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Why a Glucose Disposal Agent is for More than Just Cheat Day

It’s every person’s dream to eat without consequence, and we’ve all eaten as if there were no consequences at one time or another – be it post-contest, a birthday, graduation, or back in the pre-fitness days.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a few strategic cheat meals, or refeed days, or “treat” meals – if you will – but there’s always less damage done when it’s accompanied by a Glucose Disposal Agent (GDA). In fact, GDA’s are effective at nutrient partitioning in any high-carb meal, and it’s worthwhile to use a GDA for both bulking at cutting purposes.

What is a Glucose Disposal Agent?

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? A zero-impact feast all by using this so-called GDA? Zero-impact is a bit of a stretch, but a good GDA helps redirect the calories that come from carbohydrates. They take blood glucose and shuttle it towards muscle and away from fat.

Carbs stored in muscle are useful ergogenic aids, used to fuel high-intensity performance, and carbs that enter fat cells end up being stored as fat – clearly one is better than the other. This is the primary reason why GDAs are for more than just cheat meals, but let’s take a quick look at the significance of GDAs paired with our favorite foods.

Why to Use a GDA with Cheat Meals

Typical cheat food items are often high carb and high fat. There’s a biological process, known as the Randle Cycle, which prevents more than one type of substrate from being oxidized at a time. In other words, you cannot burn off both the carbs and the fat from your cheat meal.

This is significant problem for those that want to progress towards a lean or muscular physique. Even if you’re a “hard-gainer” that only wants to build muscle, eventually you’re going to want to lose that extra layer, and when that extra layer is a littler thicker, it takes more and more effort to remove it. During that process, muscle can be lost, so it’s best not to have that layer in the first place.

This is where GDAs come in.

After a cheat meal, let’s say it’s pizza – a personal favorite – the body is likely only going to process the carbs in the immediate aftermath of taking down 3 (or 8) slices. That means all that delicious grease will be shunted into storage.

Yes, it’s true that over an extended period, it could then be freed, but the insulin and glucose spike from the pizza is going to prevent that process from even beginning for several hours, likely extending into the next meal, and the next, and the next, and so on until that burger and fries slides in next week.

Instead of letting the carbs dictate metabolic priority, GDAs will stuff them into muscle cells, and get out ahead of the fat load, preventing unnecessary weight gain – not to mention, quite a few health benefits by limiting simultaneous elevations in blood glucose and fatty acids.

Why to Use a GDA Regularly

If you’re like most, you eat a moderate- to high-carb diet for the majority of any given year. All of the glucose (for all intents and purposes all carbs are glucose) that enters your body must go somewhere.

While bodies are at rest, most glucose ends up being stored for later, and it is mixed between fat and muscle. When calories are in balance (in vs. out), there’s going to be no change in body weight. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a change in body composition.

At the cellular level, the cell is unaware of the energy status of the body – it is only aware of the energy status of itself. If there is low energy (low glucose) in a muscle cell, it will begin to shrink. Vice versa, if there is high energy in a fat cell, it will begin to grow.

Under normal circumstances, nothing is being done to tip the scales in favor of muscle building and fat loss, but a good GDA will direct glucose towards muscle.

This effect is relevant during all phases of dieting - hypocaloric (dieting/cutting), eucaloric (maintenance), and hypercaloric (bulking). When a diet is hypocaloric, a good GDA will push more glucose into the muscle, preserve size, and further starve the fat cells; when a diet is hypercaloric, GDAs will prevent fat gain, much like they do during a cheat meal, and keep muscle energy high for intense workouts, and potentiate greater growth.

What to Look for in a Good GDA

More muscle. Less fat. More effective pizza consumption. Sign my a$$ up! But not all GDAs are created equal – here’s what you need to know.

Berberine

Above all else, a good GDA absolutely MUST have 500 mg of Berberine. No ifs, ands, or buts – no berberine = no bueno.

