Diabetic Muscle Building


Hello I'm a 6 foot 8 inch tall 210lb. guy with 12% body fat and I'm trying to build muscle.

 I am diabetic and have heard that this can be an advantage when trying to build muscle since I can control my sugar levels.

However I have no idea how this works are you able to enlighten me on this. Also is creatine a good thing to try with my condition?

Answered by:
Jason Spencer, CSCS


Jason Spencer Online Personal Training

Jason Spencer CSCS

Jason Spencer ACSM Certification

Jason Spencer BS degree


Those are some very good questions you have and I'm going to help you out with my suggestions... First off, anytime the goal is to build muscle we're talking about using heavier more challenging weights during our strength training, that will create a high intensity stimulus for the muscles...

For example if you are used to lifting 20 lbs for a certain exercise and can do it many times (over 15 ), in order to change to a muscle building response you need to use up to around 30 lbs or even more to give yourself a more intense stimulus.

A heavier weight that will cause you to struggle and push for no more than 8 - 10 reps. Forcing the muscles to strain more is what elicits a muscle growth response as opposed to just a toning response with the lighter weights.

Now, i have honestly not heard too much that having diabetes is really advantageous toward muscle building so I won't comment a whole lot on that point. I'll just say that it most certainly can help contribute to it.

To what extent, i can't say... As a diabetic you definitely have to be very aware and careful with your sugar levels pre and post workout, as you know.

Where it can serve some benefit is that in the case that you're usually at a slightly higher blood sugar level, you have a very significant source of energy to use to perform your workout.

But conversely, the reason why you have to pay attention to your sugar levels pre and post is because you don't want to zap too much of your blood sugar level down from exercise and cause a drastic dip in it.

This would be too much a shock to the body and could be very dangerous. So basically as a diabetic you go about muscle building the same way others do, just with added caution that your sugar levels aren't getting too high or low. Whatever benefit you do get from your condition I'd say are not hugely significant, although yes you would probably have a very good base of energy to draw from with your tendency to hold higher sugar levels. 

As for creatine, i don't think it serves too much of a purpose for you and your muscle building goals. Creatine is basically a way to increase your energy for your workouts... It contributes to increasing the bodies ability to produce the energy it needs to drive your efforts and increase your stamina.

If you use it safely and responsibly it shouldn't hurt you or have any negative affects in regards to the diabetes, but it is most likely just not necessary for you considering the fact that what it does is just something you don't really need. People who would benefit most from creatine are those who might need to prolong their workouts for endurance effects, which you don't with your muscle building goals. Or, creatine is more useful for those who for whatever reason can't maintain a high enough energy level on their own. But that also is something you don't have an issue with. If anything, you would usually have almost an excess of blood sugar levels. Or at least a sufficient amount.

John it's a pleasure to answer your fitness question and I want you to feel free to check me out at my site for any further concerns you may have in the future...

Read about me and get to know my experience and background in the case that you might want to contact me for additional assistance. Hope to possibly hear back from you. Thanks 

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