View Full Version : Insulin

12-23-2010, 08:08 PM

Insulin is one of the most powerful anabolic agents in the world. Used properly, it can add weight to you more quickly than any other compound at our disposal.

Used improperly, insulin will kill you.

Before I delve too deeply into explaining this compound, I feel that it´s important to stress that last part: Screw up with this stuff, and you die. You will go into a coma, and die. And I´m talking about simply taking too much of this stuff once.


This drug needs to be treated with caution. If you aren´t willing to read as much as possible on insulin before using it, then you aren´t ready to use it at all.

So first, let´s talk about the insulin that´s floating around in your body right now, and what it does; then we´ll talk about how adding exogenous insulin (insulin from outside your body) could possibly help you.

Insulin is a protein secreted by the pancreas which acts on the liver to stimulate the formation of glycogen from glucose and to inhibit the conversion of non-carbohydrates into glucose. Insulin also promotes facilitated diffusion of glucose through cells with insulin receptors, and of course this means muscle tissue (1). As you may expect, very high concentrations of insulin have been soundly result in markedly stimulated muscle protein synthesis (2)(3)(4)(9). It does this mainly at the translational level by enhancing peptide chain initiation (11). This property and it´s consequent results are probably the things which makes it most interesting to bodybuilders and athletes. This is because those factors combine to make ingested protein more efficient by promoting the transport of amino acids into muscle cells. Ergo, we can clearly say that insulin is undoubtedly anabolic in muscle tissue. It also has an anabolic effect in bone, and thereby increases bone density as well (8). Another mechanism by which insulin is anabolic is via increasing your body´s IGF (Insulin-like Growth Factor) levels (6). IGF is an extremely anabolic hormone.

Another unexpected aspect of insulin use is its ability to increase both LH (Leutenizing Hormone) and FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), both of which in turn stimulate testosterone production. What I´m getting at here is that insulin stimulates gonadotropin secretion, meaning that it´s use may actually provide an anabolic effect through increasing your HPTA´s ability to stimulate the production of testosterone (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular-Axis)(11) This effect is often manifested as virilization (development of male sexual characteristics) in women. Insulin also increases the binding ability of anabolic steroids to the androgen receptors (14),which would clearly suggest strongly the possibility of a synergistic effect of insulin when combined with steroids. Most people also think that insulin has some anabolic synergy when combined with growth hormone, and certainly there is a lot of anecdotal evidence for this as well. In addition to anecdotal research, it´s important to note that Insulin is actually so anabolic that some researchers have speculated that Growth Hormone´s (GH) ability to stimulate Protein Synthesis may actually be,in part, due to GH´s ability to increase insulin sensitivity (12). Certainly the complex relationship between insulin, IGF, and GH is very synergistic and all interrelated to each other´s actions (13) (15) (16) (17). Using all three of them plus anabolic steroids and a fat-burner is the most potent muscle-building & fat -burning cycle possible.

Of course, when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Unfortunately, the bad news is that insulin can easily stimulate adipose (fat) storage. Generally, though, most bodybuilders take insulin with a fat burner or 2 (Thyroid meds are the most popular choice), as well as anabolic steroids and sometimes even GH and IGF, for reasons previously explained. All of this adds up to decreasing the chance that fat is stored, and greatly increases the amount of muscle that will be gained.

Anyway, as you probably guessed, endogenous insulin (the stuff naturally found in your body) operates on feedback from within your body.

When your glucose levels get high, which is what happens when you eat a sugary snack, insulin is then released from your beta cells. When glucose is low, insulin is, of course, low.

In fact, simply adding liquid glucose to a liquid amino-acid meal (thereby raising insulin levels) will increase the absorption of the ingested amino acids by roughly 50%!(7) Now, think about this: If a natural insulin response to ingested glucose can give you 50% better absorption of protein, think about how much protein absorption injecting it will give you..

So, now that we have some kind of understanding as to what endogenous insulin does, lets try to figure out exactly what exogenous insulin can do (that´s the kind you get from a bottle..). Medically, of course, insulin is used to treat diabetes...thus becoming diabetic is a real risk with improper insulin usage.

