Weight lifting is a great way to both prevent illnesses and alleviate symptoms. It improves ones overall sense of well being and prolongs life. A study conducted in 2012 found unequivocal evidence that physical activity was inversely associated with cardiovascular 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 produced the same conclusion— that people with type 2 diabetes have allot to gain from physical activity such as bodybuilding and weight training. If have type 2 diabetes and want to start bodybuilding, many effective supplements are available to help you achieve your goals.
If you already workout, taking supplements will improve your overall performance and results. If you want to begin but perhaps lack the energy to do so, you can take energy boosting supplements such as pre-workouts.
People who are diabetic must be a little careful about which supplements they take. In this article, I will explain what to look out for and present the best bodybuilding supplements for type 2 diabetics.
A Brief Introduction to Diabetes
Eating a carbohydrate containing meal activities a cascade of biological processes that results in its breakdown to glucose. The concentration of glucose in the blood is what we refer to as a blood sugar level. Certain hormones, such as insulin, function as “messengers” and inform a cell (skeletal muscle or liver cells) when this level gets 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 glucose blood level can cause a range of serious complications.
Diabetes is a condition that 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.
People with type 1 diabetes produce low amounts of insulin while people with type 2 diabetes don’t respond appropriately to it. High blood sugar levels bring on a spew of complications such as heart, nerve, and kidney damage.
As a diabetic, your number one goal is to avoid spikes in your blood sugar levels 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 increased gains. The bigger and stronger you get, the more motivation you will have 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 different 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, it can decrease sensitivity to insulin, raising blood sugar levels (3). This was first brought up in an article published by the American Diabetes Association in 2004 (4). Scientists are still trying fully understand how caffeine affects diabetics, but here are three main hypothesis:
- Caffeine raises levels of stress hormones, such as epinephrine, which will prevent 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.
Another thing to look out for is a high sugar (carbohydrate) content. Most labels will not list “sugar” as an ingredient and will instead use terms such as dextrose, fructose, sucrose, etc. These are examples of simple sugars that will spike your blood sugar levels faster than regular carbohydrates. Alternatively, a manufacturer can use artificial or modified surges which have little to no impact on blood sugar levels.
One ingredient that is very beneficial for diabetics (especially type 2) is creatine. 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 is fairly 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, but 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. They are one of my favorite companies because they formulate their products around concrete scientific evidence and avoid flashy marketing. They claim to have made pre-workouts safe for the first time in history. And millions of customers can attest to this claim.
Each ingredient is natural, safe for diabetics, 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 individual 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 donst apply to Genious Pre) and 2) Pre-workouts involve rapid, intense release, followed by a workout ending crash. All of this avoided with a delayed release system.
This product is very safe for diabetics as it contains no caffeine or artificer sweeteners. It instead 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.
But 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 not 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 diabetics type 2.
What to look out for.
When diabetics are trying to make healthily 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 are suggesting that fats also play a role in regulating glucose levels (6).
It was found that certain types of fats influence glucose levels the same 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 should be high in protein and contain little to no fats or carbohydrates (including sugars). Finding a brand that fits this criteria is difficult. This is because a lot of manufacturers turn to cheap protein sources which also contain carbohydrates. Most products are also highly processed and contain way to much sugar.
Are Protein Supplements Safe for Diabetics?
Yes! Many experts agree that protein supplements (especially whey protein) are not only safe but 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 specific 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 truly is the gold standard. Each serving delivers 24 grams of protein (total), 5.5 grams of natural BCAA’s, and 4 grams of glutamine. Diabetics won’t have to worry about sugar spikes as it contains less than 2 grams of carbohydrates! This product contains almost no sugar yet remains one of the best tasting protein supplements on the market. Each serving also contains <1 gram of fat and 110 calories. This is the ideal nutrient content for the diabetic consumer.
Overall, this is the absolute best protein based bodybuilding supplements for diabetics type 2. No other brand even comes close.
Here is a product that 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 to keep and the amount of ingredients low and easily identifiable. Naked Whey, as suggested by the name, is simple, effective, and made from only one key ingredient— 100% Grass-Fed Pure Whey Protein. All other ingredients are GMO-free, growth hormone free, gluten-free, soy-free and sugar free. Each scoop contains 25 grams of protein, less than 3 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat, and 120 calories. This is a level of perfection only archived by Optimum and Naked.
Weight loss Supplements for Diabetics
Fat burners are supplements that increase your metabolism so that you can 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 works to increase your appetite and leptin works to decrease 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 breathing and repairing cells. Everyone requires different amounts of calories to produce enough energy. This amount is known as your base metabolic rate. Thermogenic supplements increase your bodies temperature which raises your metabolic rate and allows you to burn more fat.
Approximately 80% of people with diabetes are obese or overweight. Thus, allot of diabetics naturally gravitate towards 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, lets answer a more important question: Under what circumstances should you take a fat burners? 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 super model overnight. They will work amazingly well if you are putting in the work. By that I mean sticking to a solid diet plan and workout routine. Following your plan will be very draining and the extra boost in energy they 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 garbage.
Best Fat Burner Supplements for Diabetics.
Vintage makes the list yet again and with another groundbreaking claim. They claim to produce the world’s first muscle-preserving fat burner. The product contains 9 simple and all 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 in weight loss and is backed by scientific research. As a matter of fact, Vintage Burn contains 5 out of 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 so 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 to help you lose weight, a well formulated probiotic blend to help with your 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.