Metformin for Bodybuilding:
Decreased Blood Sugar, Increased Insulin Sensitivity, Decreased Sugar Absorption, Lowered Appetite, Lowered Insulin Levels, and Decreased Sugar Formation from the Liver.
Metformin is the standard name for the brand name drug Glucophage which literally means “Eater of Sugar.” It is a Type II diabetes drug and helps to reduce Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and help suppress glucose production by the liver. Metformin is the most prescribed anti diabetic drug in the world and is listed in the World Health Organizations (WHO) list of essential medicines.
Type II Diabetics take Metformin to bring down their blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. It is this reason that many Bodybuilders have taken up the use of Metformin for fat loss and weight loss.
Metformin belongs to a family called biguanides and it inhibits gluconeogenesis, which is simply it stops your liver from making sugar from muscle and stored glycogen, as well as inhibiting absorption of sugars in intestines and increases the absorption of sugar into cells so that low levels of blood sugar can be maintained. Further metformin reduces your appetite. Metformin will stimulate the Glut-4 Transporters to tell our cells that we want sugar, in a rested state our cells resist sugar and we need something like insulin to force the cells to take in the sugars and use it up. By not taking in the sugars they go to fat. So Metformin will have the Glut-4 Transporters move sugar into our cells even if we are not exercising. While not exercise in a bottle it can be useful in shedding unwanted weight for people who are insulin insensitive such as Type II Diabetics.
Bodybuilders use metformin because it gives them several benefits: Muscles will grow fuller on a high carb diet, Prevents fat from being deposited so you gain full benefits from the carbohydrates without working about it turning to fat (perfect for cheat days), keeps your msucles sensitized for your own natural insulin, spresses your hunger (wonderful for ketogenic diets), and the increased pumps they get while taking metformin.
The negative side effects can be: Nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, diarrhea, lowering of testosterone, and lactic acidosis. Metformin can hinder testosterone by inhibiting conversion from DHEA in the liver and increasing the shbg which binds to the testosterone which makes it inactive. For people with kidney issues or those doing very high intensity work outs it is best to be careful as we are inhibiting the liver from making sugar form lactic which leads to a build of lactic acid which in turns forces the kidneys to try to remove the lactate in your body and causes demands on your kidneys.
Dosages should be taken as prescribed by your doctor however a general rule is that dosing for Type II diabetes starts at 500 milligrams twice per day and adjusted based on your blood work. Bodybuilders report taking 500 to 1000 milligrams within an hour of a large carbohydrate meal to achieve full muscles.
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