At university, the COVID cases have been growing so it was only a week ago that I managed to make my debut appearance for 2022 at the local gym. It was also going to be the debut of the omnipod (see previous blog) at the gym. It’s such a cool bit of kit that I wanted to flex both it… and my guns. After a very successful gun show, at least in my mind, I stumbled across a fascinating article about body builders and insulin. Having experienced what one might call a gym high, I couldn’t help but marvel at what was being said and felt compelled to write about this topic. The title was “Insulin for Bodybuilders: Effects, Uses, and Risks.” I am no bodybuilder… but I do take insulin and so do others with type one diabetes so was intrigued to learn that people voluntarily inject themselves!
According to the article some bodybuilders resort to pharmaceuticals to build muscle such as anabolic androgenic steroids and insulin.
I had only ever heard of insulin for diabetics because of the context in which I had been using, I promise you. Although I’d like more muscle definition I can confidently report that I think my biceps are growing at a very natural pace. They are taking their time. Body builders who use it exploit it for muscle-building purposes.
Just a quickie to remind you that the main function of the hormone insulin is that it causes your cells to take up glucose (found in carbohydrates) from your blood. A person with type one has to inject insulin to account for this as the pancreas is producing very little or practically none as a way of managing blood sugar.
Insulin, although best known as its role in controlling blood sugar of diabetics when delivered via injection/pump, is believed to have the ability of facilitating protein synthesis and is what the body uses to for muscle growth.
Whilst insulin may not have a potent effect on muscle protein synthesis on its own there are claims that it may have an enhanced effect when taken with steroids or growth hormone.
Moreover, insulin is a promoter of carb storage which is what body builders typically consume after a workout to refuel their muscles post exercise. High level body builders are said to take it to help shuttle glucose and amino acids around the body and overall promote an anabolic (muscle growth) state.
Of course there are serious dangers to health when engaging in such risky behaviour such as low blood sugar/hypoglycaemia as well as bumps over the body which I’m sure would get negative points in a bodybuilding competition as it takes away from the aesthetic of a jacked body…
Anyway I’m off for my next session to gym in a few days. Despite there being a lot of strong looking types in the uni gym, I’m pretty sure I am the only one with the massive supply of insulin in my room.
Glucose upon publishing: 9.2mmol/L
Ps here are some university action shots from recent times
2 thoughts on “Flexing with insulin”
Looking good Antonia 😊
Very interesting Antonia. I didn’t know body builders used insulin. Surely it must be illegal!
Lovely photos. So glad to see that you are participating in other things besides just studying. Tennis is such a great sport, both for fitness and socially. Keep well and avoid Covid.