Insulin Sensitivity Posted on 30 Mar 23:01 , 0 comments

I have insulin sensitive muscles. This allows me to eat whatever I want and look pretty much like this year round. Want to be like me? Keep reading:) I have insulin sensitive muscles. This allows me to eat whatever I want and look pretty much like this year round. Want to be like me? Keep reading:)


By Todd Lee M.D.



Gratuitous Rant

Insulin is a confusing hormone. It is the culprit behind Diabetes I and II and the entire country knows nothing accurate about it. This article is not about diabetes or its treatment, it's about things which work like insulin to help build muscle and not build fat. However, 99.999% of insulin research is done on diabetics. Because of this, the only data we have to work with is that collected from diabetics.

The truth is, research costs money and our culture finds it more important to find scientific ways to eat like shit and die slower than find ways to make humans better.  Because of this, the public supports the government paying for these experiments. If scientists can cure diabetes, then you can drink Frappuccinos and eat Jet's pizza morning, noon, and night and not die.  This is the new American dream and that's what our tax dollars pay for.


Diabetes is actually 3 completely unrelated diseases.

*Diabetes Insipidus: This has to do with urine and has nothing to do with blood sugar or insulin. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

*Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 - This is a congenital disease (one you’re born with). You have no beta cells in your pancreas so you produce no insulin.  You need insulin injections to deliver the carbohydrates from your blood to your muscles, brain, kidney, heart and unfortunately fat supplies. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT

The relative mortality of Type II diabetics is astounding! The relative mortality of Type II diabetics is astounding![/caption]

*Diabetes Type 2 - This is a polite way of saying end stage obesity. The person has eaten themselves to the brink of death. This is actually a huge epidemic. When I was growing up almost all cases of diabetes were Type 1. In only 20 years, America has eaten itself to impotence, blindness, heart disease and amputation all for nothing. Now, Type II diabetes makes up 95% of cases. It's such a huge financial burden to help these people that the government spends BILLIONS on diabetes every year. Losing 30 lbs of fat will cure many cases of diabetes. No doctors, no pills,  just discipline and self control. If you’re diabetic and you want to live, read and memorize this and do everything I say.

Insulin Sensitivity - Part 1

betterglut4Insulin is released from the pancreas after glucose from the blood stream is absorbed by the Glut2 transporters in the pancreas. Glut2 is much more sensitive than the transporter in muscle and fat, Glut4. This way the pancreas can respond to trace amounts of blood sugar without every bit of glucose being sucked up by the muscle and fat 100% of the time, your brain needs it more after all!

Insulin is released by the pancreas in an amount proportionate to the Glycemic Load: the Glycemic index multiplied by the number of carbohydrates consumed divided by 10.

For example 2 cups of rice is 88 g of carbohydrates, lets say jasmine rice is 110 glycemic index, then it has a 96.6 Glycemic load or GL. It’s as if you ate 96.6 g of carbs for purposes of insulin secretion. 2 apples is 30 g carbs and 25 glycemic index, so about 8.5 glycemic load or 8.5 impact carbs on insulin secretion. So 2 cups of rice causes 11 times more insulin to be released than 2 apples.

Why Does Insulin Matter?

Diabetes research is how this stuff was taught, so a lot of the information is contaminated. You see, we're bodybuilders, not type II diabetics. So our bodies and lifestyle are the polar opposite of theirs. I’m going to do my best to draw logical conclusions based on athlete physiology even though the data was collected in diseased subjects.

Remember how the 2 cups of rice was 96.6 g Glycemic Load but the 2 apples were 8.5? Well, that's a huge difference in released insulin. Muscle cells are sensitive to glucose at different times of day and they respond to the amount of insulin depending on their insulin sensitivity. Post workout and at night is when the muscles are most likely to suck up more carbohydrates than the fat cells and in the morning, the insulin sensitivity is so low almost all the carbohydrates you eat are stored as fat. Fat cells respond with a greater absorption of carbs, the greater the amount of insulin. Fat cells are always sensitive and there is no threshold. This means that really sensitive muscles will respond to low levels of insulin and thus you wouldn't need a lot of an insulin spike to get carbohydrates into the cells.

