Glucose uptake in skeletal muscle is dependent on the translocation of GLUT4 glucose transporters to the plasma membrane. The most important stimulators of glucose transport in skeletal muscle are insulin and exercise. Glucose uptake in skeletal muscle during exercise induces acceleration of many processes compared to the resting state.
The scientific literature does not underline the role played by muscle contraction to increase glucose uptake with insulin-independent mechanisms.
Contraction of muscle induces GLUT4 translocation in the absence of insulin. There are different intracellular "pools" of GLUT4, one stimulated by insulin and another one stimulated by exercise. The roles exerted by AMPK, AICAR, calcium, NO, glycogen and hypoxia in the glucose uptake during exercise are emphasized. The effects of these phenomena on human wellness are reported.