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The Fate of Carbohydrates and the Secret of Insulin

Updated: 3 days ago

The Fate of Carbohydrates

"Yare yare daze... Let's trace the fate of carbohydrates!"

Understanding how carbohydrates are processed in the body is an intriguing journey. While monosaccharides require no digestion, disaccharides and polysaccharides must be broken down by digestive enzymes.

A muscular character striking a dramatic pose against a backdrop illustrating the body's internal system with insulin and carbohydrate representations. The character has a determined expression, with "ORA ORA ORA" onomatopoeic sounds floating around.

Digestion in the Mouth

First, enzymes in saliva called amylase break down starches and dextrins. However, because food doesn't stay in the mouth for long, this action is minimal. Chewing thoroughly can enhance amylase activity, improving digestion.

Digestion in the Stomach

Once food reaches the stomach, amylase continues to act. Salivary amylase is inactivated by stomach acid after about 30 minutes, but until then, it continues to aid in digestion.

Absorption in the Small Intestine

In the small intestine, carbohydrates are broken down into monosaccharides. These are absorbed through the intestinal walls and transported to the liver. Fructose and galactose are converted into glucose, which is stored as glycogen in muscles and the liver, or circulated in the blood as blood sugar.

The Role of Insulin

"The most crucial hormone for muscle growth is insulin, not testosterone or growth hormone!"

Insulin's primary function is to lower blood sugar levels by facilitating the uptake of glucose into body tissues.

Insulin Secretion

Insulin secretion occurs in two phases: basal and bolus. Basal secretion involves a constant, small amount of insulin, while bolus secretion occurs in response to a meal. Both types work to maintain steady blood glucose levels.

Insulin's Mechanism

After eating, nutrients enter the bloodstream, raising blood glucose levels. Insulin is then secreted to reduce blood sugar by moving glucose into muscles, fat, and liver cells. Additionally, insulin helps transport amino acids into muscles.

Insulin and Muscle

"Without proper insulin function, nutrients can't reach cells, resulting in muscle loss!"

Insulin's role in transporting glucose and amino acids to muscles is vital for muscle growth. To bulk up, increasing insulin secretion is beneficial, but it also affects fat cells.

Insulin Hierarchy

"Insulin operates in a hierarchy, targeting muscles first!"

Insulin's order of operation is as follows:

  1. Muscles

  2. Liver

  3. Fat

The more muscle you have, the less likely insulin will contribute to fat storage. Conversely, those with less muscle are more prone to insulin-driven fat gain.

Insulin Sensitivity and Resistance

"Training increases muscle insulin sensitivity!"

Exercise enhances insulin sensitivity in muscles. Delivering sufficient nutrients to muscle cells within three hours post-exercise is crucial. During this period, even high insulin levels minimally affect fat cells, reducing the likelihood of fat gain.

Glycemic Index (GI)

"The rate at which carbohydrates are digested and absorbed, that’s the Glycemic Index (GI)!"

High GI foods spike blood sugar rapidly, causing a surge in insulin. Conversely, slow-digesting carbohydrates result in gradual insulin release. GI values can vary based on food ripeness, preparation, and combination with other foods.

Enhancing Insulin Function

Here are some ways to improve insulin function:

Arginine, Citrulline, Ornithine

These amino acids boost insulin secretion and sensitivity. Start with 3-4g daily, increasing up to 9g, but split doses to avoid stomach issues. Note: Arginine can exacerbate herpes, so those affected should avoid it.


Found in fatty fish or supplements, EPA enhances insulin sensitivity. Aim for 2-4g of "EPA + DHA" daily.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

This particularly enhances muscle insulin sensitivity. Take 100-200mg post-breakfast and post-training. On non-training days, take it post-breakfast and post-dinner.


Cinnamon also boosts insulin sensitivity. Just a teaspoon daily has been shown to improve blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Other beneficial substances include biotin, quercetin, zinc, chromium, vanadium, and corosolic acid (found in banaba tea).



"Yare yare daze... Understanding the fate of carbohydrates and the role of insulin is key to muscle and health management. Follow these insights and your body will surely evolve!"

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