The apples may be too low to get the muscles to respond to the insulin, but the fat WILL respond to the amount of insulin meaning all the carbs from apples will be stored as fat unless you eat them post workout or of course, burn the carbs as energy. On the other hand, the insulin would be so high from 2 cups of rice that some of the carbs will go to the muscle. However, lets look at magnitude: if 50% went to muscle and 50% went to fat then you would still be storing 5 times as much fat as if you ate the apples.

Now, lets say you had the choice of jasmine rice or sweet potato. The sweet potato has a lower glycemic index (63 < 110) so less insulin will be released, in theory, ~ 50% less. Less insulin means a higher % of the carbohydrates will go to muscle cells than the fat cells, assuming the insulin was high enough to activate the Glut4 transporter on the muscle. Perhaps 66% goes to the muscle and 33% goes to fat with the potato, where it was 50/50% with the rice. Thus, using a lower glycemic index carbohydrate will result in more muscle synthesis and less fat storage, assuming all other things are equal.

Insulin Resistance

[caption id="attachment_535" align="alignnone" width="380"]NIDDM - Non- insulin Dependant Diabetes Mellitus. They keep changing the name to confuse people, yes its intentional. It's just plain Diabetes II. Notice how bad it is to be obese or worse NIDDM - Non- insulin Dependant Diabetes Mellitus. They keep changing the name to confuse people, yes its intentional. It's just plain Diabetes II. Notice how bad it is to be obese or worse "NIDDM"?[/caption]

When someone consumes copious amounts of junk food, a downward spiral takes place. Insulin sensitivity decreases as one consumes toxic waste (man made food). This is called insulin resistance. This causes more fat to be stored with any given meal. As you store more fat some of it is stored as visceral fat. The more visceral fat the more insulin resistance and heart disease, the more insulin resistance the more visceral fat, and the more insulin resistance etc.

It gets better! As you get fatter, your fat cells convert your testosterone into estrogen. Estrogen makes you store fat and water and decreases the strength of your muscles. so its a downward spiral in two synergistic ways!!! If your body fat creeps up to the 15% mark you're really screwed (average american is 25-35% fat) now your insulin sensitivity gets worse at a faster rate. Trying to bulk when you're already fat results in almost all your gains being fat.

As I mentioned tongue in cheek above, the cure for diabetes II is simple: If your dying from diseases related to diabetes, and diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, then reduce your insulin resistance! Decreasing the insulin released from your meals by switching to low GI whole foods will allow you to store less fat and thus over time as you lose fat as your insulin sensitivity increases. It gets harder and harder to lose more weight but your insulin sensitivity increases at a much faster and more linear rate. Just losing 30 lbs may save your life.

Depression is best explained as a total lack of hope. If you're terminally obese, you have to be low in the hope department, so turn it around and have hope. Just put the Frappachino and it’s 700 empty, ass-widening calories down and drink decaf coffee with stevia. In just 50 days you should be down 10 lbs. If you don't believe in yourself, believe in me. I’ve reversed plenty of cases of diabetes type II with just food and exercise.

Don't let insulin resistance kill you, increase your sensitivity to insulin!

Insulin Replacers

The holy grail would be something that caused the Glut4 transporters on the muscles to upregulate thus increasing the muscle’s insulin sensitivity. This means you could consume lower GI carbs and get the same or better muscle gains with less fat storage. The next best thing would be something that increased the sensitivity of the pre existing Glut4 transporters on the muscles. Obviously, the more transporters that are more sensitive is at least 4 times better.

The problem in the past is if you use the carbs with super low GI indexes they get burnt for fuel before ever getting in the muscle. If we could increase the insulin sensitivity with supplements or extend the “Anabolic Window” when Glut4 transporters are most sensitive from 2 hours to 6, that would help with fat free gains as well.


Like omega-3s, it is a proven nutrient partitioner: it diverts carbs from going to the fat cells by going into the muscle cells. Lets say you store 60% of your post workout carbohydrates as glycogen in the muscle and the other 40% as glycerol in fat cells. Tren would increase this ratio to 70:30 from 60:40, for example. Lower the insulin response to the carbohydrates and further improve this ratio or improve the muscle’s insulin sensitivity through modifying the expression or activity of the glut4 transporters.

