Insulin in bodybuilding

Insulin is a peptide hormone secreted by the pancreas. It regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body and promotes protein synthesis and glucose utilization. Designed for use by people with a lack of insulin, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Biosynthetic “human” insulin is taken as an injection.

Your body cells can’t absorb glucose, the body’s main source of energy, without insulin. When glucose enters the bloodstream, the pancreas releases insulin. If cells become resistant to insulin, they no longer respond to its release, absorbing glucose. More glucose remains in the bloodstream, a condition known as hyperglycemia appears. Once this happens, a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

How insulin works in sports

Insulin helps to unite every cell. This is why insulin is thought to have an anabolic effect. Insulin for bodybuilding is not news, bodybuilders take it to increase endurance and improve performance. In addition, insulin is used in sports to increase muscle mass, as it stimulates the formation of glycogen, which nourishes the muscles during exercise.

Whenever insulin binds to muscle cells, it causes many biochemical reactions in the muscles, which in turn increase protein synthesis – the process of restoring muscle fibers – using amino acids that are absorbed by muscle cells. Insulin also reduces muscle failure, which contributes to muscle growth even more.

Indirectly, the effects of insulin also help develop muscles by relaxing and dilating blood vessels, increasing blood flow to muscles. By increasing blood flow, insulin helps muscles gain more nutrients such as glucose and amino acids. That’s why bodybuilders usually take simple carbohydrates on competition days. This peak of insulin not only transfers these carbohydrates directly into the muscles (to keep them full), it also emphasizes the vascularization known as the pumping effect.

How to take insulin

As a rule, athletes inject insulin three times a day – immediately after waking up, in the middle of the day, and then immediately after training – a total of 15 to 45 IU. The three types of insulin used most widely include Humalin “N”, Humalin “R” and Humalog. Each of them is used at different times of the day and at different times during the cycle of insulin.

Injection can be carried out intravenously, subcutaneously or intramuscularly. The most common injection site is the abdomen. Ingredients with a high glycemic index, such as honey and glucose tablets should be taken with them when injected so that blood glucose levels do not decrease. In addition, it is necessary to follow a very strict diet to see the benefits and reduce the risks.

The risk to nondiabetic people

Taking too much insulin or taking it when your body itself produces insulin in sufficient quantity is forbidden! Excess insulin removes too much glucose from the blood and produces a condition called hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.

Improper use of insulin can lead to diabetes, long-term organ damage, coma or death. Symptoms of insulin shock include sweating, pallor, hunger, anxiety, tremors, rapid heartbeat, fainting, weakness, irritability, mood swings, and loss of consciousness. The person showing these symptoms needs immediate medical attention.

For diabetics, the treatment of hypoglycemia is to eat something containing rapidly absorbed glucose, such as candies or special glucose tablets. If you have a hypoglycemic reaction eat foods that contain both carbohydrates and proteins so that you don’t experience a rebound reaction, with a rapid rise in blood sugar, and then a rapid drop in it.

What is insulin we have explained to you, and also presented all possible risks when using it for a healthy person. Note, that what worked well for one athlete will not always be good for another. Each organism is different, with its own reactions and perceptions. Therefore, before you start taking such potent drugs, you should consult a doctor and perhaps take tests.

The website of provides information only for informational purposes. "IronSet" does not sell and does not call for use of potent substances, including anabolic steroids. This information is collected from public sources and can not serve as a basis for deciding on the use of certain drugs. The information presented on the website does not call for the use or distribution of potent substances.


Andrey is a coach, sports writer and editor. He is mainly involved in weightlifting. He also edits and writes articles for the IronSet blog where he shares his experiences. Andrey knows everything from warm-up to hard workout.

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