Weight training is a great way to both prevent and alleviate illness. It improves one’s overall sense of well-being and prolongs life.
A study conducted in 2012 found unequivocal evidence that physical activity was inversely associated with cardiovascular disease and overall mortality (1). This was especially evident with “healthy individuals, patients with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.”
A plethora of other amazing studies have come to the same conclusion — people with type 2 diabetes have a lot to gain from physical activity such as bodybuilding and weight training. If you have type 2 diabetes and want to start bodybuilding, many effective supplements are available to help you achieve your goals.
If you already lift weights, taking supplements can improve your performance and overall results. If you want to begin but lack the energy to do so, you can take energy-boosting supplements such as pre-workouts.
People with diabetes must be a little careful about which supplements they take. This article explains what to look out for and presents the best bodybuilding supplements for type 2 diabetes.
A Brief Introduction to Diabetes
Diabetes results from an inability to regulate glucose levels in the blood. This occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t respond appropriately to insulin.
Eating carbohydrates activates a cascade of biological processes that results in their breakdown to glucose. The concentration of glucose in the blood is referred to as the blood sugar level. Certain hormones, such as insulin, function as “messengers” and inform a cell (skeletal muscle or liver cells) when this level is too high.
The binding of insulin to its receptor stimulates the cell to take in glucose. The glucose is then metabolized to generate ATP, the energy currency of the cell. The role of insulin is important because a high blood glucose level can cause a range of serious complications.
People with type 1 diabetes produce low amounts of insulin while people with type 2 diabetes don’t respond appropriately to it. A high blood sugar level brings on a slew of complications such as heart, nerve, or kidney damage.
As a diabetic, your number one goal is to avoid spikes in your blood sugar level and to monitor it using a glucose meter.
Pre-Workout Supplements for Diabetics
Pre-workout supplements are designed to give you energy and boost training intensity so that you can get the most out of a workout. Over time, those extra reps you push out will translate into gains. The bigger and stronger you get, the more motivation you will have to continue training. Pre-workout supplements are great for diabetics as they alleviate one of the most annoying symptoms — chronic fatigue.
What to look out for
Many ingredients, such as creatine and L-citrulline, are responsible for these energy-boosting effects. Type 2 diabetics must watch out for one key ingredient — caffeine. The average healthy adult can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine a day without any noticeable effects on blood sugar levels (2).
But for those with diabetes, caffeine can decrease sensitivity to insulin, raising blood sugar levels (3). This was first revealed in an article published by the American Diabetes Association in 2004 (4). Scientists are still trying to understand fully how caffeine affects diabetics, but here are three hypotheses:
- Caffeine raises levels of stress hormones, such as epinephrine, which prevents your body from breaking down sugar and producing insulin.
- Caffeine lowers the activity of adenosine, a protein responsible for the production of insulin. Adenosine also increases your cells’ response to insulin.
- This is true for all people, but caffeine decreases your quality of sleep. A lack of quality sleep will decrease your body’s response to insulin.
Also look out for a high sugar (carbohydrate) content. Most labels will not list “sugar” as an ingredient but, instead, will use terms such as dextrose, fructose, sucrose, etc. These are examples of simple sugars that will spike your blood sugar levels faster than ordinary carbohydrates. Alternatively, a manufacturer can use artificial or modified sugars which have little to no impact on blood sugar levels.
Creatine is very beneficial for diabetics (especially type 2). A study conducted in 2011 found that creatine increases Glut-4 translocation in type 2 diabetics (5). Glut-4 is a protein that is responsible for the movement of glucose into and out of the cell.
Are Pre-Workout Supplements Safe for diabetics?
Taking a pre-workout supplement is safe for diabetics so long as it does not contain caffeine or a high sugar content. Caffeine-free pre-workouts will give you the energy you need to crush your workouts and still allow you to get a good night’s sleep for optimal recovery.
Pre-workout supplements with creatine can improve glucose control in diabetics. Below, you will find two of the best pre-workout bodybuilding supplements for diabetics type 2. All ingredients have been thoroughly examined and determined to be either safe or beneficial for those with diabetes.
Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Diabetics!
