Featured Article ~ Insulin Effects on Muscle Building
Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone produced in the pancreas that is secreted into the bloodstream in response to the consumption of certain foods,
especially carbs and certain amino acids. When nutrients (e.g., amino acids, creatine, fat, glucose, sodium, potassium) enter the bloodstream, insulin
shuttles them into the various cells (e.g., muscle and fat) of the body.
You must first keep in mind that your muscles are constantly in a state of being simultaneously broken down and repaired.
The key to optimizing muscle growth is decreasing breakdown and increasing repair, and that's where insulin factors in. Now, as previously stated, insulin
is responsible for the delivery of nutrients to the muscle. Therefore, with the presence of insulin and the proper nutrients, insulin increases nutrient
absorption into the muscle, thus providing your muscles with the nutrients needed for energy, growth, and repair.
Secondly, insulin decreases muscle protein breakdown. Whenever you exercise or go too long without eating, your body begins to break down muscle tissue
to supply the nutrients necessary for other metabolic processes. However, insulin helps prevent this by "locking in" the nutrients found in the muscle
cell. Thus this keeps the vital nutrients necessary for growth and maintenance within the muscle cell.
Lastly, insulin blocks Cortisol, a hormone released during times of stress (e.g., weight training). Cortisol causes the mobilization of amino acids from
muscle (protein breakdown). That's not good if you're trying to build muscle. However, insulin helps minimize excessive Cortisol levels. So, with these
three reasons in mind, you can see why insulin is very effective at helping to build muscle size.