Insulin level hacking

I’ve been measuring my weight, body fat, blood pressure/pulse, blood sugar, amount of exercise, and amount of sleep every morning, and I’ve found it useful and interesting to be paying attention to this level of data on a continuing basis. It’s pretty clear for example, that exercise has direct correlation to my morning fasting blood sugar levels. If I don’t do much exercise (only 30 minutes a day once or twice a week), keeping all else (diet, mediciation, etc.) constant, my morning blood sugar levels are between 100 and 110. If I am actively exercising (> 45 minutes most days of the week), my morning blood sugar levels decline to the low 90’s.

One experiment which I want to carry out soon: I recently read in the book, The Carbohydrate Addict’s Healthy Heart Program, that recent research has shown that the taste of sugar (or in some people, merely thinking about eating something sweet) can trigger the release of insulin. That’s interesting, because it’s the first time I’ve heard a scientific explaination the empirical claims made by some that diet drinks are actually are counter-productive because they can cause people to eat more. If the theory that drinking something that tastes sweet stimulates insulin release is true, then drinking a diet soft drink is playing a dirty trick on your body. It tastes sweet, but there is no actual sugar there — so when the insulin is released, your blood sugar drops, and then you get hungry and want to eat something, and the next thing you eat might not be as non-caloric as the diet soft drink.

Hmmm…. well, this theory is easily tested. I will just do the equivalent of a glucose tolerence test, but with a cup of Fresca instead, and perhaps a bit more frequently right after administering the dose of Fresca. So starting in the morning, before I’ve eaten anything else, I’ll take my fasting morning blood sugar level. I’ll then drink a cup of Fresca, and measure my blood sugar 5, 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after administering the dose, and plot the response curve. If there’s a severe dip in the blood sugar after drinking the diet soda, well, that would tend to confirm this theory about sugar substitutes ultimately proving to be counterproductive, at least for me. (And if true, this would suck, big time. But I’d rather know rather than be ignorant and having my blood sugar levels fluctuating all the time because of overuse of sugar substitutes.)