Genius Pre Workout is one of the most effective and successful caffeine-free pre-workouts on the market. It is made by The Genius Brand, a company that specializes in cognitive-enhancing supplements. It is one of my favorite companies because it formulates its products based on scientific evidence and avoids flashy marketing, claiming to have made pre-workouts safe for the first time in history. Millions of customers can attest to this claim.
Each ingredient is natural, safe for people with diabetes, and proven countless times to be effective in boosting energy and mental focus. The label is transparent and contains no proprietary blends, making it easy to research each ingredient. I have done just that and couldn’t find a single thing that wasn’t revered in the sports-science community. Additionally, there are no artificial sweeteners, which is great for people with diabetes.
Here is another powerful pre-workout that has taken the supplement industry by storm. Vintage Blast is the first pre-workout formulated with two stages to insure a steady rate of delivery. This solves two big issues with pre-workouts: 1) Pre-workouts are habit-forming (this doesn’t apply to Genius Pre) and 2) Pre-workouts involve rapid, intense release, followed by a workout-ending crash. All of this is avoided with a delayed release system.
This product is safe for diabetics as it contains no caffeine or artificial sweeteners. Instead, it contains 15+ natural and effective workout amplifiers. Click here for a full list.
Protein Supplements for Diabetics
Protein is the foundation for building muscle. It provides the building blocks, called amino acids, used in the growth, repair, and maintenance of muscle cells. Being one of the three macronutrients, our bodies require a large amount of it. A steady input of protein throughout the day is imperative for building muscle.
However, consuming an adequate amount of protein from food is very difficult. Even the most professional bodybuilders have trouble — hence the use of protein shakes.
Protein shakes have become so ingrained in fitness culture that it is hard to imagine ending a workout without a cold, refreshing, nutrient-dense protein shake. If you haven’t already fallen victim to this fad, I highly suggest you get on board.
Protein supplements are beneficial for people with diabetes. Studies show that whey protein can stimulate insulin secretion in type 2 diabetics (8). Another study showed that when type 2 diabetics supplemented whey protein, their blood glucose levels dropped by almost 30 percent (7). That is quite remarkable! Protein supplements are simply some of the best bodybuilding supplements for type 2 diabetics.
What to look out for
When diabetics try to make healthy food choices to control their blood sugar levels, one term usually springs to mind — carbohydrates, and for good reason. Out of the three macronutrients, carbohydrates raise glucose levels the most, but recent studies suggest that fats also play a role in regulating glucose levels (6).
It was found that certain types of fats influence glucose levels the same way as carbohydrates while others can actually lower it. When patients switched 5% of their calories from carbohydrates to saturated fats, glucose levels went up by .3%. Switching from carbohydrates to monounsaturated fats decreased glucose levels by .09%, and switching to polyunsaturated fats decreased levels by .11%. So, polyunsaturated fats are better than monounsaturated fats are better than saturated fats. The more saturation in the chemical structure, the better.
My point is this — carbohydrates are not the only nutrients that affect glucose levels.
Ideally, a good protein supplement for diabetics would be high in protein and contain little to no fats or carbohydrates (including sugars). Finding a brand that fits these criteria is difficult. This is because many of manufacturers turn to cheap protein sources which also contain carbohydrates. Most products are also highly processed and contain far too much sugar.
Are Protein Supplements Safe for Diabetics?
Yes! Experts agree that protein supplements (especially whey protein) are not only safe but also beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes (7, 8). Whey protein supplements have been shown to drastically reduce glucose levels and increase insulin production and sensitivity.
These benefits are, of course, negated if the supplement used is loaded with carbohydrates and sugars. To make your life easier, I’ve researched all the top brands and picked the two most beneficial protein supplements for type 2 diabetics.
Best Protein Supplements for Diabetics!
Optimum nutrition is truly the gold standard. Each serving delivers 24 grams of protein (total), 5.5 grams of natural BCAAs, and 4 grams of glutamine. As it contains less than 2 grams of carbohydrates, diabetics won’t have to worry about sugar spikes! This product contains almost no sugar yet remains one of the best-tasting protein supplements on the market. Each serving also contains 110 calories and <1 gram of fat. This is the ideal nutrient content for the diabetic consumer.
