I usually ask the athletes I train, what is the most powerful hormone in the body for building muscle and increase recuperation, which in turn increases your chances of building up your musculature?
I am immediately bombarded with answers ranging from Testosterone to Growth hormone. I usually reply with an answer saying, “Well, you are partially correct.” The answer is insulin. Yes insulin, your own body’s insulin is the most powerful hormone you have in your body. When executed correctly, you can manipulate your own insulin to help you build muscle and increase your level of recuperation. By increasing your level of recuperation, you will be able to train more frequently without worrying about over training and such.The science of manipulating insulin levels started in the early 1990’s. With insulin’s popularity of helping to build muscle; with it came the invention, and usage of (for bodybuilding purposes) supplements like Vanadyl Sulfate, Chromium Picolinate, Alpha Lipoic Acid, the use of injectable insulin, and the longevity supplement/drug “metformin.”
(Note: Did you know that your brain can trigger an insulin response? The moment you focus on a picture or you focus on some sweet treat like cakes or cookies, a message is sent to your brain, which prepares the body to release insulin right before you ingest the actual food. If it’s a picture of a tasty treat, then the insulin that is secreted goes back to normal only because you cannot eat a picture of that particular food.)
Insulin is what you call a transport hormone. Once you eat some simple carbohydrates, the purpose of your pancreas is to secrete insulin and move nutrients through the blood stream and into areas like your muscle cells, and your vital organs for proper repair and growth.
I remember when the late great Dan Duchaine reported, in an issue of Muscle Media 2000, about the usefulness of Vanadyl sulfate. The company that produced it was Sports Pharma. Many bodybuilders reported having great pumps after about one week of using it. Unfortunately today, we hear many athletes saying that Vanadyl is somewhat useless, and actually at high dosage levels, poisonous. I have been using Vanadyl sulfate for about twenty years and have not found the poison stigma to be true. I get nice pumps with Vanadyl at about 30 mg daily, and I do go off for about three months before using it again.
How do we take advantage of our body’s insulin levels?
Here is how to do it: After working out, we have what is called “A Window of opportunity” to eat food that will be used almost at a 100%, to feed your muscles and not your fat cells, which means that your muscles will suck up the food nutrients and restore glycogen levels unlike a sedentary fatso who eats food which will most likely be turned into fat; not so for the bodybuilder. This is where the post workout meal becomes a very important part of your muscle building program. Right after you complete your training session, you mix some creatine with some high glycemic juice like grape juice. With the grape juice you mix two tea spoons of creatine, and along with that you take one tablet of Vanadyl sulfate, one capsule of Chromium Picolinate along with one capsule of Alpha Lipoic acid.
By combining what I have just mentioned, your body will move all of the sugar from the grape juice along with the creatine into your glycogen depleted muscle cells. This will help in the recuperation process.
Next you wait about 15 to 20 minutes and take your post workout protein drink, which should include:
1) Milk & Egg protein (or whey protein specifically if you are cutting up) or you can add the whey to your milk an egg protein powder if you are working towards muscle mass.
2) Waxy Maze
3) One tea spoon of creatine.
Next mix it all with almond milk and two whole eggs. This would be taken after 15 minutes of your first glycemic drink.
After about 30 to 45 minutes, you take in your next meal, which should have a protein source, a vegetable source and a complex carb source like rice.
Your body utilizes food more efficiently after your training sessions and in your morning meal when you get up.
What does Vanadyl Sulfate do? Vanadyl sulfate, one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements, is derived from trace mineral vanadium.
What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this? – Athletes have long used Vanadyl sulfate to increase their performance. It is believed to play a role in regulating the body’s blood sugar levels, similar to insulin. Studies show that Vanadyl sulfate mainly helps the muscle cells uptake glucose (instead of fat cells (adipocytes) up taking glucose). Basically, by mimicking the actions of insulin, Vanadyl sulfate forces more proteins, amino acids, and carbohydrates directly into muscles.
Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency? – Bodybuilders find Vanadyl sulfate especially effective because of the fullness it gives their muscles. Weight lifters and bodybuilders take Vanadyl to increase their results while working out and because they experience greater pumps and vascularity. Symptoms of deficiency are not associated with Vanadyl sulfate.
How much should be taken? Are there any side effects? – The recommended dosage is between 30 and 50 mg per day with meals in divided doses. Supplementing with Vanadyl sulfate is safe and effective when taken in the recommended amounts. As with most trace minerals, over supplementing may be toxic, so don’t take too much.
What does Chromium Picolinate do? – Chromium Picolinate is thought to be the best source of chromium. Chromium is a trace mineral that is essential to the body’s production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that stabilizes the body’s blood sugar level. Brewer’s yeast is considered the best source of chromium; however, foods such as corn-on-the-cob, buckwheat, apples, beets, tomatoes, wheat germ and bran, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources as well.
What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this? – Research shows that chromium is an essential part of our diet. Chromium Picolinate can have many beneficial results when supplemented. It enhances insulin’s effect in the body, improving the uptake of glucose, thereby causing better blood circulation and maintenance of blood sugar level. Evidence also supports chromium’s ability as a cholesterol and atherosclerosis fighter. Gaining energy, burning fat, and building muscle with greater ease are attributed to chromium, to name a few. It assists the body in losing weight by helping it to build muscle to replace fat. Lowering body fat and increasing lean body mass are just a few of the positive properties that chromium picolinate exhibits on the body. Research also shows that supplementation has some age slowing effects and therefore can increase the life span.
Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency? – Specific people have been shown to dramatically gain from ingesting chromium picolinate. Some cases where it can help are diabetes, high cholesterol, hypoglycemia, and obesity. Research indicates that the majority of people in the United States are chromium deficient. Most people could use chromium in their diets. As chromium levels decrease with age and deficiencies occur with people who do not eat a good balanced diet, chromium picolinate supplementation can be very beneficial. Because processed foods have much of the chromium removed, increasing ones chromium content is recommended to sustain proper glucose levels and gain energy. Anyone who likes to live with energy, burn fat, and increase strength and muscle mass would also do well to supplement with chromium… bodybuilders, that’s you!
How much should be taken? Are there any side effects? – Research and most literature suggest supplementation of between 50 and 300 mcg to compliment a 2,000-calorie diet is adequate. When taken in such doses, chromium picolinate has not been shown to cause toxicity in humans.
What Is Alpha-Lipoic Acid? – To give a scientific explanation of what Alpha-Lipoic Acid is, one of the easiest ways to explain it would be that it is an essential co-factor in energy metabolism in organisms from microbes to humans. Simply defined it is a substance (such as a co-enzyme) that must be available in order for another substance (such as an enzyme) to produce a specific result. Additionally, when present in sufficient quantities, Alpha Lipoic Acid acts as an antioxidant. The amount of Alpha Lipoic Acid naturally present in the body may not be adequate to obtain the antioxidant benefits. Increasing the amount of Alpha Lipoic Acid through dietary supplementation can be helpful to perform this vital function.
The combination of these two attributes makes Alpha Lipoic Acid a unique antioxidant supplement. Your body does in fact manufacture Alpha-Lipoic Acid, but supplementing it provides benefits beyond its involvement in carbohydrate metabolism. For starters, Alpha-Lipoic Acid is able to deactivate both fat and water soluble free radicals (build-up of excess minerals underneath the surface of your skin) and thereby protect both lipoproteins and membranes; no other anti-oxidant can do this. To give a more understandable answer, for those who just want to know what Alpha-Lipoic Acid can do for them, it helps to take the toxins out of the body thereby improving overall health.
Benefits of Alpha-Lipoic Acid Supplementation
Improval of physique, Combats free radicals, Protects our genetic material, Slows aging
Protects against heart disease, Protects against cancer, Improves skin and helps erase wrinkles, Regulates blood sugar in diabetics, Protects the liver, and may be used as a treatment for Stroke.
That’s it for now. More on this topic very soon. Until then,