Omega 3s:

These are proven nutrient partitioners and insulin sensitizers. DHA and EPA provide a myriad of health benefits and come from fish. ALA is different though. It is an Omega 3 but does not do the same things as the DHA and EPA, it is refined from flax typically.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is an antioxidant. It regenerates Vitamins E and C after your body uses them to fight oxidative damage from lifting like a beast. That’s why they are called ANTI-oxidants. It also regenerates COQ10 and NAD.

Like everything else in this class, the evidence is mixed. In some studies diabetic’s blood sugar was lowered by ALA administration but in others it isn't. Its really funny, I’m reading WebMD and they have all these unrelated seemingly silly abilities attributed to ALA but they don't tie them together. It's really simple, the reason why ALA can decrease body fat, improve healing and decrease diabetic nerve pain after 4 weeks is it DOES drive carbohydrates into tissues.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and some double blind experiments proved it's a duck, then just because some studies did not PROVE it was a duck doesn't DISPROVE the ones which DID. Of course to add insult to retarded injury, WebMD warns people it might cause hypoglycemia. Let me get this straight, you're not sure it does anything but it's dangerous because it can lower your blood sugar? But you just said you're not sure it lowers blood sugar? Such cowardly nonsense, grow a pair and commit. You have to believe it lowers blood sugar before its lowering of blood sugar is dangerous. So stupid.

It should have said, “ We have inconclusive evidence, mountains of anecdotal evidence and overdoses have been recorded, so it must lower blood sugar somehow.”

Another warning is that it can be very harmful in the absence of B1 (thiamin) because people who buy obscure shit, like ALA, aren't taking multivitamins. So stupid.

Don't take ALA if you're having chemotherapy, the ALA is so good for you it slows down the rate chemotherapy kills you, I mean your cells. Can’t have that.

No, I looked at another layperson site which is marketed as a medical site and it was way more clear and straightforward. Dr. Weil obviously doesn't have his balls in his lawyers purse like the people at WebMD do.

My conclusion is like other Omega-3s, GLA and everything else in this class: ALA increases insulin sensitivity or it decreases elevated insulin resistance back to a sensitive base line more precisely. All the studies were done on diabetics (insulin resistant) that had shown a positive result (27% more glucose clearance). Studies on non-diabetics showed no improvement on glucose clearance. I would like to add, only with the addition of diabetes meds, will you get a hypoglycemic episode if this is true: that it normalizes insulin resistance not increases sensitivity.

In a study on the more active Omega 3s DHA and EPA, it was found that using insulin + BCAA in people treated with Omega-3s gained 33% more protein synthesis than the untreated group.

That is why I put R-ALA in Battle Mead

Vanadyl Sulfate:

Vanadyl sulfate was found to increase the responsiveness of muscle to insulin and amplifies insulin's effects on muscle. It both signals the receptors and upregulates the receptors. Vanadyl sulfate decreases fasting glucose by 20% when taken at 50 mg, 2 times a day. It did reverse the flow of glucose from out-of-the-liver to into-the-liver.

Despite this, the experiments on humans found no greater glycogen synthesis. Regardless of their tested population of diabetics, in OUR population of lifters and people who bust their ass, if you turn the insulin sensitivity of muscle up, then you direct more carbohydrates to muscle and less to fat. Period.

That is why I put Vandyl in Battle Mead!

Chromium Picolinate:

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this “essential mineral”. It has been on the chopping block and this is why: Although it was considered an essential mineral, there is none found in the body of someone who does not supplement with it. Furthermore, there is no known beneficial effect except that it does decrease the membrane rigidity of the muscle cells phospholipid bilayer and this causes the insulin receptor to be more sensitive. The medically recommended amount is 200 mcg per day but overdoses have been reported. The reason people are considering it more harm than good is when in high doses it binds to the transcription element inside the cell and slows DNA transcription into mRNA. Chromium D-glucosaminic acid is as effective as Chromium picolinate in treating diabetes.