First, I´m going to give you some clinical examples of how insulin has been used as an anti-catabolic agent. In the first study I read, insulin levels were increased 15-fold in infants suffering extreme catabolism. This level of insulin administration produced a 32% reduction in protein breakdown (4). In the second study I read exogenous insulin impeded muscle protein loss in burn victims (5). It´s important to note that you MUST have enough amino acids (protein) in your body for insulin to exert an anabolic effect. If there are not enough amino acids floating around in your body from your last few meals, insulin will not be anabolic at all. On the other hand, If amino acid concentrations are maintained at normal or high levels as they would be in a typical athlete or bodybuilder´s diet, a net protein deposition in muscle will occur (more protein deposited in your muscle = more muscle gained). This effect of insulin depositing protein in your muscles is primarily because of an actual stimulation of protein synthesis and also owing to an inhibition of protein breakdown (10). The lesson here is that even with insulin, diet is the key to it all. You need to have enough protein in order to build muscle, regardless of how much insulin you take.

Let´s quantify this a bit. What about the anabolic and anti-catabolic properties of insulin? Can we put some solid numbers on any of this?


From the following chat, you can see that insulin puts your protein balance into a much more beneficial state, and concomitantly lowers protein degradation by inhibition of the lysosomal pathway (this is it´s anti-catabolic effect) (11) and raises protein synthesis (this is it´s anabolic effect).

Protein kinetics. Protein balance, degradation, and synthesis rates are shown (measured in nmol phenylalanine " min 1 " 100 ml 1). Values represent means ± SE for the basal (open bars) and last 30 min of the insulin infusion (filled bars) periods with the 3 different rates of amino acid infusion (in ml " min 1 " kg 1) (* P < 0.05 and ** P < 0.01 for basal vs. infusion period).(5)

What this chart tells me is that insulin can efficiently utilize a great deal of protein above and beyond what your body could normally utilize, and that if you should decide to use insulin, you should be taking in at least 2.2g/kg of bodyweight, and preferably 3-4.5g/kg of bodyweight.

So now we know how & why insulin works, and how well it works. Ok, lets figure out how to use it. I´ll give you two basic ideas on how to safely use insulin, as well as a third "hybrid idea," and a dirty little trick on how to use insulin with a cyclic ketogenic diet, to get into ketosis earlier.

Whichever way you decide to use, remember, insulin has the ability to stimulate fat storage, so you want to make sure you are using anabolic steroids with it, as they will preferentially drive protein and nutrients towards being used for the accumulation of lean body mass over adipose tissue (fat). Personally, I also like to use a thyroid medication (Synthroid) to further insure none of my injectable insulin is going to put any fat on me. If you´ve been paying attention up until now, I´m sure I don´t have to tell you that GH and IGF are also very potent (and expensive) additions to any stack containing insulin. If all of that didn´t whet your appetite, then consider the fact that insulin, GH, and IGF are undetectable on drug tests! Currently, there´s speculative ways to test for them, but nothing consistent has been established. I suspect that many a top level "natural" bodybuilder has been helped out by insulin, GH, and IGF.

So now that we know something about insulin, let´s see what kind is most appropriate for bodybuilding or athletic purposes, as there are several types of insulin available, and choosing the correct type is of utmost importance. Basically there are 5 different types of insulin we´ll look at, and from them, we´ll pick the type which will best suit our purposes of building muscle:

Humalog and Humulin Insulin

Humalog (Insulin lispro inj.) is the fastest acting insulin available
Humulin-R (Regular Insulin) has a short duration of effect
Humulin-N (Insulin Isophane) is intermediate length insulin
Humulin-U(Medium Zinc Suspension) is another intermediate length insulin
Humulin-U, utalente (Prolonged Zinc Suspension) is Long acting insulin
(*there are also blends available of two or more of these types of insulin, in varying ratios of Long:Short or anything in-between)
Of these 6 possible choices, the first would appear to be the best and safest, but that particular type of insulin is (unfortunately) only available with a prescription, and getting it through a typical steroid source (which usually means through the mail) is not advisable, since you can not be sure it has been properly stored and refrigerated throughout the shipping and handling process. Needless to say, attempting to forge a prescription for this stuff is an exceptionally poor idea.

Our next best choice for an injectable insulin is Humulin-R, so that´s what we´re going to be using. Humulin R is available without a prescription, from any pharmacy. This stuff has a fairly rapid onset and peak, and ergo is much easier to deal with than the other forms of insulin available, some last very long, or have varying peaks and spikes throughout their duration, and as such are just too difficult to monitor and control.

