There’s no sugar coating it, we all love carbohydrates. These delicious morsels can be salty or sweet, or even a combination of both. They can pick you up when you’re feeling down or make a great day that much better. They’re also essential for optimal athletic performance and muscle growth.
Unfortunately, some of us love carbs a bit too much, and that’s when carbs transform from friend to foe in the blink of an eye. When consumed in excess, carbs shutdown fat burning and promote fat storage. This has led to a society that has completely shunned the carbohydrate and banished to the naughty list forever.
The truth is, carbs aren’t the bad guys, your body is. Over the years, your metabolism has probably slowed down and your insulin sensitivity has likely declined as well (a by-product of overindulging in carbs). So you’re left with two choices, embrace the low/no carb lifestyle or start using a glucose disposal agent (GDA) to help your body properly utilize those tasty carbs for building muscle and not storing fat.
Before we get into how and why using a GDA is key to improving your performance and physique, we need to gain a better understanding of glucose and insulin’s role in the body.
Carbohydrate Close Up
To understand how GDAs work in the body, you need to understand what happens when you consume carbohydrates. The vast majority of carbohydrates consist of large chains of simple sugar molecules, known as monosaccharides. When several of these simple sugars are linked together, they form a polysaccharide (complex carbohydrate). In order for your body to absorb complex carbs, it must first break them down into simple sugars.
Digestion of carbohydrates begins in the mouth where the enzyme amylase breaks down starch, a complex carbohydrate present in plants. These smaller carbohydrates then enter the stomach and into the small intestine, where additional enzymes further digest these smaller, simple sugars into two monosaccharides -- fructose and glucose. These two sugars then enter the bloodstream where they are used for energy.
In other words, carbs (sugar) equal fuel.
Upon entering the bloodstream, fructose and glucose are taken up by various tissues. Fructose is readily absorbed, while glucose requires the aid of insulin, a peptide hormone that holds the fate of your muscle building and fat loss in its hands.
We’ve now arrived at the central figure behind the utilization of GDAs -- manipulating insulin to support muscle gain and reduce fat storage. So, let’s take a look at insulin’s role in the body.
Insulin: The Ultimate Anabolic Hormone
Insulin's primary responsibility in the body is to transport glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells of your body, thereby maintaining a stable blood sugar level. This makes insulin insanely anabolic -- it helps cells grow!
The “catch”, however, is that insulin makes everything grow, muscle cells AND fat cells. More specifically, insulin will direct glucose to one of three areas in the body:
Muscle glycogen (ideal scenario)
Liver glycogen (“ok” scenario)
Adipose tissue (worst case scenario)
How does your body know where to store glucose?
Determining where glucose is stored in your body ultimately boils down to your glycogen reserves. The body can store around 500g of glycogen between your muscles and liver. If glycogen levels are low, glucose will first be used to replenish those depleted stores, but after those are topped off, any remaining glucose not used is converted to fatty acids, and are subsequently stored in your adipose tissue (fat) as triglycerides.
Obviously, the goal is to maximize muscle glycogen storage while minimizing fat gain, but the problem is that insulin isn't selective. It constantly stimulates fat cells to absorb glucose, which means you’re going to inevitably store some body fat following a meal. But don’t worry, muscle typically accounts for 85-90% of insulin-mediated glucose disposal, while fat accounts for 5-15% at most.
The key is to consume a sufficient amount of carbohydrates to adequately replenish muscle and liver glycogen but not so much that you bring on a lot of unwanted fat storage too. Basically, the more glucose you can shuttle towards glycogen replenishment, the less will be used for fat conversion and storage. And that’s where GDAs come into play.
Glucose Disposal Agents
Glucose Disposal Agents (GDA) are supplements that help your body digest carbs and direct them towards muscle glycogen storage. They enhance the power of insulin by improving insulin sensitivity in muscle cells, ensuring the carbs you do eat go towards replenishing glycogen and supporting muscle growth rather than building up your fat stores. In a sense, GDAs enhance your body’s response to exercise, thereby supporting better performance, recovery, and body composition.
GDAs contain a wide assortment of compounds that support glucose disposal. GDAs not only help regulate blood sugar levels and insulin release, but they also optimize nutrient partitioning (how your body stores nutrients). Some of the most effective being alpha lipoic acid (ALA), berberine, banaba leaf, bitter melon, chromium, and gymnema.all of which are included in Primalog.
Benefits of Glucose Disposal Agents
Enhance insulin sensitivity
Support muscle growth
Aid fat loss
Promote glycogen storage
Reduce hunger cravings
Maintain stable blood sugar levels
Function as an insulin mimetic
The best Glucose Disposal Agent Ingredients
There are a plethora of compounds you’ll see in glucose disposal agents, but there are a few proven commodities that have been shown in research to effectively shuttle carbs where they belong:
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
ALA is a fatty acid present in your cell mitochondria that function as important cofactors in energy production. Research has shown ALA improves glycogen storage and lowers blood sugar due to its interaction with GLUT-4, one of the primary glucose transporters in the body.[2,3]
Leaves of the banaba plant are loaded with a compound called corosolic acid. This compound has been shown to be a potent insulin mimetic which helps drive glucose and other essential nutrients required for muscle growth (like EAA’s) into your muscle. Banaba does this independent of actually releasing insulin in the body.