There’s only one study that need be presented to illustrate why we’re so high on this ingredient. This is the scientists’ conclusion, “Berberine is able to exert a glucose-lowering effect … which is insulin independent and similar to that of metformin.” Metformin is the pharmaceutical prescribed to diabetics to lower their glucose, insulin, and HbA1C levels, typically instructed to be consumed before dinner to reduce the impact of their largest meal of the day.

Further research has shown that berberine drives glucose uptake by the muscle cell. What’s even cooler, it does so without altering insulin levels and principally improves natural glucose transport via Glut1 vs. Glut4 receptors. The Glut1 receptors are always present on the muscle cell membrane, but Glut4 must be stimulated by insulin to translocate from inside the cell to the cell surface. The result is just a more efficient muscle cell all-around!

Cinnamon

There’s a few other good ingredients to look for. Number 2 on the list is cinnamon. Cinnamon extract helps to reduce the total amount of glucose released from the digestive system into circulation, limiting to total glucose response, and enhancing insulin sensitivity.

Piperine

Number 3 – Piperine, usually listed as the branded form, Bioperine®. Piperine may enhance the absorption and total efficacy of herbal supplements, such as berberine and cinnamon.

C3G

Number 4 – Cyanidin or cyanidin-3-glucoside. C3G is a well-rounded GDA ingredient, capable of increasing Glut4 translocation, reducing blood glucose (impressively, up to 51%), increasing thermogenesis, and prevents inhibitions on muscle anabolism.

Banaba

Rounding out the top 5 – Banaba Extract. Not banana – banaba does much of the same things as other ingredients – decreases blood glucose, increases Glut4, etc. – but it also has one other awesome function. Banaba inhibits fat cell proliferation. Thus as part of a GDA used for cheat meals, banaba ‘lowers the ceiling’ for negative body composition effects of the meal.

The Best Glucose Disposal Agent

Clearly, our top choice for a GDA will be one with all 5 of those ingredients. And a few more bells and whistles. With 500mg berberine, cinnamon, Bioperine®, C3G, Banaba, and 5 other ingredients, GlycoSlin is the best GDA available.

GlycoSlin™ was designed to improve the natural carbohydrate management systems of the body for enhanced lean gains. GlycoSlin™ can be used for cheat meals, bulking, maintenance, and cutting. If that sounds like all the time, yea we agree – it should be used all the time! Try it for yourself and see – this is one supplement we never go without!

 

References

  1. Cheng, Z., Pang, T., Gu, M., Gao, A. H., Xie, C. M., Li, J. Y., ... & Li, J. (2006). Berberine-stimulated glucose uptake in L6 myotubes involves both AMPK and p38 MAPK. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-General Subjects1760(11), 1682-1689.
  2. Yin, J., Hu, R., Chen, M., Tang, J., Li, F., Yang, Y., & Chen, J. (2002). Effects of berberine on glucose metabolism in vitro. Metabolism-Clinical and Experimental51(11), 1439-1443.
  3. Hayashi, T., Maruyama, H., Kasai, R., Hattori, K., Takasuga, S., Hazeki, O., ... & Tanaka, T. (2002). Ellagitannins from Lagerstroemia speciosa as activators of glucose transport in fat cells. Planta medica68(02), 173-175.
  4. Broadhurst, C. L., Polansky, M. M., & Anderson, R. A. (2000). Insulin-like biological activity of culinary and medicinal plant aqueous extracts in vitro. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry48(3), 849-852.
  5. Grace, M. H., Ribnicky, D. M., Kuhn, P., Poulev, A., Logendra, S., Yousef, G. G., ... & Lila, M. A. (2009). Hypoglycemic activity of a novel anthocyanin-rich formulation from lowbush blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton. Phytomedicine16(5), 406-415.
  6. Shoba, G., Joy, D., Joseph₁, T., Rajendran, M. M. R., & Srinivas, P. S. S. R. (1998). Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta medica, 64, 353-356.