The first and most obvious way to utilize insulin for it´s anabolic effect is to take a little bit with each meal, possibly 1-2iu´s up to 5-6x a day (insulin is measured in international units, not mgs as is common with anabolic steroids). This way you´d be getting the greatest benefit of insulin possible with each meal and the least risk of using too much and going into shock. Of course some bodybuilders have reported using up to 20-40iu/day, but I wouldn´t recommend this unless you are very experienced, and have your diet in perfect order. You´ll want to take in a tiny bit of essential fats, a decent amount of mixed carbs (i.e. carbs of varying glycemic indexes), and at least 40g of protein with each meal, when using this method of insulin use. And clearly, you´ll want to work up to this amount of insulin use, perhaps adding 1iu per day until you reach a level you are comfortable with. This holds true for either method of insulin use I´m presenting.

The second way you can use it is to take 1iu of insulin with your post workout meal, eventually working up to 1iu/10kgs of bodyweight. When using this method, you´ll want a post workout shake consisting of roughly 100-200g of mixed carbs and 40-50 grams of protein... nd don´t forget a small amount of essential fats with your shake. I have used insulin this way, along with anabolic steroids and a thyroid med, and have found it to enhance the gains from my cycle by around 15-20% as compared with a similar cycle which did not include insulin.

The final method is to use the first method as well as the second. SO you´d be taking in 1-2ius with each regular meal and up to 1iu/10kgs of bodyweight with your post workout meal. This would ensure maximum efficiency from each bite of food you eat, but this way is also the most dangerous, and you need to monitor your blood sugar. If you get tired after a shot you´ll need to get some mixed carbs into you quickly (Gatoraid and a few Granola bars and/or candy bars), it´s a good idea to carry those kinds of things around with you as insurance that your blood sugar doesn´t go too low. You also don´t want to take this stuff at night before bed, because you won´t know if your blood sugar is going low and that´s making you drowsy (meaning you could be facing hypoglycemia, and about to go into a coma) or you are just tired because it´s your normal bedtime.

And as for that dirty little trick I was telling you about...a small amount of insulin may be taken when starting a cyclic ketogenic diet, with your first meal of the day you begin. This meal would be fats and proteins, without carbs, and only 2-4iu of insulin would be taken. The following meal, you can use half the dose of insulin as you did at your first meal. The result would be that you could be in ketosis before the end of that first day, where as usually it would take 2 or even up to 3 days to accomplish this. Using insulin in this manner is very dangerous, and was even called "Death Wish Dieting" by Dan Duchaine..

Whichever method you use, remember to keep your insulin refrigerated, as Insulin will degrade very quickly outside of a refrigerated environment. Don´t leave this stuff out of the fridge too long, either.

Insulin Syringes

The other thing you don´t want to do is use regular syringes to inject insulin. You NEED insulin pins to accurately dose this stuff, remember, too much can be deadly, and the syringes you would use to inject steroids are too big to measure out units of insulin with. Insulin is given via a subcutaneous injection (below the skin but above the muscle), and regular needles are just too big to do that.

Insulin (or at least Humulin-R) is currently not a controlled substance, and you should be able to buy it at your local drug store pretty cheaply: a 10cc multi-use vial dosed at 100iu/cc will cost you around $50.


Human Anatomy and Physiology, 6th Edition, John W. Hole
hyperinsulinemia unmasks insulin´s effect to stimulate protein synthesis in human forearm.Am. J. Physiol. 274 (Endocrinol. Metab. 37): E1067-E1074, 1999
Impaired anabolic response of muscle protein synthesis is associated with S6K1 dysregulation in elderly humans. FASEB J. 2004 Oct;18(13):1586-7. Epub 2004 Aug 19.
Intravenous insulin decreases protein breakdown in infants on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.J Pediatr Surg. 2004 Jun;39(6):839-44; discussion 839-44.
Extremity hyperinsulinemia stimulates muscle protein synthesis in severely injured patients Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Apr;286(4):E529-34. Epub 2003 Dec 9.
Insulin: the other anabolic hormone of puberty. Acta Paediatr Suppl. 1999 Dec;88(433):84-7. Review.
Contribution of amino acids and insulin to protein anabolism during meal absorption. Diabetes. 1996 Sep;45(9):1245-52.
Anabolic effects of insulin on bone suggest a role for chromium picolinate in preservation of bone density.Med Hypotheses. 1995 Sep;45(3):241-6. Review.
Physiologic hyperinsulinemia stimulates protein synthesis and enhances transport of selected amino acids in human skeletal muscle. J Clin Invest. 1995 Feb;95(2):811-9.
Insulin action on protein metabolism.Baillieres Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993 Oct;7(4):989-1005. Review.
Effects of chronic hyperandrogenism and/or administered central nervous system insulin on ovarian manifestation and gonadotropin and steroid secretion. Fertil Steril. 2005 Apr;83 Suppl 4:1319-26.
Metabolic effects of growth hormone in humans. Metabolism. 1995 Oct;44(10 Suppl 4):33-6.
Clinical uses of insulin-like growth factor I. Ann Intern Med. 1994 Apr 1;120(7):593-601.
Binding of methyltrienolone to androgen receptors in human skin fibroblasts is enhanced by insulin.J Androl. 1992 May-Jun;13(3):242-8.
Are the metabolic effects of GH and IGF-I separable?Growth Horm IGF Res. 2005 Feb;15(1):19-27
IGF-1 and insulin as growth hormones.Novartis Found Symp. 2004;262:56-77; discussion 77-83, 265-8. Review
Divergent effect of endogenous and exogenous sex steroids on the insulin-like growth factor I response to growth hormone in short normal adolescents.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Dec;89(12):6185-92

