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May 12 2010 Managing Insulin and why its paramount to your success!

By Mike Keck
Copyright 2009,

Insulin is an often times touchy topic and it’s extremely important that we here at Red Point understand its role in the body and how the foods we eat affect our health and physiques!

First, lets define what Insulin is: Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas with expansive effects on both metabolism and other bodily systems.

Now lets look at what insulin does when present in the body: When present, it causes the uptake of glucose (blood sugar) by the vast majority of the body’s cells. These include liver, muscle, and fat tissue cells. Insulin is primarily responsible for storing glucose as glycogen in the liver and muscles. When insulin is at high concentrations in the body, it prevents the use of fat as an energy source.

When insulin is absent (or low), glucose is not taken up by most cells and the body begins to use bodyfat as an energy source, this occurs when adipose tissue releases fatty acids into the bloodstream to be used by the liver for energy. Other body systems are also affected such as amino acid uptake by body cells (this is a key reason why high doses of BCAA’s work so well!). It has several other anabolic effects throughout the body too.

That last sentence is important in understanding why insulin is a huge piece in the muscle building/fat burning puzzle. The word anabolic means primarily, in this sense, tissue building… insulin does not care where or what type of tissue it helps build via glucose uptake. That means it is anabolic to FAT and MUSCLE.

Our objective is not to eliminate insulin, but to CONTROL it! We do this for you at Red Point with the meal combinations and the TIMING of the macronutrients.

Our bodies produce insulin based on the foods we eat. Carbohydrates typically elicit the greatest release of insulin. More important than the traditional glycemic index in determining the effect on blood sugar and insulin, is the glycemic load index. The glycemic load index is a multiplication of serving size of the food in question with its glycemic index score then divided by 100. Fortunately using the Red Point Nutrition software, you don’t have to concern yourself with this, other than understanding it.

We need insulin present to shuttle glucose to the muscle cells so they can begin the growth process, this is why the PWO (post workout) meal is of such importance. Resistance training primes the muscle cells for glucose uptake and desensitizes adipocytes (fat cells) to insulin, thus making it harder for glucose to be stored as fat. That makes PWO the perfect time for a large influx of carbohydrates and protein!

Remember, insulin does not have to be absent for fat burning to take place, it just needs to be low. That is why on a properly adjusted calorie deficit you can still eat the right kinds of carbohydrates at the right time and still lose bodyfat, hence the Quick Cut plan here at Red Point.

By now, you should have a strong, general understanding of what Insulin is and what it does and why it is important to control it! Following the nutrition plans laid out by the Red Point software will ensure that your insulin is under control and doing what we want it to!

Control is the name of the game,

Michael Keck

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