View Full Version : Effects of Protein on Insulin Levels

04-09-2006, 10:11 AM
How does protein affect insulin levels?

On the weekends when I do cardio, I try to go on an empty stomach. However, after spending some time here and doing research...it seems that the stomach does not have to be empty to lose fat...your insulin levels need to be low.

That being said, what affect does protein have on insulin levels? This weekend when I went to the gym, I had a protein shake mixed with water (I usually have them with milk). I used water to minimize the carb intake.

The shake I take has

17g protein
3g carb (1g sugar)

The 3 g of carbs is probably burnt off by the time I get tot he gym right? Saturday, I had a single serving of the shake, while on Sunday, I had a double serving.

What about the protein? Does the protein shake help prevent muscle atrophy during long low intensity cardio exercises? Also, is insulin responsible to shuttling the protein off to be used?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

My main goal is to lose fat...although, I have put on some muscle in the process, so I want to keep all the muscle that I can.

04-10-2006, 06:18 AM
Anyone, please?

04-10-2006, 09:05 AM
Ok i am going to take a stab at this

Cardio on an empty stomach is ok, as long as it is not too intense, if your body has no available nutrients to draw upon once your exertion levels rise (roughly above 60% of your MAX heart rate) then it is forced to turn to breaking down muscular protein to convert to energy. This is also known as Glycongenesis. You have the right idea of minimizing insulin spikes so that your body burns fat more effectively, this is known as Glucogenesis which is great.
I've found that a scoop of protein powder is great to have in the morning before some light cardio because the protein tells my body to switch off the " catabolic " switch the night of fasting and to burn body fat for fuel. Though it is important to realize that your body will not burn off the protein powder for fuel as it is not biovailable for "use" for 60-90 minutes (ish). But it does help prevent muscle atrophy.
What Protein does to insulin levels...?... It helps control insulin spikes AND means that when you do have carbs with your protein, the carbs serve to shuttle the protein to where its needed. Post Workout, if you are not focusing on fat loss, you need carbs, otherwise the protein alone cannot act as a "carrier" into the muscles and it becomes useless.
I wouldnt worry about 3g of carbs after a workout, thats pretty negligible, just think that right after a workout AND 2 hrs after your body takes the carbs and shuttles them right into the muscles AND where ever it is needed, UNLESS you demolish a HELL of a lot of carbs. General guideline is about 100g of carbs for a 175lb man, give or take.
Hope that rambling post helped, just keep browsing the forums, and remember knowledge is power, why workout super hard when you can workout smart and more efficiently.