12-23-2010, 08:09 PM
Physiologic hyperinsulinemia stimulates protein synthesis and enhances transport of selected amino acids in human skeletal muscle.

Biolo G (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Biolo%20G%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), Declan Fleming RY (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Declan%20Fleming%20RY%22%5BAuthor%5 D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), Wolfe RR (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Wolfe%20RR%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract).
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

We have investigated the mechanisms of the anabolic effect of insulin on muscle protein metabolism in healthy volunteers, using stable isotopic tracers of amino acids. Calculations of muscle protein synthesis, breakdown, and amino acid transport were based on data obtained with the leg arteriovenous catheterization and muscle biopsy. Insulin was infused (0.15 mU/min per 100 ml leg) into the femoral artery to increase femoral venous insulin concentration (from 10 +/- 2 to 77 +/- 9 microU/ml) with minimal systemic perturbations. Tissue concentrations of free essential amino acids decreased (P < 0.05) after insulin. The fractional synthesis rate of muscle protein (precursor-product approach) increased (P < 0.01) after insulin from 0.0401 +/- 0.0072 to 0.0677 +/- 0.0101%/h. Consistent with this observation, rates of utilization for protein synthesis of intracellular phenylalanine and lysine (arteriovenous balance approach) also increased from 40 +/- 8 to 59 +/- 8 (P < 0.05) and from 219 +/- 21 to 298 +/- 37 (P < 0.08) nmol/min per 100 ml leg, respectively. Release from protein breakdown of phenylalanine, leucine, and lysine was not significantly modified by insulin. Local hyperinsulinemia increased (P < 0.05) the rates of inward transport of leucine, lysine, and alanine, from 164 +/- 22 to 200 +/- 25, from 126 +/- 11 to 221 +/- 30, and from 403 +/- 64 to 595 +/- 106 nmol/min per 100 ml leg, respectively. Transport of phenylalanine did not change significantly. We conclude that insulin promoted muscle anabolism, primarily by stimulating protein synthesis independently of any effect on transmembrane transport.

PMID: 7860765 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

12-23-2010, 08:09 PM
Insulin action on protein metabolism.

Biolo G (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Biolo%20G%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), Wolfe RR (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Wolfe%20RR%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract).
Shriners Burns Institute, Galveston, TX 77550.

On the basis of the preceding observations, the following sequence of events can be postulated during insulin deficiency or excess. The main feature of insulin deficiency is the disruption of protein balance in muscle that rapidly leads to emaciation and wasting. Muscle protein degradation is greatly enhanced while increased amino acid availability maintains protein synthesis. In splanchnic tissues, both degradation and synthesis are increased but with an altered pattern, so that the levels of some proteins are increased (e.g. proteins of the acute-phase response), while those of others are decreased (e.g. albumin). As a result, intracellular protein content in liver is maintained but secretion of plasma proteins is abnormal. In healthy subjects, an acute increase in insulin concentration, as occurs after a meal, leads to a rapid suppression of protein breakdown in the splanchnic area. If hyperinsulinaemia is not supported by an exogenous amino acid supply, as might occur during a protein-free meal or experimentally during euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamping, the plasma as well as muscle free amino acid concentration drops, owing to reduced splanchnic release. With reduced amino acid availability, insulin is not anabolic in muscle. If amino acid concentrations are maintained at normal or high levels, e.g. following a mixed meal, a net protein deposition in muscle may occur, primarily because of a stimulation of synthesis and possibly owing to inhibition of breakdown.

