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Role Of Insulin In Muscle Building

Insulin has been the buzz word in bodybuilding world for quite some time now for both the pro and amateur bodybuilders. Insulin is the buzz hormone since the time it came up in light. Muscle building supplements companies have made a lot of use of this word, pushing it almost as a magic bonus that can give you overnight gains with least efforts. Most of it is myth (like the most other things out there) but a part of it is true. Here we are just discussing some of those things.


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What Is Insulin So Popular?

Recently, insulin has become quite popular among bodybuilders due to the anabolic effect it can offer. With well-timed injections, insulin will help to bring glycogen and other nutrients to the muscles. Some athletes say insulin is beneficial for putting on mass, while others will tend to put on excess fat using insulin. This practice is extremely risky as even one mistake in dosage or diet can be potentially fatal.

How Is Insulin Used By The Body

Insulin is a key player in the control of intermediary metabolism. It has profound effects on both carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and significant influences on protein and mineral metabolism. Like the receptors for other protein hormones, the receptor for insulin is embedded in the plasma membrane. The insulin receptor is composed of two alpha subunits and two beta subunits linked by disulfide bonds. The alpha chains are entirely extracellular and house insulin binding domains, while the linked beta chains penetrate through the plasma membrane.

Why Do You Need Insulin

In the absence of insulin, glycogen synthesis in the liver ceases and enzymes responsible for breakdown of glycogen become active. Glycogen breakdown is stimulated not only by the absence of insulin, but by the presence of glucagon, which is secreted when blood glucose levels fall below the normal range.

How Does Insulin Exerts This Anabolic Effect

Insulin exerts its dramatic anabolic effect by inhibiting muscle breakdown/degradation. This process is believed to occur by the inhibition of the ubqitin-proteasome pathway (one of three major muscle degradation pathways in muscle cells), but once again, little is known about the cellular mechanisms by which insulin exerts this anti-catabolic action. Research does show that the introduction of insulin stops proteolysis (muscle breakdown) and while insulin is driving amino acids and glucose into muscle cells, it appears it also prevents the leakage of these nutrients from the muscle cells that usually occur in response to training. Absence of insulin or allowing insulin levels to drop is the fastest, easiest way to induce muscle protein breakdown (catabolism).

Are There Any Dangers Associated With It

Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs if blood glucose levels are too low. Insulin users may experience this fatal condition. Some of the symptoms that may indicate a mild to moderate hypoglycemia: drowsiness, hunger, depressive mood, sweating, dizziness, restlessness, tingling in the hands, feet, tongue, or lips, inability to concentrate, headache, sleep disturbances, anxiety, irritability, abnormal behavior, and personality changes. A Severe hypoglycemia requires medical attention. Symptoms include seizure, unconsciousness, disorientation, and death.