Does Low Carb and Low Insulin Cause Low Muscle Mass?

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Today, we’re going to talk about a common question many people have about low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet. Does low-carb and low insulin equal low muscle mass?

It’s true that insulin is anabolic. 

What is anabolic?
Anabolic is a condition where your body is building up muscle proteins. 

The reason bodybuilders do carbo-loading is not to build muscle. It’s to build glycogen. The problem is that when you start spiking insulin, you’re going to create insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that your insulin is not working like it should. One of the purposes of insulin is to absorb amino acids because it’s anabolic. But, if you have insulin resistance, you’re not going to absorb the amino acids that well. 

When you do low-carb or keto you and intermittent fasting:
• Improve insulin resistance
• Improve insulin sensitivity
• Start to absorb amino acids and proteins 

Also, when you do keto and intermittent fasting, you trigger something called protein sparing. In other words, your muscles are now protected against the loss of protein. 

I highly recommend that you decrease your carbs and do intermittent fasting if you want to improve your muscle mass. 

A few more things you can do to help build muscle mass:

• Add exercise (weights and higher-volume to the point where your muscles are sore)
• Keep your carbs at 50-60 grams per day (don’t do high-carb)
• Higher dietary protein (8-9 oz. of protein per meal—whole eggs, meat, and fish)
• A good complete amino acid supplement 

Dr. Eric Berg DC Bio:
Dr. Berg, 53 years of age is a chiropractor who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. He is the author of The New Body Type Guide and other books published by KB Publishing. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University. He no longer practices, but focuses on health education through social media.


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Dr. Eric Berg received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1988. His use of “doctor” or “Dr.” in relation to himself solely refers to that degree. Dr. Berg is a licensed chiropractor in Virginia, California, and Louisiana, but he no longer practices chiropractic in any state and does not see patients so he can focus on educating people as a full time activity, yet he maintains an active license. This video is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Berg and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The Health & Wellness, Dr. Berg Nutritionals and Dr. Eric Berg, D.C. are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

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