PMID: 8304920 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

12-23-2010, 08:10 PM
Insulin As A Physique Enhancer:

Friend Or Foe?

By: Dan Gwartney, MD

Time changes perspective. Take for example the persons of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura. Mention the two together and many people would assume the conversation is in regard to politics, as both have ascended to be prominent governors. It is possible that some might think the topic is action movies, as both have enjoyed success as actors; the two appeared together in several movies: ??Predator? (1987), ??The Running Man? (1987) and ??Batman & Robin? (1997). It would surprise many people to hear the two referred to as former athletes, as Schwarzenegger won his first Mr. Olympia title in 1970 and Ventura??s wrestling career ended in the mid-1980s. This shouldn??t be such a surprise, given that it has been stated that fewer people know George Foreman as the greatest heavyweight fighter of his time, perhaps all time, than recognize him as the spokesman for the George Foreman Grill.

Insulin is a hormone that has passed through as many careers as the Austrian Oak. First discovered in 1921, insulin became an immediate miracle drug, as it offered a cure to a prevalent disease (type 1 diabetes mellitus) that had previously been a death sentence.1 Initially, insulin was sourced by extracting the protein from the pancreas of cattle or pigs. Unfortunately, the extraction process was not pure, carrying several other proteins. These impurities and slight molecular differences between animal and human insulin caused some patients to rapidly clear the drug, with some even developing allergic reactions. Fortunately, recombinant technology was developed, which allows biotechnology companies to create pure insulin products that are identical to human insulin.2

The Evils Of Insulin
Fast-forward to the 1990s?innovative ideas in dieting are spearheaded by Barry Sears (Zone Diet) and Dr. Robert Atkins (Atkins Diet). Diabetes has become a mundane disease, more thought of as a consequence of a lifestyle of sloth and gluttony as the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent) eclipses that of type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent). The epidemic facing the American public and threatening to collapse the health care system was, and continues to be, obesity. Suddenly, a full-frontal assault was led against the evils of insulin and high-glycemic carbohydrates. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, the Metabolic Syndrome, cardiovascular disease, etc.?? all were suddenly the wages of the sin that is hyperinsulinemia.3
Yet, rumblings were being heard from the athletic realm that insulin was being used by elite athletes. Insulin use by track athletes was an unspoken secret during the 1980s; reports of insulin use by bodybuilders and power athletes appeared in medical journals during the early to mid-1990s.4-8 By the late 1990s and early in the 2000s, it was becoming increasingly known that insulin was being used by many athletes and bodybuilders to improve training and increase muscle mass. Yet, this was taking place during the glory days of the low-carbohydrate diets, which clearly explained that high insulin levels led to increased body fat and poor health. The third ??career? of insulin as a physique and performance enhancer was lost in the lynch-mob mentality of the public to hang all their image and health woes on insulin. Note there have also been some more colorful ??careers? for insulin as a murder/suicide weapon and sexual experience enhancer.9 These misuses of the drug have led to numerous cases of brain damage, organ failure and even death.

Physique Enhancer
How is it possible that insulin is a physique or performance enhancer? Much of the confusion lies in trying to apply the physiologic understanding of insulin in situations where insulin is used as a pharmacologic agent. In the absence of using exogenous insulin (injected or other forms of pharmaceutical insulin) and in a healthy person, the hormone acts to regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels and inhibit (reduce) the use of non-sugar molecules to generate cellular energy.8 All cells of the body function through the continuous generation of ATP, the energy molecule. ATP is much like the electricity that runs a computer; if the electricity is shut down, the computer shuts down. The easiest way for cells to generate ATP is to ??burn? glucose. This sugar comes from the circulating blood that surrounds the cells and from stores of sugar inside the cell, called glycogen. In normal circumstances, the vast majority of a healthy person??s ATP is produced from sugar. However, when blood sugar levels drop, the stores of sugar are depleted (through exercise or starvation), or the rate of ATP needed to meet metabolic demand is sharply increased (such as in high-intensity exercise), other sources are used to generate ATP. These sources come from certain amino acids and fatty acids. Note the time that the use of amino acids and fatty acids occurs is when insulin levels would be low.

