Insulin in Bodybuilding
The hormone insulin got its name from the Latin word insula, which means island. The reason for this is that it is produced by beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Why is this peptide hormone needed? What role does it play in the body? You will find answers to these and other questions in this article.
Why does the human body need insulin?
The peptide hormone has a multilateral effect on metabolic processes in almost every tissue. The main action of insulin is to lower blood glucose. It has a vivid anabolic effect, which is important for bodybuilders. Athletes take supplements based on it precisely because of this action, or as an alternative, take Diabeton and other antipyretic oral agents.
Another important property of insulin is an increase in the permeability of membranes with respect to glucose, due to which the activation of key glycolysis enzymes occurs. The pigment stimulates the production of glycogen glucose in muscle fibers and the liver, and enhances the production of proteins and fats. Insulin inhibits enzymes that break down fats and glycogen. The anti-catabolic effect of the peptide hormone allows you to suppress the destruction of muscle fibers after enhanced training.
The rate of glucose transport depends on insulin in adipose and muscle tissues. They are insulin-dependent.
The peptide hormone acts in three ways:
- Enhances the ability of cells to absorb glucose and other nutrients;
- Activates key glycolysis enzymes;
- Increases the intensity of glycogen production, that is, it accelerates the accumulation of glucose in liver cells and muscles by polymerization of this compound in glycogen;
- Reduces the intensity of gluconeogenesis, that is, it reduces the formation of glucose by the liver from fat and protein.
- Enhances the ability of cells to absorb valine, leucine and other amino acids;
- Activates the transportation of potassium, phosphate, magnesium ions to the cells;
- Enhances biosynthesis in the body of protein and DNA replication;
- Enhances the synthesis and subsequent esterification of fatty acids in fatty tissues and the liver, preventing the conversion of glucose into triglycerides, and if the insulin is not enough, on the contrary, fat mobilization occurs.
- Inhibits hydrolysis – reduces protein degradation;
- Reduces the flow of fatty acids into the blood, that is, it reduces a process such as lipolysis.
These mechanisms of action on the body are most important for athletes.
The dangers of insulin use – lethal dose
Insulin earned a “bad” reputation due to the likelihood of such a side effect as hypoglycemia. A warning message about this is found in almost every forum. Many reviews suggest that hypoglycemia can develop even with a small overdose and lead to death. It has been scientifically and practically proven that the minimum lethal dosage is a quantity of 100 units or a full syringe.
There are cases when people survived even after a dosage of 3,000 units of insulin. If the person is completely alone, then an obscure consciousness may interfere with calling an ambulance. A coma develops either within a few minutes or several hours. The timely entry of glucose into the blood helps to avoid a fatal outcome, and, therefore, the risk of death is much less than it is mistakenly assumed.
What type of insulin is taken in bodybuilding?
In bodybuilding, it is customary to use insulin of short and ultrashort duration of action. The first is a hormone that, after administration under the skin, begins to act after half an hour. Its intake should be 30-40 minutes before a meal. The peak of exposure to the body occurs after 2 hours. It is completely removed after 5 or 6 hours. Drugs with short actions of insulin such as Actrapid NM and Humulin Regular should be preferred.
The ultrashort action of insulin begins to affect the body either immediately after administration, or after a quarter of an hour. The peak of exposure also occurs after a couple of hours, but is displayed after 3 or 4 hours. It can be taken both 5-10 minutes before a meal, and immediately after a meal. Among the preparations, the most popular synthetic analogues of anthropogenic insulin are glulisin, lyspo, asparagus, and Apidra, Humalog, Flexpen, Penfill or NovoRapid Penfill.
The duration of the cycle of admission is two months. On average, its cost is from 30 to 40 usd.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Insulin
The peptide hormone has the following advantages:
- Relatively low price per cycle;
- Free sale in a pharmacy;
- Low probability of buying a fake;
- Low probability of side effects;
- Lack of negative consequences after the end of the cycle;
- No toxicity;
- Slight rollback phenomenon;
- Increased anabolic effects;
- Lack of androgenic effect;
- Compatibility with anabolics and other drugs.
Insulin is not toxic to the liver or kidneys and does not lead to impaired potency.
The disadvantages include a rather complicated reception scheme. A fairly significant increase in subcutaneous fat is observed. There is a chance of developing hypoglycemia.
Insulin can cause the following negative effects:
- Hypoglycemia or a decrease in glucose, as a result of which the remaining side effects develop;
- Itching at the injection site;
- An allergic reaction that is rare, but occurs in some people;
- Decrease in endogenous insulin secretion after a long cycle with high dosages.
The latter occurs when taking insulin with a short or ultra-short period of action. Other hormones of internal secretion are regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary system. Not insulin. It does not have a feedback principle. It is possible to stimulate its synthesis only by such regulators as food intake and glycemia level. In other words, only the secretin cascade affects it. This means that prolonged use of insulin does not affect the secretion of this hormone even when the cycle is cancelled.
It is a mistake to accept this property of the peptide hormone as positive. The risks of a hypoglycemic state are quite high. It is possible to stop this side effect. First, only ultrashort and short insulin should be taken. Secondly, eat fast carbohydrates. The latter, entering the blood, are absorbed into adipose tissue as a result of lipogenesis. Excessive abuse of large doses or too long intake of insulin can provoke an increase in fat reserves.
It is a rather weak anabolic hormone. But, with the development of hypoglycemia, a release of STH occurs. The latter has its own anabolic effect, which leads to an increase in this effect, and, therefore, has already quite serious consequences.