When it comes to improving insulin sensitivity, these four products should be a staple in any bodybuilder’s supplementation regime: omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, R+ Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), and a post-workout protein/carb formulation. That being said, supplementation should always come secondary, and you should strive to get as much of the required macronutrients from real food.
For example, you need to simultaneously cut your intake of trans-fats (preferably to 0%) and omega-6 vegetable oils, limit your intake of saturated fats, and increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids by eating more wild fish, grass-feed beef and avocados or taking omega-3 supplements. This will improve your dietary fat balance and thus make cells more sensitive to insulin.
Magnesium, on the other hand, plays a role in hundreds of physiological processes, including glucose disposal and insulin sensitivity. Studies have repeatedly shown that increasing magnesium intake can improve glucose tolerance and reverse the effects of insulin resistance. To get more magnesium, up the amount of leafy greens, dark chocolate and almonds in your diet, or get a high-quality magnesium supplement.
During the past few years, R+ ALA has risen to the status of an essential supplement for bodybuilders because it can help increase lean muscle mass by protecting cells from training-induced oxidative stress and enhancing nutrient storage. This is because it’s a crucial co-factor in most mitochondrial dehydrogenase reactions, meaning that it’s involved in the proper metabolism of all carbs and fats. Recent studies have shown that ALA has a positive impact on insulin action (via the insulin signal transduction pathway) and muscle glucose transport, especially in people whose insulin function is suboptimal, i.e. have developed insulin resistance.
Finally, the post-workout meal is one of the most important parts of progressive muscle building because this is the time when insulin sensitivity is at its highest and muscle cells are most receptive to nutrient storage. By consuming fast-digesting carbs and proteins right after you complete your last set, you are able immediately replenish glycogen reserves and jumpstart protein synthesis.
So what are you doing to enhance your insulin sensitivity?
If the answer is nothing, consider applying these 4 tips to your diet and training strategy, because no serious bodybuilder can afford to neglect the role of insulin in his organism. Simply put, when your muscle cells are less than optimally receptive to nutrient storage, you’re unable to unlock your body’s max potential for muscle building.
Assuming you’ve been training for a while now, you probably already have all the parameters required for success – proper nutrition, weight-training and supplementation – so what remains to be done is to simply modify them a bit to make huge advancements in your progress.
The effects will be immediate, so start today!