Injecting insulin for gains?

5.3% to 25% of anabolic steroid users in the past decade have started adding insulin into their regimen.

When I first heard this, the first thing that came to my mind was the good old darwin awards.  As a nurse I know how deadly insulin can be if used incorrectly. On the wards we treat insulin as a very dangerous substance and patients sugar levels are checked prior to giving the drug and throughout the day due to the risk of dangerous fluctuations, if you’ve ever seen a person having a hypo and heading for a coma you know what I’m talking about.

Who is insulin usually used for?

Most people know insulin was made for people with diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes need insulin because their pancreas cannot produce any insulin at all and they are dependent on insulin. Those with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance, not all require insulin and it can be managed with lifestyle adjustments.

So why do some bodybuilders use insulin?

Put simply, Insulin prevents the break down of muscle and improves stamina using a technique called hyperinsulinaemic clamp where insulin and glucose are taken simultaneously.

I am very much a supporter of free will to do what you like to your body and inject or ingest whatever you chose. But I also believe in education so people know the consequences and side effects and don’t go in blindly following the directions a friend or a post online advised. Do your research! be prepared and also have a plan that if something goes wrong and you are admitted to emergency and are unconscious they know what you have taken and how to treat you.



Evans, P., & Lynch, R. (2003). Insulin as a drug of abuse in body building. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 37, 356-357

Barnett, M. J., Tenerowicz, M. J., & Perry, P. J. (2012). Weightlifting’s Risky New Trend. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 11(4), 176-179. doi:10.1249/jsr.0b013e31825da97f


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