Ultimate Guide To: Glucose Disposal Agents

What are they and what can they do for me?

A glucose disposal agent is a supplement designed to assist in shuttling glucose into the muscle cells for storage as glycogen so that less insulin needs to be released after consuming a high carbohydrate meal.

The benefits of higher levels of muscle glycogen being: more fuel for training and better pumps. We can take this one step further and, hypothetically, see more muscle gains indirectly due to the increased quality of resistance training sessions.

There can also be some benefit to controlling body weight and reducing fat storage. Insulin is responsible for moving glucose into fat cells. A GDA, as discussed, will reduce the release of insulin, potentially controlling this.

Common Ingredients:

Berberine HCL. Reduced blood sugar, better blood sugar control and a strong reduction of HbA1c have been linked to berberine.

Banaba Leaves

Banaba Leaf is an emerging ingredient which can inhibit uptake of carbohydrates and aid in their deposition into cells from the blood stream, reducing blood sugar.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant used in the body to break down carbohydrates more efficiently for energy.

Cinnamon Extract is a source of Chromium and polyphenols. Cinnamon is often linked to weight loss due to its associations with blood sugar control. Cinnamon helps to prevent blood sugar spikes by controlling the rate at which glucose is taken up by the body.

Chromium is an essential mineral shown to aid in glucose control.

BioPerine (or black pepper extract) increases the bioavailility of ingredients. Bioperine aids in the transportation and absorbption of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract.

Who are they for?

Anyone looking to better utilise macronutrients, especially those partitioning carbs strategically around workouts for performance and recovery.

The supplement can be used to improve training in variety of athletes. We can manipulate the effects of the supplement for more effective pre-workout carb loading to increase muscle glycogen levels, improving performance in both endurance and resistance athletes. Bodybuilders will also experience more impressive pumps in the working muscle as a result.

How to use them?

GDAs can be taken almost any time that a single meal containing a large amount of carbohydrates is consumed.

We would recommend taking a GDA with your high carb pre-workout meal to assist in shuttling carbs into the session pre-workout, thereby providing more fuel for your session!

During the post-workout window, the body has heightened sensitivity to carbohydrates and is in a great place to absorb nutrients. After a taxing session, a GDA can help drive these into the muscle for recovery.

Finally, a glucose disposal agent can be a great tool to implement when consuming cheat meals/refeeds to prevent unwanted blood sugar spikes, shuttling glycogen into the muscle and limiting the potential for acute fat gain.

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About the Author

Savannah Westerby. BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Instagram: @savannahwesterby

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