Optimize Your High Carb Meals
Insulin is the singular most anabolic hormone in the human body. Yes, that’s right, more than our old compadre testosterone, in a somewhat indirect way. Where testosterone has a litany of different functions in our body, insulin has one; regulating blood glucose. This one function is exceptionally important, and has the ability to change your life for better and for worse. This one function is incredibly complex, having an effect on the body in many different fashions.
Insulin is a hormone created in the pancreas that allows your body to effectively use glucose (sugar) from the foods you consume. Insulin has the ability to regulate blood sugar levels, keeping them from plummeting too low, or increasing too high and too quickly.
Insulin’s anabolic properties come in the way of transporting nutrients and amino acids to muscle tissue. If these nutrients are shuttled primarily into muscle cells the muscle grows. Insulin also stimulates mTOR and protein synthesis, a process necessary for growing new muscle tissue.
For insulin to be truly effective the body needs to use it efficiently and stay sensitive to its effects. When the body becomes insulin resistant it becomes burdened with attempting to use insulin in an effective manner, but essentially does not know how. The cells have an inability to absorb glucose, causing a number of concerns. This is actually what eventually leads to type II diabetes.
For bodybuilders and weightlifters, insulin resistance can put a pretty large damper on your ability to reach your goals. We typically tend to eat more than the average person, and as such we are becoming more and more insulin resistant. The more calories consumed, the more insulin is released causing a large amount of glucose to be stored as body fat. This inefficient use of glucose will not only make you fat, but will also prevent you from putting on additional muscle mass. Once insulin is present too frequently it downregulates the amount of insulin receptors.
The opposite of insulin resistance is insulin sensitivity, which is much more conducive to bodybuilding. Staying insulin sensitive will allow the body to secrete just the right amount of insulin and use glucose in the most effective way possible. Insulin sensitivity is the sensitivity the body has to insulin, and not necessarily just the amount of insulin. It’s an efficiency mechanism with more qualitative properties than quantitative. Meaning, you do not have to have a large amount of insulin release to be insulin sensitive.
How do we harness the power of insulin in a way that we can use it to our benefit?
Glucose disposal agents basically help your body more effectively use glucose. They are nutrient partitioning compounds, ensuring glucose arrives to muscle cells and not stored as fat. GDAs also work to keep blood sugars and insulin at stable levels. These products and ingredients work to act as insulin mimetics. When we consume carbs the body tends to secrete excess insulin, oversaturating the body in muscle and fat cells. GDAs help to ensure these sugars do not arrive there too quickly or oversaturate these cells.
Pharmaceutical prescription drugs exist that’s main function is to regulate glucose in this fashion. The problem with these drugs is that they are just that…drugs. Prescriptions such as metformin are shown to cause lactic acidophilus, kidney function issues, hepatotoxic to the liver, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and blood sugar crashes.
Redcon1 RPG is a much safer alternative to these harsh drugs. While being safer, it is also just as effective (if not more effective) than these prescriptions.
Berberine has been shown in many different studies to be more effective than metformin. Berberine is a natural ingredient extracted from a variety of different herbs. It has also been shown to lower cholesterol and can improve intestinal health. Berberine mimics insulin activity by increasing glucose uptake for a period of time after ingestion. It creates a hypoglycemic response making the use of glucose more effective without the need for excess insulin. This alone creates insulin sensitivity by reducing the need for extra insulin to be excreted by the pancreas.
Another effective glucose disposal agent is cinnamon, also working as an insulin mimetic. Cinnamon has the ability to convert glucose and sugars to be used within muscle cells. It increases glucose uptake into muscles, essentially ensuring that carbohydrates consumed are being used in the most effective fashion intramuscularly.
Gymnema sylvestre powder has the ability to reduce overall blood sugar levels, but can also help in sugar cravings. Taking this before a heavy carb meal will help lower blood sugar levels, leaving the body in an advantageous state to remain insulin sensitive.
Alpha lipoic acid has been used as an over the counter supplement for years to help “target” stubborn abdominal fat. While that might be an unsubstantiated or exaggerated claim, it has been shown to increased energy metabolism in a more systemic route. Much like cinnamon, alpha lipoic acid also helps to upregulate intake of glucose into muscle cells.
Banaba leaf extract is a very potent natural blood sugar modulator. In some studies it actually proved to be too effective in lowering blood sugar, essentially causing a hypoglycemic effect. RPG has a very low but effective dose of this extract at only 60 mg per serving.
Bitter melon powder is another very effective glucose disposal agent. Effective in that, it also has been shown to create lipolysis, or fat burning. It also has positive effects on the liver and helps to regenerate new cells.
Insulin sensitivity is extremely important in achieving your physique goals, as well as your health goals. Maximize the amount of muscle gained, while minimizing fat gain by taking a proactive approach. If you are in a caloric surplus this is great way to ensure you are making the most out of your excess calories and carbs. During a dieting phase this can also be effective if taken during a cheat or refeed meal.
Harness the power of the most anabolic hormone in your body, while reducing the negatives associated with it, and you will make progress like never before.