In the opposite situation, when there is a high blood sugar concentration, insulin helps shuttle sugar into the cell, but more importantly acts to shut down the use of amino acids or fatty acids for ATP production.10,11 If a healthy person balances his/her caloric intake with metabolic demand, the body functions in a state of good health. Unfortunately, the American society has reached a global state of caloric imbalance and the continued excess of consumption with a near-absence of exercise or labor has led to an epidemic of pre-diabetes, the Metabolic Syndrome and similar maladies.3

However, in the athlete, insulin holds possibilities that make it an attractive drug to many athletes. Before another word is spoken though, it is vital that anyone using this drug for medical or enhancement purposes realizes that insulin is so powerful that if it is overdosed, coma can quickly set in before help can be called and death is a very real possibility.9-12 Overdosing with insulin can happen quite easily, as several factors can alter the body??s response to the drug; some forms of insulin are fast-acting, others release slowly, starting blood sugar or food availability can vary, etc. Using insulin outside the direction of a physician, in the absence of immediate aid and without monitoring for signs or symptoms of hypoglycemia is extremely dangerous and not advised. This has been clearly documented in innumerable patient experiences. More relevantly to readers of this publication, cases of hypoglycemic shock in bodybuilders have been reported in the medical literature.4-8 One case reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine exemplifies the presentation and treatment of a 31-year-old bodybuilder who entered into a coma after using a fast-acting insulin rather than his routine insulin.13 This previously healthly man was fortunate to be discovered at home in time to be treated successfully and was discharged with no long-term effects. Had he not been discovered in a timely manner, he certainly could have suffered long-term disability or even died. The article estimated 10 percent of bodybuilders use insulin.
Nonetheless, many people misuse insulin in the hopes of gaining an edge. In performance athletes, recovery is a major issue that determines training intensity over the long-term. One factor that can limit later physical performance, particularly in events or conditions that require high-intensity or long-duration effort daily, is glycogen replenishment. Glycogen is the amount of stored carbohydrate present in muscle or the liver. Along with circulating glucose, this is the most important source of immediate energy, used in explosive events such as sprinting. Track athletes train compulsively and in order to excel at the highest levels of competition, push themselves to the point of overreaching and overtraining. At the end of a training session, muscle glycogen stores are fairly depleted and there is a short post-exercise window during which the exercised muscle may rapidly take up sugar and essential amino acids.14,15 Much of the increased absorption is not dependent upon insulin, as other exercise-related factors also increase the glucose uptake into muscle, such as interleukin 6.16 However, ingesting a high-glycemic carbohydrate, along with a rapidly assimilated source of branched-chain amino acids and related nutrients (i.e., creatine) immediately post-exercise can result in a greater increase in lean mass and a quicker replenishment of glycogen.17 Even greater benefits may be obtained by consuming the amino acids or protein pre-exercise.18

Exercise physiologists have closely examined the post-exercise uptake period and find that a delay over three hours may result in losing much of the exercise-induced benefit. However, it has been found that a sharp increase in insulin, induced by an excessively high sugar load or administering insulin as a drug, increases the post-exercise influx to an even greater degree, but it is vital to have ample amino acids available in the bloodstream.19,20 This is the mechanism manipulated by athletes and their trainers to improve recovery and prevent overreaching. As insulin misuse is currently undetectable by drug-testing labs, many athletes use the drug despite it being on the banned substance list for most professional and amateur organizations. However, recent advances suggest that a test for illicit insulin use may be developed in the near future.21

Bodybuilders And Insulin
Bodybuilders also take advantage of the insulin-supplemented increase in post-exercise nutrient uptake. However, as bodybuilding is not a drug-tested sport at the elite level, insulin??s anabolic effects are desired for longer durations than the short post-exercise period. Insulin can also increase net protein accretion (lean mass gain) in muscle during rest.22 Further, many bodybuilders who use insulin include the drug as just one of a plethora of drugs used to maximize muscle hypertrophy while fighting fat gain, particularly growth hormone.7,8,13,23 In order to maximize the benefits of insulin, the drug is used daily or on training days only for weeks-to-months at a time.23 However, one aspect of increased insulin activity is an increase in stored fat, as insulin inhibits the breakdown and release of stored fat and promotes the enzymes the pulls fat into the fat cell to create more fat. To combat this, concurrent use of growth hormone, thyroid hormone and beta-agonists is common. Further, as insulin is used in the most aggressive bulking cycles or to preserve fat during precontest dieting, the concurrent use of anabolic steroids is nearly universal.

