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ANTIAGING BODY BUILDING

MUSCLE LOSS

 

Muscle Loss with Exercise

Our muscles are constantly growing and shrinking, the skeletal muscles being very responsive to use or disuse.

Two Key Factors in Muscle Growth:

  1. Sufficent Use - lack of use causes a gradual decrease in size and strength of the skeletal muscles. This is very noticeable when a limb has been immobilised following a bone fracture. During this time, the muscle fibers disintegrate and are replaced by connective tissues.
  2. Nutritional status - muscle growth requires sufficient protein. If insufficient protein is ingested at a meals, muscle breakdown occurs between meals if additional protein is required for the production of antibodies or enzymes. An over-strict diet will result in more protein lost from muscle cells. The body responds by lowering the metabolic rate, to prevent further muscle loss; the end result – gain in fat.

An additional factor is the body type. Ectomorphs find it very hard to build muscle, so need additional protein support.

 

The Best Exercise Type For Muscle Growth

Weight training is the best way to encourage muscular growth.
Aerobic exercise produces some enlargement - 45 -60 minutes of cardio a day, 6 to 7 days a week will not lose muscle if the proper nutritional support is provided. Aerobics is beneficial to assist recovery from weight training by promoting blood flow and oxygen transport to your muscles.

 

Causes of Muscle Loss with Exercise

Muscle is metabolically active tissue, requiring a great deal of caloric energy just to maintain it. There are four major causes of muscle loss during exercise:

  1. Insufficient protein nutrition – protein is the only nutrient that is actually used to build muscle. Eat five to six protein containing meals approximately three hours apart. Measure: 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
  2. Insufficient carbohydrates - carbohydrates prevent over use of body protein, leaving it for the important muscle building.
  3. Insufficient calories - the most common cause of muscle loss. When calories are too low, metabolism slows down and the body starts burning muscle tissue to conserve energy. The body effectively goes into "starvation mode."
  4. Incorrect type of exercise - only weight training prevents muscle loss when dieting and is the most effective in promoting muscle growth with normal nutrition. NB: aerobics does not cause muscle loss, as noted above, it supports the infrastructure supporting muscle growth.

Guidelines on nutrition for muscle growth

Selecting the best whey protein supplement powders


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