine. If all your energy is in your blood you will feel weak, lose weight and will have varied water retention throughout different parts of your body. All of these things are signs of being diabetic and obviously things to look out for.

Insulin combats high blood sugar by channeling the sugars into the muscle where they can be used for energy and growth. This is why arguably post workout the most important nutrient to consume is carbohydrates. This is true for if you are bulking up or cutting up. After exercise your muscles will be depleted of energy supplies and your entire body will be in a catabolic state. ‘Spiking’ your bloody sugar and hence your insulin levels will cause your body to change back into an anabolic state and start growing again.

If you don’t consume the right nutrients post workout you will be damaging your muscles too much causing detrimental growth effects. Insulin is produced in response to carbohydrate, and both kinds simple and complex. Only recently have we begun processing our food and making chocolate bars that have 100’s of grams of simple sugars in them. These quantities of carbohydrate cause huge insulin spikes which themselves can be dangerous and cause type II diabetes, which is when muscles don’t allow insulin into them.

For thousands of years a huge insulin spike would mean a hell of a lot of food was being consumed and therefore muscles and fat cells could store and process it. This is fine as anabolism would be taking place, however this doesnt occur when you eat for say chocolate you get a surge in insulin but then you have no useable nutrients.

Insulin and Bodybuilding – How to eat right to stimulate the growth

As you can see insulin is very important for putting on muscle and keeping you body in an anabolic state and explains more about the role of carbohydrate in bulking. Consuming complex and some simple carbs pre and post workout is vital. The most quickly digested carbohydrates are those in liquid forms, such as the waxy maize shakes (Example at the end of the post).

If you take other post and pre workout supplements, your insulin levels will enhance their affects. For example taking creatine pre workout, you want to creatine to get loaded into your muscles as fast a possible. Insulin will also help channel substances such as creatine into the muscles.

Check out this link to see more on the effects of Insulin and Bodybuilding.


  1. Hi

    I was wondering if what was said in this post is true for people who already have diabeties (like me), can I use this to my advantage for bulking up if I already need it for my food?



    • Hi Sam, I’m afraid i’m not qualified to answer your question. Talk to your doctor, from speculation I think it won’t be a massive advantage as the insulin you take will simply reduce BS levels to normal, but best to just get some advice from a doctor.

      Thanks for stopping by, Will.

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