Keeping Insulin Low with Post Workout Shakes

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    Question Keeping Insulin Low with Post Workout Shakes


    Is it really necessary to spike insulin after an intense workout to shuttle protien to the muscles?

    Some of the reccomendations that I have seen for post-workout shakes include up to 60g of liquid simple sugars. To me, this sounds like asking for disaster in the long run

    Anybody have any idea as to how to prepare a nutritous post-workout shake that will not spike insulin?

    Can one get away with substituting complex carbs for simple sugars?

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    i found this read interesting. published by Alan Aragon.

    Is It Necessary to “Spike” Insulin Post-workout?

    Another concern of the fat-free-post-workout camp is the blunting of the insulin response. The rationale of maximizing the insulin response is to counteract the catabolic nature of the post-trained state, switching the hormonal milieu into an anabolic one, thus speeding recovery. Although this might benefit those who train fasted or semi-fasted, many don’t realize that a pre-exercise meal (and in some cases the mid-exercise meal) is doing more than enough spiking of insulin levels for anticatabolic purposes.

    It’s an important objective to not only maximize muscle protein synthesis, but also minimize protein breakdown. However, the latter doesn’t require a massive insulin spike, but rather just a touch beyond basal/resting levels. To illustrate this, Rennie & colleagues found that even during a sustained high blood level of amino acids, no further inhibition of muscle protein breakdown occurred beyond insulin elevation to approximately 15 μU/l,20 which is slightly above normal basal levels of 5-10 μU/l.

    To reiterate, the pre-exercise meal can have profound effects on insulin levels that surpass the length of the training bout. Tipton’s team found that as little as 6g essential amino acids + 35g sucrose taken immediately before exercise (45-50 minutes of resistance training) was enough to keep insulin elevated to roughly 4x above fasting levels 1-hour post-exercise.21 It took 2 hours post-exercise for insulin to return to resting levels. A similar insulin response was seen with 20g whey by itself taken immediately preworkout.22 If carbs were added to the pre-training protein, there would be yet a greater insulin response.

    As far as solid food goes, Capaldo’s team examined various metabolic effects during a five hour period after ingesting a meal composed of 75g carb (47%), 37g prot (26%), and 17g fat (27%).23 Although this study didn’t examine training effects, this meal would make a nice post-workout meal due to its absolute (and proportional) amounts of protein and carbohydrate. The fat-fearing camp would warn against the meal’s fat content interfering with the insulin response. However, this meal was able to raise insulin 3 times above fasting levels within 30 minutes of consumption. At the 60 minute mark, insulin was 5 times greater than fasting. At the 300 minute mark, insulin levels were still double the fasting level.

    Elliot and colleagues compared the effect of fat-free milk, whole milk, and a higher dose of fat-free milk (to match the calories of the whole milk) taken 60 minutes post-resistance exercise.24 Whole milk was superior for increasing net protein balance. Interestingly, the calorie-matched dose of fat free milk containing 14.5g protein, versus 8.0g in the whole milk (an 81% advantage), but still got beaten. The investigators speculated over the possible mechanisms behind the outcome (insulin response, blood flow, subject response differences, fat content improving nitrogen retention), but end up dismissing each one in favor of concluding that further research is necessary to see if extra fat calories ingested with an amino acid source will increase muscle protein synthesis. Lingering questions notwithstanding, post-workout milkfat was the factor that clinched the victory – at least in overnight-fasted subjects.

    To put another nail in the coffin of the insulin spiking objective, post-exercise glycogen resynthesis is biphasic.25 Unlike the subsequent “slow” phase which can last several hours, the initial “rapid” phase of glycogenesis lasting 30-60 minutes immediately post-exercise is not dependent upon insulin. Maximizing post-workout hyperinsulinemia may be beneficial for athletes with more than a single exhaustive endurance-containing training bout separated by less than approximately 8 hours, but in all other cases, the benefit in “spiking” insulin is nil.

    In line with this theme, interesting research has surfaced in recent years challenging the idea that highly glycemic (and thus insulinemic) carbohydrates taken post-workout are the optimal for recovery. Erith’s team found no difference between post-exercise high- and low-glycemic index (GI) carbohydrate intake on exercise performance the following day.26 In a similar study, Stevenson’s team actually saw better next-day performance in subjects who consumed low-GI post-exercise carbohydrate than those who consumed high-GI post-exercise carbohydrate.27

    Is spiking insulin necessary post-workout? Generally not.

    -No greater inhibition of muscle protein breakdown has been seen beyond insulin elevation to approximately 15 μU/l, which is slightly above resting/basal levels of 5-10 μU/l.

    -In one study, whole milk was superior for increasing net protein balance post-workout, despite the calorie-matched dose of fat free milk containing 81% more protein.

    -The initial 30-60 minute “rapid” phase of glycogenesis immediately post-exercise is not dependent upon insulin.

    -There’s no need to attempt to spike insulin for recovery purposes since maximal effects are seen at minimal elevations. Simply getting enough total substrate surrounding the training bout suffices, at least within the context of a 24-hour separation between exhaustive training of the same muscles. Multiple depleting endurance-type bouts per day (i.e., < 8 hours between bouts) may be the exception to this rule.

    -On a related tangent, it’s been commonly recommended to maximize post-exercise hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia by consuming high-GI carbohydrates. However, this strategy has been seen to offer no benefit on next-day performance, and one recent study even saw endurance impairment.
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    Excellent information that I would not have found myself. Thank you!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieVegas View Post
    Is it really necessary to spike insulin after an intense workout to shuttle protien to the muscles?

