Insulin could potentially be the most important thing to understand as a person who wants to look good and perform better. Not keeping insulin on your side will undoubtedly delay the results you’re working hard to achieve. Lets first define what insulin is and where it comes from.
Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas in response to eating food. A high body fat percentage and a diet high in carbohydrates will result in high levels of insulin in the blood. If blood insulin levels are consistently high for a number of years, you could become insulin resistant which inevitably leads to Diabetes.
Folks who generally have a high carbohydrate diet and do not exercise often will become insulin resistant like I mentioned above. On the contrary, people who have a high protein and low carbohydrate diet will in fact become sensitive to insulin making it much easier to build muscle and not fat. Keep in mind as well that after a workout, muscle cells are extra sensitive to insulin, making it a prime time for protein synthesis and recovery.
Other aspects of your life where you can increase insulin sensitivity are in your diet. A high protein and low carbohydrate diet that is loaded in fiber can increase sensitivity, while a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates can actually decrease sensitivity.
Insulin also increases the following things in your body:
-Amino Acid Transport
-Glucose Uptake (energy uptake)
-Muscle Glycogen Storage (energy storage)
Insulin will also play a role in decreasing the rate at which protein is broken down, and decreases the amount of cortisol released.
This is information that provides you with a working knowledge on how to achieve your goals if you have been having trouble. Keeping insulin on your side by consuming low glycemic carbohydrates like oatmeal, brown rice, fruit, veggies, and beans will all ensure you stay insulin sensitive.
Ivy., J., Portman., R. The Future of Sports Nutrition: Nutrient Timing. 2004. pgs 26-30.