This is the absolute best protein-based bodybuilding supplement for diabetics type 2. No other brand even comes close.
This product delivers a level of quality and care unseen in the supplement industry. The makers of Naked Whey understand that customers seeking these supplements are very health-conscious — and for good reason. With the rise of dangerous supplements, unethical marketing, and straight-up false labeling, one cannot help but feel wary. The best way to dispel concerns is for the ingredients to be easily identifiable and low in number. Naked Whey, as suggested by the name, is simple, effective, and made from only one key ingredient — 100% Grass-Fed Pure Whey Protein. All the other ingredients are GMO-free, growth-hormone-free, gluten-free, soy-free and sugar-free. Each scoop contains 25 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, 120 calories, and less than 3 grams of carbs. This is a level of perfection only achieved by Optimum and Naked.
span style=”color: #000000;”>Weight loss Supplements for Diabetics
Fat burners are supplements that increase metabolism so you burn more fat. The majority of fat burners work by reducing your appetite and making you feel less hungry. These are great for people whose appetites never seem to be satisfied. Some people may eat to cope with emotional stress. Others may simply love eating. In any case, controlling your food intake can be difficult. Appetite suppressants typically work by regulating the activity of two key hormones — ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin increases your appetite, and leptin decreases it.
The most common mechanism utilized by fat burners is thermogenesis, the production of heat in the body. Our metabolism is constantly working to break down nutrients to produce ATP, the energy currency of the body. This energy is used to maintain thousands of biological functions such as repairing cells and breathing. Everyone requires different amounts of calories to produce enough energy. This amount is known as your base metabolic rate. Thermogenic supplements increase your body’s temperature, which raises your metabolic rate and allows you to burn more fat.
Approximately 80% of people with diabetes are obese or overweight. Thus, many diabetics naturally gravitate to fat burners, but are they safe?
Are fat burners Safe for Diabetics?
Some are very safe and effective, others not so much. It really depends on the product and the ingredients it contains. Don’t worry — the following section takes care of this for you. First, let’s answer a more important question: under what circumstances should you take a fat burner? Before considering fat burners, you must optimize:
- Your sleep: Get 8–10 hours of uninterrupted, quality sleep each night.
- Your caloric intake according to your fat loss goals.
- Your fitness program: Train at least 3 times a week.
Please keep in mind that fat burners are secondary to a good diet. They are not magical pills that will turn you into a supermodel overnight. They will work amazingly well if you are putting in the work. By that, I mean sticking to a solid workout routine and diet. Following your diet plan will be very draining, and the extra boost in energy fat burners provide is great. Plus, they will help you stick to your diet by suppressing your appetite and will burn off extra fat via thermogenesis. The best fat-burning supplements will not get you ripped if your diet regimen is poor.
Best Fat Burners for Diabetics
Vintage makes the list yet again with another groundbreaking claim. It claims to produce the world’s first muscle-preserving fat burner. The product contains 9 simple, natural fat-burning ingredients — raspberry ketones, chrysin, caffeine, and 6 extracts (green tea leaf, green coffee bean, olive leaf, bacopa leaf, garcinia fruit, and forskohlii root extract). Each ingredient is effective for weight loss and is backed by scientific research. In fact, Vintage Burn contains 5 of the 6 fat-burning ingredients that my research suggests are the most effective fat burners (garcinia cambogia extract, caffeine, raspberry ketones, green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, and CLA). Appetite suppression is not as powerful as with the other fat burners, which some may prefer. (Note: This product contains caffeine. Because caffeine is cheap and highly effective for fat loss, almost all manufactures will include it. It is an ingredient that is hard to avoid with fat burners (the next supplement is an exception).
Atrafen is a stimulant-free fat burner with three functions — fat loss support, gastrointestinal/probiotic support, and full body detoxification. It provides adequate appetite suppression for weight loss, a well formulated probiotic blend for digestive health, and a full body detox to kick-start your weight-loss journey. The appetite suppression blend consists of raspberry ketones, African mango extract, cayenne pepper, citrus pectin, and fennel seed extract — all of which are safe and effective for fat loss! This is a great supplement for those looking to lose weight and improve their overall health.
Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult with our doctor before starting an exercise program or taking a dietary supplement.
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