Obviously, insulin would not be used by athletes or bodybuilders if it were not effective. Despite the continued head-in-the-sand approach taken by sports organizations who are struggling to curtail insulin??s use while stating there is no evidence of it improving performance, insulin has become a ??must-use? drug in the mentality of elite competitors. Certain bodybuilders have achieved the status of being ??insulin gurus? and this drug is one of the reasons the builds and mass of elite bodybuilders have changed so dramatically from the golden era of Arnold. Clearly, in the hands of these individuals, insulin use appears to promote muscle gain without leading to an increase in subcutaneous fat. Unfortunately, recreational bodybuilders will be attracted to insulin, having learned of its widespread use among the elite. In this group, it is highly unlikely that insulin will provide the same degree of benefit for risk involved. Few recreational bodybuilders have access to the same level of instruction and supervision as their elite counterparts; ancillary drug use is more limited; dietary practices are less strict; motivation and support is relatively lacking; and a lower training intensity are among the reasons the casual user will not see the gains in mass noted among professionals. Instead, recreational bodybuilders run the risk of actually increasing fat accretion by maintaining insulin levels above physiologic demand.
Pre-diabetics and type 2 diabetics tend to have high levels of insulin, as compared to people with healthy blood sugar control.8 This is associated with a higher lean mass, which may surprise many people, but it is also associated with a much higher fat mass. In the absence of extreme metabolic demand, whether it be due to rigorous and extended training or drug-induced stimulation of fat burning, exogenous insulin may serve only to increase whole-body anabolism rather than the more specific lean mass gains. Whole-body anabolism means that fat stores will increase similarly or at a greater rate than lean mass, resulting in a less-desirable physique, not to mention the risks to health.

Does insulin hold a place in physique or performance enhancement? At the highest levels of training, it has provided increases in mass or quicker recovery rates. However, the cost can be high?? not financially, as this drug is relatively cheap?? but in terms of health. The number of hospital admissions due to insulin misuse are not accurately reflected in the literature, as the FDA does not consider insulin to be a drug of abuse. However, many emergency room physicians in cities with a bodybuilding community will have experienced calls or admissions of hypoglycemic shock or coma induced by insulin misuse. The final message on insulin is that to derive its potential benefits requires one to be well-instructed, disciplined and willing to take great risks. Unfortunately, many people will take these significant risks, overestimating their level of understanding and suffer serious consequences. Insulin??s risks are not justified; brain damage or death are distinct possibilities with every injection.


1. Goldfine ID, Youngren JF. Contributions of the American Journal of Physiology to the discovery of insulin. Am J Physiol, 1998;274:E207-9.

2. Johnson IS. Human insulin from recombinant DNA technology. Science, 1983;219:632-7.

3. Fonseca VA. Early identification and treatment of insulin resistance: impact on subsequent prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Clin Cornerstone, 2007;8 Suppl 7:S7-18.

4. Reverter JL, Tural C, et al. Self-induced insulin hypoglycemia in a bodybuilder. Arch Intern Med, 1994;154:225-6.

5. Elkin SL, Brady S, et al. Bodybuilders find it easy to obtain insulin to help them in training. BMJ, 1997;314:1280.

6. Dawson RT, Harrison MW. Use of insulin as an anabolic agent. Br J Sports Med, 1997;31:259.

7. Rich JD, Dickinson BP, et al. Insulin use by bodybuilders. JAMA, 1998;279:1613.

8. Sonksen PH. Insulin, growth hormone and sport. J Endocrinology, 2001;170:13-25.

9. Marks V, Richmond C. Insulin Murders. Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd, London, 2007.

10. Brozinick JT Jr., Berkemeier BA, et al. "Actin"g on GLUT4: membrane & cytoskeletal components of insulin action. Curr Diabetes Rev, 2007;3:111-22.

11. Karlsson HK, Zierath JR. Insulin signaling and glucose transport in insulin resistant human skeletal muscle. Cell Biochem Biophys, 2007;48:103-13.

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12-24-2010, 08:52 AM
Insulin 101 for newbies by RR

This post is just a simple guide for first time insulin users to follow in a safe, and effective manner.

The type of insulin I'm talking about is Humalog

I urge you to invest in a glucometer. This will give you a close estimation of where your BG(Blood Glucose) levels are (Safe Zone 70-90,but independent upon each individual).You want to take in adequate amounts of carbs, but not too much. As the excess will be stored as fat. And yes, if you aren't careful, you can add quite a bit of excess body fat. As you'll see in my dosing example below, we drop carbs slightly as to not to acquire excess BF.

