So now that we know that insulin can be either our best friend, or worst enemy in fat loss/muscle building world, we need to understand how to manipulate it to our advantage whatever our goals may be….
If your primary goal is to gain muscle, then you want high levels of insulin throughout the day. You want especially high insulin levels right after training to take advantage of the fact that at that time, the muscle cell membrane is extra permeable to insulin and whatever it is carrying (i.e. glucose, BCAA).
If your goal is strictly fat loss, then you want lower levels of insulin throughout the day. This can be done by keeping glucose levels low, except for right after a resistance workout to stop the training-induced catabolism and keep you from losing valuable muscle.
Now if you’d like to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, we need to accomplish both these afore mentioned tasks at different times during the same day! Want to gain muscle faster? Increase the amount of insulin you secrete. This is especially beneficial to do immediately after resistance training for many reasons, one of which is because insulin will NOT convert glucose to fat if it can first store it as glycogen. And after an intense weight-training session, both muscle and liver glycogen are depleted and ready to soak up serious glucose! So, don’t be shy with the carbs at this time!
For even faster muscle gain you should also boost insulin levels another time or two throughout the day. You could accomplish this with a couple more carb-containing meals. You could either have one of these prior to training and one after, or both after training (and after your post workout drink). Then, in order to cover the fat loss part of this equation, keep insulin levels low during the remainder of the day.
Whether you’re promoting muscle gain or maximizing fat loss, insulin is the switch you need to learn to flip: “on” for muscle gains, or “off” for fat loss. Whichever you choose, remember that the switch doesn’t have to stay flipped on or off for months at a time. Choose to manipulate insulin on a daily basis and you can reap the benefits while avoiding the drawbacks!