How can diabetics gain muscle? What is strength training for diabetics? You may think only skinny diabetics will lack muscle. In fact, whether they are obese diabetics with fatty liver or skinny diabetics with weak pancreatic function, they may all lack muscle. In fact, blood sugar and muscle health are closely related. The reason is very simple, a diabetic who lacks muscle, their blood sugar is more difficult to control. Diabetics with poor blood sugar control are more likely to lose muscle. As we mentioned before, the typical symptoms of diabetes are called “three more, one less”. The “three more” means, eat more, drink more and urinate more. The “one less” means weight less. High blood sugar will not only cause fat loss, but also muscle loss. Therefore, obese diabetics with fatty liver need to burn fat to increase muscle. While skinny diabetics with weak pancreas also need to gain muscle.
The first method for strength training for diabetics
Here are three ways to help yourself build muscle and improve blood sugar. The first method, which is the most efficient, is called “Strength Training” or “Resistance Training”. We have a thin diabetic in our community. Unfortunately, he has not controlled his blood sugar well enough. Theoretically, he should take the insulin injection. Worst of all, he diagnosed diabetic retinopathy with eyesight worsening. No matter how he refuses the insulin injection. It was because he cannot control his blood sugar, and his GP added more medicine. Finally, his kidney function is becoming worse. He got edema with fluid build up throughout his body. Then he used diet therapy to reduce his body fluid. His kidney function is getting better. Because he lacks muscle, he could not control his blood sugar, with HbA1c reaching 8.8%. He was stubborn about taking any injection, and if you were his doctor, what would you do? It was because our community had the same case, so we suggested he take 3 meals a day or even two meals a day. He must ensure he does not eat any carbohydrates in his breakfast. We also suggested he eat avocado with eggs for breakfast. For his lunch and dinner, he must eat in the following order
A lot of green leaves vegetable —-> Protein or fat —-> Small amount of carbohydrate
Then we asked him to go to the supermarket to buy two bottles of distilled water (more than 1 litre). After he finished each meal, he used the distilled water bottles as dumbbells. He needed to use his left hand to raise the bottle with water ten times, then used his right hand to raise the bottle ten times. We reminded him that he must do the “Strength Training” after the meals. Ultimately, after 6 weeks, his HbA1c dropped from 8.8% to 6.6%. Although 6.6% is not the ideal figure at least he had improvement.
Some diabetics may think that eating a particular food or supplement can build up the muscle. Many medical research indicates that “Strength Training” is the most efficient way to help the diabetics. For obese diabetics, you may think that to lose weight, you only care about reducing fat to lose weight. With the right diet, you may reduce the fat, but on the other hand, you may also lose muscle. Believe us! “Strength Training” is a must to improve your blood sugar. We have a coach who said “If you don’t use it, you will lose it”. You can easily watch the video training from YouTube by typing the keyword “Strength training for diabetics”.
The second method to build up muscle for diabetics is to take sufficient amino acid. If you want to build up your muscle, you need to take in more protein. However, for diabetics with weak kidney function, we suggest you not take too much protein. It is because too much protein can cause waste to build up in your blood, and your kidneys may not remove all the extra waste. Because there is a chance to increase uremic toxin and also increase proteinuria. If you are diabetic with kidney function less than 30%, please do not take too much protein. You better take your doctor’s advice. Diabetic are different from normal people, with each of them having different functions of liver, pancreas and kidney. We are not supposed to use the same diet plan for all diabetics. Also, please do not buy protein powder or bodybuilders milk powder. You are better to eat the whole food to absorb protein. Whole food protein has less burden on the kidney.
There are two types of protein, animal protein and plant protein. Out of many forms of protein, there are three types of protein we suggest to take less. The first one is dairy products, because they incur inflammation. The second one is nuts, because they also incur inflammation and affect blood sugar. The last one is processed meat, such as ham, sausage, luncheon meat, etc. To know more about the problems of taking processed meat, please read the book “Metabolical” by Dr. Robert Lusting. The book will tell you the truth of processed food and how it poisons people and the planet. So what protein is good for us? The following are strongly recommended.
Egg, poultry, fish, seafoods, red meat, bean, mushroom, seaweed
The second method of strength training for diabetics
For improving muscle, which supplements should we consider? Although there are no large-scale long-term medical studies for supplements, at least the following are helpful:
Vitamin D, Magnesium, Omega 3 fatty acid
They can all help diabetics. So how much quantity should we take? It depends on the blood test result. Many diabetics lack the vitamin D and magnesium, and most do not carry out blood tests to check the deficiency. Omega 3 fatty acid is also essential for the human body, and it is important to our brain and guts. Lack of Omega-3 may lead to lack of serotonin, which affects our mood and sleep. Imagine, how can a diabetic under stress and low mood have the drive for “Strength Training”.
With all the problems we talked about, it is not just medicine to solve. Please remember that “Medication can make you less ill but not healthier”. There is a book we would strongly recommend, “The 4 Pillar Plan” written by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. The book tells us how to adjust the rhythm of our lifestyle. Whether you are diabetics or not you must read this book.
The third method of strength training for diabetics
To build muscle, we have to avoid inflammation. Many diabetics have chronic inflammation.
Hence, we strongly suggest they take the hs-CRP test. The high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test is a blood test that finds lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). This protein measures general levels of inflammation in your body. The hs-CRP can be used to find the risk for heart disease and stroke in people who don’t already have heart disease. There are many causes of chronic inflammation, and one of them is “gut microbiome imbalance”. So what is “gut microbiome imbalance”? Simply to say, good bacteria in the gut are less and bad bacteria are too much. Some foods, such as alcohol, sugar, wheat products, dairy products, omega 6 fatty acids, trans fats and MSG, can all destroy our gut health. If you have diabetes, your stomach and skin are sensitive, or you have a lot of pain in your body, you better take the hs-CRP test. If you want to improve your gut health, we strongly recommend you read the book “Super Gut” by William Davis.
The author mentioned in writing that Lactobacillus rhodus and Bacillus coagulans are helpful to increase the muscle. You need to choose the good bacteria. It also mention turmeric can help reduce inflammation. Diabetics with less than 30% of renal function may consider taking supplements called keto acid amino acids.
To reduce muscle loss, the most important thing is to control blood sugar. At least you need to reverse the status of pre-diabetics. If you cannot control your blood sugar, it is difficult to improve your muscles.