Maybe some of you have heard of insulin spikes after your workouts, maybe some of you haven’t; regardless if you’ve heard of it or not, I’m going to write a rundown of what an insulin spike exactly is and why it is beneficial for the athlete. This won’t be too long of an article, it’ll just describe all the essentials that you need to know about post workout insulin spikes.
It’s a hormone produced by the pancreas, which is necessary for glucose to be able to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy. Why is insulin important the human body? Well, read the definition. Anyway, on with the science. Whenever you ingest a carbohydrate or insulin, your body immediately releases insulin to regulate your body’s blood sugar levels. Insulin does not let your body drop its blood sugar levels too high or too low. Insulin also transports glucose to the muscle cells. Insulin is very anabolic because it allows for amino acids to be utilized much better and much faster in the human body.
It is said by experts that the best time to get an insulin spike is after you workout. I totally agree; in fact, I think that when you wake up in the morning and immediately after your afternoon or evening workout are the best times of day to create an insulin spike. Your body is very sensitive in the morning when you first wake up because you just Ã¢â‚¬Å“re-chargedÃ¢â‚¬Â yourself with sleep, and it also very sensitive after a workout because of all the glucose that your body has used for energy during the intense session.
OK, OK, so how the hell do I create an insulin spike? Easy as butter baby. To create in insulin spike, simply eat foods with a high glycemic index. What this means is foods that have simple sugars in them. The higher the glycemic index that a food is, the more simple the sugars are and the quicker they enter your bloodstream. Studies have shown that insulin replenishes glycogen stores in the liver, stops protein breakdown after a workout, and increases amino acid uptake into the body. Well this all sounds fine and dandy for us athletes, but unfortunately, as everything, there is a downside to our good friend insulin.
Insulin plays an extremely large role in storing fat. Whenever insulin is released, glucose stores are stored as glycogen in the liver for energy, as stated earlier. This is all gravy whenever your glycogen stores are depleted after a workout, but if they are full, and insulin is released, the extra glucose will be transported DIRECTLY into those fat cells of yours. And what happens when something enters the fat cells? If you don’t know, look at most of America.
If you’ve read any of my other diet articles you’ll understand why it is bad to eat simple sugars on a regular basis; this is just another reason showing you why it is bad to eat them. When you’re not using your energy for something useful, and consume lots of simple sugars into the body, you get fat. Simple as pie. You think non-fat food is non-fat? Look at the sugar on the ingredient label and then tell me it’s non-fat. Not very hard to understand this concept, but for some reason people just don’t seem to get it.
Consuming simple sugars following a workout will bring glucose to your muscle cells and allow for greater uptake of amino acids, which are very good for muscle growth. Simple sugars are very easy to come across. They include honey, cane sugar, sugar, grapes, raisins, dates, maltose (milk sugar), maltodextrin (Gatorade / Powerade), watermelon, etc. pick one of these and eat them along with a balanced protein, carb, and fat meal after your workout and you will create an insulin spike and cause glucose to be delivered to the muscle and the amino acids to be utilized more efficiently. With this, the protein you just ingested will be up taken into the muscle cells better than if you didn’t eat simple sugars following your workout.
ONLY consume simple sugars like these immediately after your workout to cause an insulin spike. Other than the first thing in the morning and after your workout, simple sugars should be avoided at all costs so that you can fill your body with complex sugars for energy and optimization. Everything clear? Good; now you guys have an extra edge on becoming the best athlete you can be.