Berberine is an alkaloid naturally-occurring in a number of plants shown to stimulate Adenosine Monophosphate-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) while at the same time inhibiting Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B).
Increased AMPK activity supports better insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake into muscle cells, while also reducing the amount of glucose generated by the liver.[6,7]
Present in dark-colored fruits, C3G increases GLUT4 expression translocation, promoting enhanced glucose uptake by your muscles, as well as PPARγ expression/activity. Greater PPARγ activity leads to better insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, further ensuring the carbs you do eat are shuttled into your muscles cells, thereby avoiding the unwanted spikes in blood sugar.thereby helping you store those carbs more efficiently and avoiding unnecessary spikes in blood sugar levels.[9,10]
Primalog -- Your GDA Solution
There’s a lot of products on the market masquerading as effective glucose disposal agents, but not match the quality, purity, or effectiveness of Primalog. Primeval Labs invested countless hours of research and testing to create a GDA that delivers on all fronts. WIth Primalog, carbs not longer are they enemy. They are your greatest ally in building muscle, avoiding fat gain, and sculpting the ideal physique. It’s ideal to use anytime you have a meal full of carbohydrates, but really benefits your body when used at specific times.
When to Use a GDA
GDAs are can be used anytime you’re taking in a large amount (>50g) of carbs. But, you can really maximize its effectiveness by using it around your training window.
If you’re having a pre workout meal about 60-90 minutes before your workout, consume consume 1 serving of Primalog 15 minutes before your carb-containing pre workout meal. This will ensure your glycogen levels are topped off and your muscle are ready to perform to the max while training.
Following a workout, your insulin sensitivity is at its best, but you can enhance it even further by consuming a serving of Primalog prior to crushing a plethora of delicious carbohydrates in your post workout meal. Doing so certifies all of those carbs go towards glycogen replenishment and building/repairing the muscle tissue that was just broken down during your intense training.
Primalog isn’t just for pre and post workout, it also is protection from unwanted fat gain when you have those epic cheat meals on the weekend. Consuming 1 serving of Primalog prior to your weekly pizza or donut binge can mitigate any unwanted insulin spikes, thereby limiting any unwanted fat gain.
K J Acheson, Y Schutz, et al. Glycogen storage capacity and de novo lipogenesis during massive carbohydrate overfeeding in man.Am J Clin Nutr 1988 48: 2 240-7. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/48/2/240.abstract
Gupte AA, et al; Lipoic acid increases heat shock protein expression and inhibits stress kinase activation to improve insulin signaling in skeletal muscle from high-fat-fed rats. J Appl Physiol. (2009). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19179648
Wang Y, et al; alpha-Lipoic acid increases energy expenditure by enhancing adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase-peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1 alpha signaling in the skeletal muscle of aged mice . Metabolism. (2010) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16549220
Fukushima M, et al; Effect of corosolic acid on post challenge plasma glucose levels. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. (2006) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16549220
Li Y, et al; Bioactivities of berberine metabolites after transformation through CYP450 isoenzymes . J Transl Med. (2011). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21569619
Liu LZ, et al; The pivotal role of protein kinase C zeta (PKCzeta) in insulin- and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-mediated glucose uptake in muscle cells. Cell Signal. (2010) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20570724
Kim WS, et al; Berberine improves lipid dysregulation in obesity by controlling central and peripheral AMPK activity. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. (2009) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19176354
Preuss, H. G.; Echard, B.; Perricone, N. V.; Bagchi, D.; Yasmin, T.; Stohs, S. J. (2008). "Comparing metabolic effects of six different commercial trivalent chromium compounds". Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 102 (11): 19861990. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0162013408001785
Scazzocchio B, Varì R, Filesi C, et al. Cyanidin-3-O-β-Glucoside and Protocatechuic Acid Exert Insulin-Like Effects by Upregulating PPARγ Activity in Human Omental Adipocytes. Diabetes. 2011;60(9):2234-2244. doi:10.2337/db10-1461.
Seymour EM, Lewis SK, Urcuyo-Llanes DE, et al. Regular tart cherry intake alters abdominal adiposity, adipose gene transcription, and inflammation in obesity-prone rats fed a high fat diet. J Med Food 2009;12:935–942
Tsuda T, Ueno Y, Yoshikawa T, Kojo H, Osawa T. Microarray profiling of gene expression in human adipocytes in response to anthocyanins. Biochem Pharmacol 2006;71:1184–1197