rewritten by Dan Gilliland orginally written by Eric Cressey
Insulin is a very complex hormone. Insulin can be a very strong atheletic hormone, even stronger than some illegal steroids. Insulin’s main job is to shuttle carbs into your muscle cells to store for energy. When the muscle cells are full insulin shuttles carbs to be storing them in your liver. At the same time Insulin either stops or slows down the amount of carbs released from your liver. It can take several days to reload your liver with carbs. Your liver is a reserve tank, you have to be careful of emptying because it can take days to refill.
Insulin can slow down the burning of fat and speed up the storing of fat. Insulin is doing this because it is prioritising carb usage and contributing to storing calories the most effective way as fat.
Insulin can slow down the breakdown of muscle. Insulin can increase the building of muscle when enough amino acids are in place. You may know of the “golden hour” after a workout. Insulin is responsible for the golden hour. If you time your meals correctly you will never need drugs to create muscle growth.
The hormones glucagon, growth hormone, cortisol, and the catecholamines epinephrine and norepinephrine do the opposite of insulin.
Glucagon is mostly found in high amounts when a person is experiencing hypoglycemia. Insulin is produced to counteract the hypoglycemia & blood sugar balance happens.
Growth Hormone counter-acts many actions of Insulin’s carb storage and stopping of fat burning. GH does work with Insulin to create an anabolic enviroment for muscle growth. GH can increase the effects of Insulin Growth Like Factors which make Insulin more effective at lower amounts.
The stress hormone Cortisol counters Insulin’s effects by blocking the uptake of Insulin causing Insulin resistance. Cortisol increases the storage of fat. Cortisol encourages the breakdown of muscle tissue.
Epinephrine and norepinephrine do the opposite of Insulin. Epinephrine is very good moving at moving glycogen out of your liver encourging a quick turnover of carb storage and more calories being burnt. Both epinephrine and norepinephrine increase the burning of fat and have muscle saving qualities.
Insulin decreases as long as you do sub-maximal exercise. The more movement of your muscles do the more Insulin gets squezzed into your muscles and the more effecient it becomes. Glucagon increases over long duration workouts to slowdown the amount of carbs being burned. The amount Growth hormone increases with the amout of intensity you put into your workout.
Timing your foods to use the power of Insulin to your advantage will be the driving force behind your dieting success. Craving bad food only happenes when your body is out of balance. Put your body back into balance and you can eat anything you want because you will only want what’s good for you. The best time to eat simple carbs is right after you have worked out. Your body needs simple carbs to quickly fill your muscles and liver up with glycogen. When you get full control of your Insulin your whole life will change for the better.