Insulin and Bodybuilding

Insulin is traditionally used for treating diabetes. However, did you know that the hormone can also be used for bodybuilding? Many bodybuilders worldwide are using insulin after workout to achieve a desired physique. While this short cut helps in achieving their desired physique, using insulin for bodybuilding can come with several risks and health effects. Let us explore this trend in detail.

How insulin helps bodybuilders?

Bodybuilding is any type of exercise that enhances a human’s muscular development. However, it focuses more on muscle development than strength enhancement.

While working out in the gym is the safest method to achieve this goal, body builders may resort to other means such as protein shakes, anabolic steroids and insulin injections to outshine their competitors.

Why do bodybuilders use insulin?

In short, Insulin helps their muscles absorb nutrients faster after working out. 

Insulin is an anabolic hormone. It is the hormone that increases nutrient storage in the cell, reduces cell breakdown and boost muscle development. This process is also called protein synthesis. Body builders exploit this process by using insulin off-label.

How to use insulin for bodybuilding?

Body builders use insulin injections after their workout sessions. After administering the injection, a bodybuilder should not forget to eat food with a sufficient amount of carbs to avoid hypoglycemia. Glycogen, which is the stored form of carbohydrate also supports a more effective protein synthesis.

Side Effects of Insulin Injections for body building:

We must note that body builders use insulin for off label purposes that is medically not recommended. This is because, using insulin injection for body building comes with some severe side effects:

  1. It can lead to Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. This explains why a good amount of carb-intake must follow.
  2. It can cause loss of consciousness if the person is non-diabetic.

If you are a bodybuilder, learn the risk of injecting insulin before using it. Using the hormone for off-label purposes can be an advantage for your bodybuilding endeavors; however, its risks your health. Canadian Insulin does not endorse the use of insulin for any purpose other than diabetes treatment.

Doctor’s Recommendation

Do not inject insulin for the purpose of physical enhancement for many reasons. Exceptions may be okay for research purposes only where:

  • An institutional review board has reviewed the study and has sanctioned its legality and ethics
  • There is close medical supervision at all times (dosages will be well calculated)
  • All parties involved are aware and ok

Note that some events such as Mr Olympia have a don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t test policy, but that does not mean it is allowed or safe.