Insulin Manifesto Series
In our previous article, The Insulin Manifesto – Spike, we discussed the beauty of insulin spikes. Here in this piece, we are going to discuss how to increase your insulin sensitivity, so as to turn your body into an anabolic, muscle building machine!
Gone Liftin’ came across a damn good article from T-Nation.com, called 6 Strategies for Improved Insulin Sensitivity. In T-Nation’s piece, the author, Clay Hyght lists and discusses 6 good strategies for increasing your body’s insulin sensitivity, in order to create an environment in which your body is better primed for building muscle and altering its composition.
In this article I’m going to offer five nutritional strategies – five nutrients and one elegantly simple dietary strategy – that will help improve your insulin sensitivity.
I believe in teaching as opposed to telling. So let’s briefly review what it means to have “good insulin sensitivity.” This way you’ll be armed with knowledge that will help you make sound dietary decisions.
Insulin Sensitivity Explained
What the hell is it, this so called Insulin Sensitivity?? Well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like. If your cells are sensitive to insulin, they welcome the insulin with open arms, which allows for all those benefits we talked about in our previous insulin article. On the flip side, if your cells are not so sensitive to insulin, or insulin resistant, if you will, then your insulin will not be so welcomed, and harder to utilize said insulin to reap the benefits of the spike. What can we do to combat this? Well, this why we are here, reading this article. We are going to outline some strategies / nutrients for increasing your insulin sensitivity so that your body can utilize all the essential nutrients needed for muscle growth. Let’s begin…
Taking supplemental chromium has been shown repeatedly to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, even to the point of reversing type II diabetes in many people (1). Thus, as my old clinical nutrition professor pointed out, apparently a chromium deficiency can actually lead to type II diabetes.
In fact, chromium is so synonymous with insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance that some actually refer to dietary chromium as Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF).
Doses of between 200 and 600 mcg per day seem to be both safe and effective.
If you have a vanadium deficiency, especially a severe one, you’re likely to notice the positive effects that come from supplementing with the mineral. On the other hand, if you’re not deficient in vanadium, or at least not significantly so, then you’re not likely to notice much, if anything.
When I first took vanadium it’s safe to say I was quite deficient. So after suddenly correcting the deficiency, I literally felt the results.
Considering I’ve never again let years go by without taking supplemental vanadium again, I’m not as likely to “feel” it working – which is actually a good thing.
As with many supplements – like vitamin C or vitamin D, for example – we know they’re beneficial even though we don’t literally “feel” them working. I believe this to be the case for vanadium.
Personally, I generally consume ~ 60-100 mcg/day in the form of chelated vanadium
Mmmm yummy cinnamon! Cinnamon is great as keeping blood sugar levels stable!
If you’re like me, finding out that cinnamon has a rather potent glucose management effect is a tad anticlimactic. “Hmmm…that’s neat,” is the type of reaction I’m talking about.
But pretend for a moment that you heard that a brand new supplement called CGM1029 helps partition nutrients toward skeletal muscle and away from adipose storage. Now, that’s more interesting!
Move on to Part 2 of our Insulin sensitivity piece…