What type of insulin is used in bodybuilding

Insulin (from lat. Insula island) is a peptide hormone that is formed in the beta cells of the islets of the Langerhans of the pancreas. It has a multifaceted effect on metabolism in almost all tissues. The main effect of insulin is to lower the concentration of glucose in the blood. In bodybuilding, insulin is used due to its pronounced anabolic effect .

Insulin increases the permeability of plasma membranes for glucose, activates key glycolysis enzymes, stimulates the formation of glycogen in the liver and muscles from glucose, and enhances the synthesis of protein fats . In addition, insulin inhibits the activity of enzymes that break down glycogen and fat. That is, in addition to the anabolic effect, insulin also has an anti-catabolic effect .

To the greatest extent, glucose transport in two types of tissues depends on insulin: muscle tissue and adipose tissue are the so-called insulin-dependent tissues.

Insulin effects

Metabolic effects of insulin

  • increased absorption by cells of glucose and other substances;
  • activation of key glycolysis enzymes;
  • an increase in the intensity of glycogen synthesis, insulin boosts the storage of glucose by liver and muscle cells by polymerizing it to glycogen;
  • a decrease in the intensity of gluconeogenesis decreases the formation of glucose in the liver from various non-carbohydrate substances (proteins and fats).

Anabolic effect of insulin

  • enhances the absorption of amino acids by cells (especially leucine and valine);
  • enhances the transport of potassium ions, as well as magnesium and phosphate into the cell;
  • enhances DNA replication and protein biosynthesis;
  • enhances the synthesis of fatty acids and their subsequent esterification in adipose tissue and in the liver, insulin promotes the conversion of glucose into triglycerides; with insulin deficiency, reverse fat mobilization occurs.

Anticatabolic effect of insulin

  • inhibits protein hydrolysis reduces protein degradation;
  • reduces lipolysisreduces the flow of fatty acids into the blood.

The dangers of insulin use – lethal dose

Perhaps the main factor in the poor reputation of insulin is the risk of hypoglycemia . On any forum, you can find warning messages, as if even a slight excess of the dose of insulin could be fatal. However, scientific and practical evidence suggests something else: Dr. G Kernbach-Wighton and colleagues determined that the smallest lethal dose of insulin is 100 units , that is, a full insulin syringe. Many people remain alive even after doses of 3000 units! Even in the event of a serious overdose of insulin, there is time to call an ambulance in a clear mind. Before the development of coma, several hours pass, so even lethal doses of insulin do not cause death if timely entry of glucose into the blood begins.

What type of insulin is used in bodybuilding?

In bodybuilding, short and ultrashort insulin should be used:

Short acting insulin

Short insulin begins to act after subcutaneous administration after 30 minutes (therefore, it is administered 30-40 minutes before meals), the peak of action occurs after 2 hours, disappears from the body after 5-6 hours.

The best choice:

  • Humulin Regular
  • Actrapid HM

Ultra Short-acting Insulin

Ultrashort insulin begins to act after 15 minutes, the peak after 2 hours, disappear from the body after 3-4 hours. It is more physiological and can be administered immediately before a meal (5-10 minutes) or immediately after a meal.

The best choice:

  • Lyspro insulin (Humalog) is a semi-synthetic analogue of human insulin.
  • Insulin aspart (NovoRapid Penfill, NovoRapid Flexpen).
  • Insulin Glulisin (Humalog)

The average cost of a two-month cycle is 2000-3000 rubles.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Insulin


  • Low cost of the cycle
  • Accessibility – the drug can be freely purchased at the pharmacy
  • High quality – fakes are practically excluded, unlike steroids
  • No toxicity, low incidence of side effects, almost complete absence of cycle effects
  • Minor Rollback Phenomenon
  • Pronounced anabolic effect
  • The possibility of a combination of anabolic steroids and other means
  • Lack of androgenic exposure
  • Insulin DOESN’T have a toxic effect on the liver or kidneys, nor does it cause sexual dysfunction (potency).


  • Complex reception scheme
  • A significant increase in fat
  • Hypoglycemia

Side effects of insulin

  • Hypoglycemia or a decrease in the concentration of glucose in the blood, which entails all other manifestations. Hypoglycemia can be easily prevented; read about it in the main article – hypoglycemia.
  • Pruritus pruritus
  • Allergy – extremely rare
  • Decreased endogenous insulin secretion – occurs only with very long cycles with high doses of insulin

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