    Some of the reccomendations that I have seen for post-workout shakes include up to 60g of liquid simple sugars. To me, this sounds like asking for disaster in the long run

    Anybody have any idea as to how to prepare a nutritous post-workout shake that will not spike insulin?

    Can one get away with substituting complex carbs for simple sugars?

    This comes from an article I wrote for a magazine. Hopefully it will help expain why post-exercise carbs (and amino acids) are necessary.

    Post-exercise carbs
    Dietary carbohydrate causes increases insulin production, which further increases GH release, which in turn further increases the release of IGF. These increases in turn, have been shown to further increase protein synthesis and muscle growth after a bout of exercise as well as increasing the uptake of amino acids. By adding amino acids after exercise we have further increased the available free amino acid pool as well. Amino acids are necessary for protein synthesis to take place. So without the insulin rebound after exercise, the body would remain in a catabolic state.

    Let's examine more closely why it is suggested that carbohydrate be taken with protein immediately following a bout if exercise. We know that with the onset of exercise, ATP is the immediate source of energy. As the exercise progresses, the ATP stores are reduced and glycogen and glucose are also utilized by the muscle for fuel. With more muscle glycogen and glucose being used for energy, blood glucose levels soon begin to drop. Insulin levels soon begin to fall as well. This is the point at which FFA is released from the adipose tissue and becomes a reserve source of fuel.

    As we near the end of our training, the body is now in a hypoglycemic stage. The blood sugar is low and the insulin level has dropped. Immediately after exercise as explained earlier, GH production is increased as insulin levels start to rebound. A carbohydrate supplement following exercise will elevate blood glucose levels and cause a state of hyperglycemia forcing further production of insulin. The high levels of insulin in the blood now force much needed glucose and amino acids through the receptor sites in the muscle cell at a quicker rate. This high level of blood glucose will eventually cause further GH secretions. Soon the high levels of insulin utilize the extra carbohydrate and the blood glucose levels once again drop. Of course the insulin level now drops as it did during exercise. GH secreats once again starts as the rebound effect begins all over.

    Recommendations
    How much of each would I recommend? About 0.7 g of protein/kg of body weight with 2 g of carbohydrate/kg of body weight in the first 15-30 minutes after training. Only consume simple carbohydrates like glucose or sucrose or other high glycemic index foods. Not complex carbohydrates or low glycemic food or fructose. The protein source should be high in branched amino acids. I also recommend using a liquid full spectrum amino acid mixture with di- and tri-peptide bonds. Full spectrum amino acids are absorbed quicker due to their small chain structure. Therefore they get into the bloodstream very quickly where they are shuttled quickly into the muscle cell by the increased insulin production.
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    Dietary carbohydrate causes increases insulin production, which further increases GH release, which in turn further increases the release of IGF. These increases in turn, have been shown to further increase protein synthesis and muscle growth after a bout of exercise as well as increasing the uptake of amino acids. By adding amino acids after exercise we have further increased the available free amino acid pool as well. Amino acids are necessary for protein synthesis to take place. So without the insulin rebound after exercise, the body would remain in a catabolic state.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    While i agree that the intake of carbohydrates will most certainly raise insulin levels, virtually all that i've read seems to indicate that not only do increases in insulin not raise levels of HGH, but rather, high levels of insulin are actually antagonistic to the secretion of HGH...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzie View Post
    While i agree that the intake of carbohydrates will most certainly raise insulin levels, virtually all that i've read seems to indicate that not only do increases in insulin not raise levels of HGH, but rather, high levels of insulin are actually antagonistic to the secretion of HGH...
    true. insulin blunts natural GH release.
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    ILiftBig -- since much of what you've presented is predicated on raising one's insulin levels in order to increase GH levels, can you steer us to the research upon which you've based your claim.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzie View Post
    ILiftBig -- since much of what you've presented is predicated on raising one's insulin levels in order to increase GH levels, can you steer us to the research upon which you've based your claim.
    No problem.

    Bessman S. and Mohan, CH (1992). Phosphocreatine, exercise, protein synthesis, and insulin. IN: Guanidino Compounds in Biology and Medicine. Eds: PP De Dey, B. Marescan, V. Stalon, and IA Qureshi. John Libby and Co. p 181-186.

    Branard, RJ., et al. (1970). Effects of exercise on skeletal muscle. I Biomechanical and histochemical properties. J Appl physiol. 28:762-766.

    Brooks, GA (1987). Exercise, Limits and Adaptations. E&FN, Spon, London. Chandler, RM., et al. (1994). Dietary supplements affect the anabolic hormones after weight-training exercise . J. Appl Physiol. 76:839-845.

    Dohm, GL. (1985). Protein as a fuel for endurance exercise. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 14:143-173.

    Fryberg, DA, et al. (1990). Growth hormone acutely stimulates forearm muscle synthesis in normal humans. Am J Physiol. 260:E499-E504.

    Graham, TE, et al. (1995). Skeletal muscle amino acid metabolism and ammonia production during exercise. In: Exercise Metabolism. Ed: M. Hargrave. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. p131-178.

    Harper, AE., et al. (1984). Branched-chained amino acid metabolism. Ann Rev Nutr. 4:409-454.

    Kramer, WJ. (1994). Neuroendocrine responses to resistance exercise. In: Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Ed: TR Baechle. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. p86-107.

    Marshal, S. and Monzon, R. (1989). Amino acid regulation action in isolated adipocytes. J Biol Chem. 264:2037-2042.

    Powers, SK and Howley, ET (1994). Hormonal responses to exercise. In: Exercise physiology: Theory and applications to fitness and performance. Ed: E. Bartell. Brown & Benchmark, Dubuque, IA. p69-108.
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    any recomendations for what specific carbs should be eaten/taken post wrkout then?
  

  
 

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