Yes, I know insulin is not an anabolic steroid, but in this wild world of competitions there are many other compounds used.
Is Insulin dangerous? Take a look a this basic information.
Insulin: The Double Edged Sword that makes you HUGE!
The title of this article is not a joke. Insulin is probably the most effective anabolic hormone currently used in the arsenal of top bodybuilders, but at the same time one of the most dangerous, if used incorrectly.
Before I start in to the why, what and the how on this ‘super drug’, I feel forced to first warn you of the major dangers of insulin usage and remind you that this article if for information only and does not constitute medical advice:
Death – The real danger of exogenous insulin use is hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and in extreme cases this condition can cause the athlete to fall into a coma and possibly death.
Diabetes – In theory insulin use can cause your pancreas to stop producing insulin or make it insulin resistant, this can lead to diabetes.
It can make you extremely fat – To a bodybuilder this is a major danger and if not used correctly will turn you into a fat mass.
There can be, like most other bodybuilding drugs, many other smaller side effects, mostly related to low blood sugar, such as drowsiness, sweating, distress, hunger, anxiety etc, these will subside once sugar levels are normalized.
Now that that is out the way, we can get down to the nitty gritty.
What is insulin?
Insulin is a peptide hormone that is released from the beta cells of the pancreas. It is released due to a rise in blood sugar levels in the body that is induced mainly by eating carbohydrates, but to a lesser degree by some amino acids in protein sources. It is primarily responsible for the direction of energy metabolism after eating. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels in check.
Individuals with metabolic disorders such as type 1 and 2 diabetes cannot produce their own insulin; their bodies may not be able to use the insulin properly or may be resistant to their own natural insulin. In some of these cases exogenous insulin may be required.
Why are bodybuilders using such a dangerous drug, are they mad?
Good question (but don’t make me ramble on about the mental state of bodybuilders, that is a whole other issue all together!). Most of the top physiques in the world are due largely to insulin; it is considered a drug used only the ‘inner circle for the following reasons:
– It supports amino acid uptake into muscle tissue, allowing the muscle cells to have more available for growth and recovery.
– It enhances glycogen levels in muscle cells, creating a favourable environment for growth and cell volumization.
– It is anabolic.
– It is anti-catabolic.
– It gives an excellent ‘pump’, due to its cell volumizing properties.
– It transports more creatine into the muscle cells.
So, as you can see from the above, insulin is an attractive proposition for the serious athlete (my thoughts on this in the conclusion). In fact, a bodybuilder once told me a story that illustrates the popularity and effectiveness of insulin in advanced athletes. This bodybuilder is a top calibre athlete, good enough to earn him a place at one of the international amateur shows. While sitting backstage he was chatting with the other competitors, about drugs, of course, and started bringing up topics relating to stacking of steroids, at this point he was interrupted by one of the athletes who said something along the lines of: “Are you still using steroids? Where the hell have you been?”
The athlete continued to discuss how they were stacking Growth Hormone, Thyroid Hormones and Insulin to achieve their incredible physiques.
Insulin is a very powerful hormone and anabolic agent that definitely has its place in the serious bodybuilder’s drug arsenal. Note I mention the word ‘SERIOUS’ athlete. Insulin usage is not for amateurs, it requires a lot of discipline and knowledge. Not enough is known about its use in bodybuilding and most advice you might receive will come from athletes who have tried it, and not from trusted medical and scientific sources.
This is one drug that you do NOT play around with.