You need to know the signs of hypoglycemia:
The body's biochemical response to hypoglycemia usually starts when sugars are in the high/mid 60's. At this point, the liver releases its stores and the hormones such as glugagon, cortisol, growth hormone and epinephrine, all increase. In many patients, this process occurs without any clinical symptoms.
While there is some degree of variability among people, most will usually develop symptoms suggestive of hypoglycemia when blood glucose levels are lowered to the mid 50's. The first set of symptoms are called neuro-genic (or sympathetic) because they relate to the nervous system's response to hypoglycemia. People may experience any of the following;

* nervousness,
* sweating,
* intense hunger,
* trembling,
* weakness,
* palpitations, and
* often have trouble speaking
To educated yourself further here's a link http://www.medicinenet.com/hypoglycemia/article.htm (http://www.medicinenet.com/hypoglycemia/article.htm)

Never go to sleep while slin is active, nor take hot showers, sauna's, nor tan.

As you already might know. The basic rule is 10g waxy maize to 1 iu of Insulin. Now the trick is to get in tune with your body so to take advantage of the insulin spike, which allows nutrients to be shuttled to the muscle cells rapidly, doing so without taking in excess carbs which equates to body fat.

Below is a 30 day cycle(which is recommended) for Insulin. I don't use Insulin on off days from the gym. Some like to use Insulin on off days in the morning to fight off the catabolic state we're in upon awakening. I feel upon awakening in the morning a shake consisting of Whey/ Dextrose would be sufficient, or better yet, SOLID FOOD, to bring you out of this catabolic state from fasting over an 8 hour period while sleeping.

I'll use the 5 day training split as an example here. That will give you 20 days on? slin.

Day 1 : 5 iu slin/50g Dextrose

Day 2 : 5 iu slin/50g Dextrose

Day 3 : 5 iu slin/50g Dextrose

Congratulations!! You've survived thus far. I assume (hope) you've been monitoring your BG levels. You probably have noticed that you are in the higher range using 50g of Dextrose PWO. Now it's time to drop the carbs slightly. Don't fret. This should be more than ample amounts (of carbs) to get you through to your PWO meal.

Day 4 : 5 iu slin/40g Dextrose

Day 5 : 5 iu slin/40g Dextrose

At this point you should have a good idea of how you react with Insulin in terms of BG levels vs. carb intake .

Let's up the dose?

Day 6 : 6 iu slin/50g Dextrose

Day 7 : 6 iu slin/50g Dextrose

By this point in time you should be feeling good( ie; more confident),but still respectful to Insulin. Let's test the waters for 3 days to give you the feel of things. By that I mean we'll drop the carb intake slightly so you can find a comfortable ratio in regards to iu's vs. carbs per gram.

Day 8 : 6 iu slin/40g Dextrose

Day 9 : 6 iu slin/40g Dextrose

Day 10 : 6 iu slin/40g Dextrose

Now, the above ratios are safe and effective. You can stop right here and continue on for the next 10 days at the above doses/ratios. Or you can move forward slightly.

Day 11 : 7 iu slin/50g Dextrose

Day 12 : 7 iu slin/50g Dextrose

Day 13 : 7 iu slin/50g Dextrose

Day 14 : 7 iu slin/50g Dextrose

Day 15 : 7 iu slin/50g Dextrose

If you felt confident with the above protocol. You could experiment on days 14-15 and drop your Dextrose to 40g. If you do so, please monitor your BG levels every 15 minutes or so. And have glucose tabs, or another source of quick carbs handy (like orange juice) to stave off any possible signs of hypoglycemia. Don't panic should this happen, just drink a glass of orange juice, or similar, and in 10 minutes the symptoms will have subsided.

Ok, on to your final week.

Day 16 : 8 iu slin/60g Dextrose

Day 17 : 8 iu slin/60g Dextrose

Day 18 : 8 iu slin/60g Dextrose

Day 19 : 8 iu slin/60g Dextrose

Day 20 : 8 iu slin/60g Dextrose

Congratulations! You just completed your first cycle/experience with Insulin in a safe an effective manner. I stopped at 8 iu's, Being that is enough to get your feet wet with the drug. You can experiment later on. This was simply a guide.

One last thing. Guys ask Which way is better?? To take your Whey/ Dextrose in one shake, or Dextrose first, and whey 15 minutes later?

Bottom line is, it's just preference. But I do prefer to take my Dextrose first with creatine, BCAA, Luecine, then 15 minutes later have a whey isolate shake. 1.5 hrs later have your PWO meal.


06-04-2012, 04:29 PM
Great read !!! I've always wanted to try slin but scared but this defhelped can u become a diabetic from taking it??