Hi folks, I was wondering if anyone knew if there was a published relationship between a protein sources bio-availability, or more specifically, its protein efficiency ratio (PER) and its associated insulin response. Whey has a really nice PER - in fact it is taken up by muscle tissues very well when eaten immediately post exercise (particulary anaerobic exercise), but it also causes a relatively high insulin response (AFAIK).
So really my question is whether or not its high PER is a result of the high insulin response (e.g. insulin acting as a carrier for the protein into muscle cells), or is it more of a side effect of the body trying to convert the whey into glucose and the insulin responding to the resultant glucose increase? Or third, am I completely off base on that, and it is lactose or other associated milk sugars that are still present in the whey protein isolate that cause the insulin spike?
What I am working up to here is whats the end game with whey? Is it a great supplemental protein source for us despite its insulin response, at least post exercise? Or, is the insulin response damning to the point of avoid it - go with egg albumin?
PS: The reason I even take powders is I do lot's of heavy weight lifting, 90 minutes a day, with a 2 day on 1 day off cycle. I do want to build more muscle - and have gone paleo not so much from a weight loss perspective, but more from being diagnosed with insulin resistance (and I definitely am not overweight - its just a genetic thing apparently). And I really agree with the whole philosophy of it as well! Paleo just makes sense;)
asked byaris (230)
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on July 22, 2010
at 01:38 AM
You're oversimplifying things here. Any mixture of amino acids with carbohydrates increases the insulin response. http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/85/4/996
Egg whites vs whey probably doesn't make that much difference. Also the spike in insulin is not related to gluconeogensis, as it's observed in the non-glycogen depleted state.
You're not insulin resistance from genetics, it is from your diet and lifestyle.
90 minute workouts are far too long, you want to be doing short and very intense intervals, as they improve your insulin sensitivity.
- Effects of Resistance Training and Endurance Training on Insulin Sensitivity in Nonobese, Young Women: A Controlled Randomized Trial
- Intensity and Amount of Physical Activity in Relation to Insulin Sensitivity
- Effect of the volume and intensity of exercise training on insulin sensitivity
- Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males
- High-intensity interval training improves microvascular and macrovascular function and insulin sensitivity
- Effects of intensity and volume on insulin sensitivity during acute bouts of resistance training
- Dose-response curves representing the relationship between excercise intensity and health benefits as proposed by the ACSM/CDC/SG and the hypothesized relationship between exercise intensity and insulin action in individuals with IGT.
on July 22, 2010
at 12:11 AM
I am not sure I entirely understand your question. My understanding of the concept is that insulin carries things into your cells, including of course, the muscle cells. The idea behind post workout glucose intake, from my understanding, is to carry nutrients into the muscle cells immediately so they can begin to recover immediately. I don't see how you would accomplish this, according the main theory behind this, without some kind of insulin response. Protein can also cause insulin response, but usually not as much as sugar. (fat supposedly does not typically have much effect on insulin) I guess the argument is going to be what is the optimum insulin response for optimum carrying of nutrients into the muscle cells and what will trigger that type of response in you personally? Too much insulin response and the cells will not be able to take on nutrients fast enough, which could contribute to insulin resistance. Too low an insulin response and you may not get all the fast recovery that you could be getting. And since insulin response to protein and glucose seem to vary wildly across individuals, what is best for you is going to be a tricky question.
My guess would be yes, PER is probably at least in part the result of high insulin response. Insulin response can come from any glucose or protein source. Even if the protein is not the exact element causing the insulin response, that does not change the fact that the insulin response brings the nutrients into the cells. If you get rid of the insulin response, according to the prevailing weight lifting theories, then the rate of replenishment of the muscles will be slowed. That is why you will often seen weightlifters advocating some kind of controlled glucose intake shortly after a workout. Remember that most weightlifters are interested in eating in a way that will allow them to have bigger and bigger muscles and lift heavier and heavier weights. This goal is often generally in alignment with the goal of general health but may not always be perfectly in alignment with the goal of general health. (hence all the steroid use..) -Eva
on December 14, 2010
at 06:17 PM
Alr Industries have a non whey protein supplement. There are claims supported by Alr Industries that the insulin spike created by whey can lead to fat storage and there is associated undigested protein/amino acids from metabolism of whey digestion in people creating GI disturbance.
on October 14, 2012
at 03:23 AM
It has more to do with the specific amino acid profile, and the source of the protein. Whey is rich in BCAA's and gluatmine and I know those (together) help stimulate an insulin increase. And if you get your whey in its natural state (from milk) then the IGF-1 from the milk will further promote an increase in insulin.
on October 13, 2012
at 07:25 PM
It is absurd that user "chris" would make the assertion that "you are not genetically insulin resistant". You have nothing to back this up and your view of his problem is way off base at best. You don't even answer his question beyond giving unsolicited workout advice and a bunch of links to push your view of how to exercise.
Whey protein is more insulinogenic than egg protein so you could switch if you see fit. Taking in only proteins after an exercise session will also lower your insulin response no matter what type you use. after a workout your body will need less insulin to 'use' the protein than if you took it any other time because of the exercise induced sensitivity.
on October 13, 2012
at 03:13 PM
I see these are old posts, but as a quick note, one of the main driving forces of getting glucose into muscle cells is glut 4. Glut 4 is produced by exercise and significantly by weight lifting. So increasing your insulin level is not the way weight lifting works to push glucose into your muscle cells. It has been shown that the metabolic change from weight lifting on glucose metabolism lasts about 12 to 20 hours while "aerobic exercise" has a 30-45 minute effect.