Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone of the peptide class naturally produced by the human body and often taken in by supplemental form in those desiring massive increases in size. Produced by the pancreas, insulin is responsible for the effects surrounding blood glucose levels ensuring proper function. While this is a very powerful hormone when produced naturally or administered exogenously it carries with it both positive and harsh negative effects. By-in-large, this hormone carries with it a host of myths and misunderstandings, perhaps more than any other hormone discussed. While the misinterpretation of some hormones is understandable much of the uneducated assumptions surround insulin due to the advent of death when used improperly. We have taken some of the most prevalent myths from some of the most popular message boards on the internet that focus on the discussion of hormones for performance enhancing purposes and left you only with truth. While some of these myths do contain a certain level of truth they are often flawed and need to be clarified. Hopefully this will lend to you a greater understanding of the hormone, whatâ€™s real, whatâ€™s true and whatâ€™s an absolute myth and given you the tools you need to discuss insulin with confidence.
Myth: Exogenous insulin is different than insulin produced by the human body.
Truth: Insulin made by the human body versus supplemental use is the exact same hormone; the only difference is weâ€™re increasing the amount in our body when we add in supplemental amounts. The actions performed by the hormone are the same regardless of its origin.
Myth: Insulin will make you fat.
Truth: Insulin itself does not make you fat, however, the effects can lead to fat gain but fat gain can be avoided if used properly. Granted, the sensitivity of some individuals will be higher than others and fat gain will be more of a concern with these individuals. When insulin is present in the body it makes it impossible for the body to burn stored body-fat; when the hormone is present the body will strictly rely on glycogen for energy and not fat. In the end it all boils down to calories taken in versus calories burned but there is no question, excessive levels of the hormone will make fat loss very difficult and if youâ€™re trying to cut weight supplemental use is not advised.
Myth: All supplemental insulin is the same.
Truth: There are several forms of insulin from which we have to choose from; some are very short acting and some hang around in the body for extended periods of time. Most all performance users will want to stick with the short lasting versions such as Humalog or Humulin-R; although only Humulin-R is available without a prescription. Insulin forms such as Humulin-N and Humulin-U are highly cautioned against for most all performance users.
Myth: Insulin only affects the carbohydrates consumed.
Truth: While carbohydrate consumption is vital to insulin use the hormone has a great impact on protein absorption. When insulin is present in the body protein absorption is higher than without, however, the difference will not be great enough to deem supplemental use necessary due to the possible negative effects of the hormone being so great; assuming weâ€™re using safely weâ€™re referring to possible fat gain.
Myth: Insulin can kill you.
Truth: Unfortunately this is not a myth at all, in-fact it can be 100% True. If we use responsibly and properly we will be fine but improper use can lead to death and use should not be taken lightly. As insulin revolves around blood glucose levels, if the hormone is present without sufficient carbohydrates to match we can slip into what is known as a diabetic coma Because of this possibility we must ensure we take in adequate amounts of carbohydrates with our supplemental insulin; the amount of carbs will vary depending on the level of dose applied. For most individuals only a few units of insulin will require a minimum of 150g of carbohydrates from both slow and fast acting sources. Some individuals will need far more, itâ€™s impossible to predict but if you keep some fast acting carbs on hand and notice a feeling of low-blood sugar creeping on, simply ingest those carbs until the feeling goes away and next time start with a higher total amount of carbs