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  1. #1
    Foxy Sphinx's Avatar
    Foxy Sphinx is offline Associate Member
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    Nov 2002

    Truth or Dare: A comprehensive look at Insulin use

    Here it is, almost everything you've ever wanted to know about Insulin , and then some.

    What is Insulin
    Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas which helps to regulate glucose levels in the body. Medically, it is typically used in the treatment of diabetes. 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 muscle.

    Types of Insulin

    Very Fast acting - The fastest acting insulins are called lispro (Humalog)and insulin aspart (Novolog). They should be injected under the skin within 15 minutes before you eat. You have to remember to eat within 15 minutes after you take a shot. These insulins start working in five to 15 minutes and lower your blood sugar most in 45 to 90 minutes. It finishes working in three to four hours. With regular insulin you have to wait 30 to 45 minutes before eating. Many people like using lispro because it's easier to coordinate eating with this type of insulin.

    Fast acting - The fast acting insulin is called regular insulin. It lowers blood sugar most in 2 to 5 hours and finishes its work in 5 to 8 hours.

    Intermediate acting - NPH (N) or Lente (L) insulin starts working in one to three hours, lowers your blood sugar most in six to 12 hours and finishes working in 20 to 24 hours.

    Using Insulin

    What Insulin to use
    In America, regular human insulin is available without a prescription by the name of Humulin R by Eli Lilly and Company. It costs about $20 for a 10 ml vial with a strength of 100 IU per ml. Eli Lilly and Company also produces 5 other insulin formulations, but none of these should be used by bodybuilders. Humulin R is the safest because it takes effect quickly and has the shortest duration of activity. The other insulin formulations remain active for a longer period and can put the user in an unexpected state of hypoglycemia.

    Where should you inject
    Humilin R should be injected subcutaneously only with a U-100 insulin syringe. Insulin syringes are available without a prescription in many states. If the athlete cannot purchase the syringes at a pharmacy, he can mail order them or buy them on the black market. Using a syringe other than a U-100 is dangerous since it will be difficult to measure out the correct dosage. Subcutaneous insulin injections are usually given by pinching a fold of skin in the abdomen area. Insulin injected near the stomach works fastest. Insulin injected into the thigh works slowest and a shot in the arm works at medium speed.

    Using safely
    Most athletes will bring their insulin with them to the gym. Insulin should be refrigerated, but it is all right to keep it in a gym bag as long as it is kept away from excessive heat. Immediately after a workout, the athlete will inject his dosage of insulin. Within the next fifteen minutes, he should have a carbohydrate drink such as Ultra Fuel by Twinlab. The athlete should consume at least 10 grams of carbohydrates for every 1 IU of insulin injected. Most athletes will also take creatine monohydrate with their carbohydrate drink since the insulin will help to force the creatine into the muscles. An hour or so after injecting insulin, most athletes will eat a meal or consume a protein shake. The carbohydrate drink and meal/protein shake are necessary. Without them, blood sugar levels will drop dangerously low and the athlete will most likely go into a state of hypoglycemia.

    Insulin and Bodybuilding
    Insulin is used in a wide variety of ways. Most athletes choose to use it immediately after a workout. Dosages used are usually 1 IU per 10-20 pounds of lean bodyweight. First-time users should start at a low dosage and gradually work up. For example, first begin with 2 IU and then increase the dosage by 1 IU every consecutive workout. This will allow the athlete to safely determine a dosage. Insulin dosages can very significantly among athletes and are dependent upon insulin sensitivity and the use of other drugs. Athletes using growth hormone can thyroid will have higher insulin requirements, and therefore, will be able to handle higher dosages. Insulin is used in bodybuilding because it promotes glycogen synthesis and storage for maximum endurance in ergogenic activity (Your workout). It also helps shuttle the nutrients, glucose and energy into your cells when your muscles are training hard, when it really counts. It is important for bodybuilders to understand that when insulin levels are high your body will store excess glucose as bodyweight. Unfortunately, your body does not care if it is muscle weight or fat weight. It is important to realize the difference in carbohydrates and their use by muscle tissue. Enzymes within muscles readily metabolize starch, which is broken down into usable glucose. The liver has the intermediary enzymes to convert glucose, fructose, galactose, amino acids, and other metabolites for its glycogen stores. Since your muscles have the ability to store 250 to 400 grams of glycogen and your liver only has the ability to store 100 grams of glycogen, it is advisable to keep a high proportion of your carbohydrate calories from complex sources. As mentioned earlier, muscle glycogen is only used by muscle tissue. Since muscle glycogen is similar to an amylopectin as in starch, it is logical to supply your body with complex carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen stores.

    How to store it
    * If you use a whole bottle of insulin within 30 days, keep that bottle of insulin at room temperature. On the label write the date that is 30 days away. That date is when you should throw out the bottle with any insulin left in it.
    * If you don't use a whole bottle within thirty days then you should store it in the refrigerator all of the time.
    * If insulin gets too hot or too cold, it doesn't work right. So, don't keep insulin in the freezer or in the glove compartment of your car during warm weather.
    * Keep at least one extra bottle of insulin around your house. Store extra insulin in the refrigerator.

    Future of Insulin delivery

    Insulin inhalers
    Although daily injections of insulin would still be needed, inhaled insulin is currently in clinical trials and may be headed for a fast track approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These inhalers are about the size of a flashlight and uses rapid-acting insulin. The sprayed insulin is inhaled into the mouth and coats the mouth, throat and tongue. The insulin passes quickly into the bloodstream.

    Insulin Pill
    The discovery of a new polymer that may allow development of an effective insulin pill was reported at a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society. When the polymer is used as a pill coating, it allows insulin to get into the bloodstream without being destroyed by the digestive system. So far it has only been tested in animals. Some experts question whether insulin in pill form will prove useful, since dosing is so critical and often variable.

    Insulin and Hypoglycemia

    What is hypoglycemia
    Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels are too low. It is a common and potentially fatal reaction experienced by insulin users. Before an athlete begins taking insulin, it is critical that he/she understands the warning signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia. Generally, a level below about 60 mg/dl is called low blood sugar.

    Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
    The following is a list of symptoms which may indicate a mild to moderate hypoglycemia: hunger, drowsiness, blurred vision, depressive mood, dizziness, sweating, palpitation, tremor, restlessness, tingling in the hands, feet, lips, or tongue, lightheadedness, inability to concentrate, headache, sleep disturbances, anxiety, slurred speech, irritability, abnormal behavior, unsteady movement, and personality changes. If any of these warning signs should occur, an athlete should immediately consume a food or drink containing sugar such as a candy bar or carbohydrate drink. This will treat a mild to moderate hypoglycemia and prevent a severe state of hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia is a serious condition that may require medical attention. Symptoms include disorientation, seizure, unconsciousness, and death.

    Keep it safe everyone, if you use Insulin take it very seriously... its not like any other bodybuilding compound. If you found this helpful, please give er a bump so others may benefit as well.

  2. #2
    djdjdjddjon's Avatar
    djdjdjddjon is offline Anabolic Member
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    Mar 2002
    always a nice post, thanks.

  3. #3
    Foxy Sphinx's Avatar
    Foxy Sphinx is offline Associate Member
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    Nov 2002



  4. #4
    conan the barbarian is offline New Member
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    Dec 2002
    excellent thread,
    good info foxy sphinx and thanks for sharing it with us.

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