Insulin and blood sugar
The normal blood glucose level is 80-120 mg / dl. When these numbers are exceeded, the body begins to produce the hormone insulin, which fights excess glucose by utilizing it in the body’s tissues - the liver, muscles and adipose tissue.
About 70 g of processed glucose (1) is stored in the liver, 120 g in the muscles, and 20 g in the blood. I note that these are very small numbers spent in an hour or two. When these "storages" are filled, glucose begins to be utilized in adipose tissue.
What affects insulin levels?
The increase in blood glucose (and then insulin) is affected by the consumption of any foods containing carbohydrates . To a much lesser extent, protein affects the level of insulin, and various fats practically do not.
In an attempt to link the increase in glucose with the use of certain foods, a theory of glycemic index was created. But these figures vary significantly depending on the serving size, food temperature and many other factors.
How much energy is stored in the muscles?
As already mentioned, only about 120 grams of processed glucose is in the muscles. During strength training, these reserves are spent - they are enough for less than an hour, which is another confirmation that long workouts are harmful .
Having emptied these storages, the body needs to replenish them - the theory of the “carbohydrate window” comes from here. Therefore, those 100-150 grams of carbohydrates that are consumed before and after training go only to the muscles, and are necessary for their growth.
Carbohydrate-Free Diet Workouts
Being on a carbohydrate-free diet, the body does not create the necessary reserves of glycogen in the muscles , which prevents them from fully functioning. It is much more difficult to get energy for muscle work from other sources in the active mode.
As a result, strength indicators are significantly reduced and fatigue increases, dizziness or even loss of consciousness are possible. Remember that the classic carbohydrate-free diet is completely incompatible with strength training.
The Importance of Insulin for Muscle Growth
Many people believe that only protein is needed for muscle growth, but with a low level of insulin, a protein that is split into amino acids in the stomach is practically not absorbed by muscle tissue. Muscles absorb protein only when there is insulin in the blood.
That is why the total consumption of 100-150 grams of carbohydrates before, during and after training, significantly improves the recovery and growth of muscle tissue. In addition, naturally, muscles need 50-70 g of protein for this workout.
The effects of insulin on adipose tissue
It is important that insulin even in small quantities stops the release of energy from fat cells. Therefore, regardless of the type of training, the use of any carbohydrates (simple or complex) three hours before exercise stops fat burning.
Only with low glucose and no insulin can the body use adipose tissue to produce energy. At the same time, training does not play a significant role - 300 calories spent on a treadmill are equivalent to a small portion of food.
Nutrition - 80% success!
It's hard to believe, but training is really not as important as nutrition. It is impossible to get rid of fat in the presence of insulin in the blood, just as it is impossible to gain muscle in its absence. Only then comes the total calorie content and nutrition.
If you want muscle - increase your daily calorie intake by 20%, eat on the principles of a basic diet and work out with weight gain. If you want to lose weight, reduce the calorie intake by 20%, minimize carbohydrates, but training is no longer important.
Being the most important hormone that affects metabolism, it is insulin that affects the body's ability to lose fat or build muscle. Due to the nature of this hormone, the body simply cannot burn fat and gain muscle at the same time.
- “Textbook of Biochemistry with Clinical Correlations 4 th ed.” Ed.Thomas M.Devlin, Wiley-Liss, 1997