Again, the only tested population were diabetic people, to see if it caused their elevated blood sugar from insulin resistance to go down to a closer to normal level. When given to people who are not diabetic, nothing happens. In a bodybuilder who is slamming post workout carbohydrates this is a different story. He is temporarily hyperglycemic and thus it may help. Additionally, why would any of these supplements cause glycogen synthesis in a sedentary person: they have full glycogen stores!!! You can't fill a full glass. Dumbasses. Try testing glycogen depleted post workout athletes with a carb drink and I am pretty confident they will have more glycogen at the 4 hour mark than those who didn't take chromium.

That is why I put Chromium Picolinate in Battle Mead


Cinnamon comes from the bark of a Southeast Asian Evergreen tree. One teaspoon contains over a gram of fiber, plus iron, manganese and vitamins C and K. Cinnamon, at a dose of 3 g per day, decreased blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics. In one study, cinnamon decreased Hba1c and lowered blood pressure at a dose of 2 grams per day and it also lowered LDL cholesterol at ½ tsp per day.

Another small study showed that cinnamon improved blood sugars in patients with polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS). This is common sense since it is highly unlikely that anyone with PCOS isn't insulin resistant. It is a disease similar to Diabetes II but the difference is instead of too much glucose and insulin, the woman has too much estrogen converting into testosterone.

Considering the population tested, it may not be a good thing that cinnamon may improve appetite and relieve indigestion.

Side effects are rare when it is used as a food additive at normal doses. It has a bunch of nonsense concerns on the Cleveland clinic website which are too silly to list here. My favorite is that it doesn't help with Type 1 Diabetes.  This shows it isn't an insulin mimicking compound but instead improves insulin sensitivity. Type 1 diabetics aren’t insulin resistant remember?  They were born incapable of making insulin so they are actually super insulin sensitive...until they are prescribed injectable insulin.

That is why I put Cinnamon in Battle Mead!


As you can see Resistance exercise is so much better than aerobics it makes aerobics look worthless. And all you do by adding your aerobics to a resistance routine is cut your gains in half, with no significant increase in fat burning. As you can see Resistance exercise is so much better than aerobics it makes aerobics look worthless. And all you do by adding your aerobics to a resistance routine is cut your gains in half, with no significant increase in fat burning.[/caption]

To get the best body possible and the bonus effect of being healthier:

*Lower your insulin resistance/raise your insulin sensitivity

*Keep your body fat below 15%

*Lift weights the way I say to (Click here for training)

*Use  Cinnamon,  R-ALA, 200 mcg Chromium and  Vanadyl Sulfate post workout to increase your carbohydrate delivery to the muscle by increasing your insulin sensitivity. It's possible this wont help healthy people but we won't know until we test it on healthy people, not just diabetics lol. My personal experience is the Chromium and Cinnamon work like gangbusters, never tried the other two.

*Stay away from processed or high GI foods. True, you can absorb more post workout, but to guarantee you gain the least amount of fat, don’t spike your post workout insulin.  Just have the 30 g of carbs 30 minutes post workout from a medium source like sweet potato or white potato, if you're Dom Mazzetti.

My References:

The references of the references:

“Cinnamon.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.

“Cassia Cinnamon.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.

Wondrak, G.T. et al. The Cinnamon-derived Dietary Factor Cinnamic Aldehyde Activates the Nrf2-dependent Antioxidant Response in Human Epithelial Colon Cells. Molecules 2010 15(5) 3338-3355

Kwon, H. et al. Cinnamon extract induces tumor cell death through inhibition of NFKB and AP1. BMC Cancer (2010) 10:392

Roussel, A. et al. Antioxidant Effects of a Cinnamon Extract in People with Impaired Fasting Glucose That Are Overweight or Obese. Journal of the American College of Nutrition (2009) 28, 16-21

Qin, B. et al. Cinnamon: Potential Role in the Prevention of Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology (2010) 4, 685-693


Nothing in this article or on this site should be considered medical advice or as an endorsement to violate any law of the country in which you reside. The information given is for fun and entertainment purposes only. All claims are 100% dependent upon proper diet and exercise. Please consult a medical practitioner prior to any diet and exercise program.