To grow and maintain muscle mass is important for quality of life! With the surge of interest in muscle building, wellness and the ideal physique I will share five related concepts that should reinforce your perspective about muscles and health.
1. Anabolism. This word has its roots in the Greek language, meaning “to throw” and “upward.” Metabolically speaking, the anabolic process forms complexity from simplicity. For example, muscle anabolism occurs through the synergy of nutrients (like amino acids), energy (such as glucose), hormones and enzymes working together. With anabolism, you’re one step closer to getting toned Hollywood triceps!
2. Catabolism. This is the breakdown of complex structures into simpler components. For example, a starving person who requires amino acids to function will lose muscle tone through catabolic processes. Excessive catabolism occurs when the body is under stress from poor sleep, alcohol consumption and weak immunity.
3. Oxidative Stress. Exercise causes oxidative stress, which may result in damage to the cells. While oxidative stress is implicated in a number of degenerative conditions, it also plays a key role in stimulating healthy cardiovascular function if the key nutrients are available ("American Heart Association").
4. Muscular Adaptation. Recent research suggests that even though oxidative stress is potentially harmful, the molecules also signal positive changes in growth, proliferation, and adaptation ("National Center for Biotechnology Information"). For example, during the Bench Press exercise, pectoral muscle fibers are subjected to oxidative stress and require nutrients and time to recover.
5. Recovery – is 90% of the challenge. Recovery involves managing inflammation, supporting healthy cellular function and eating a healthy balanced diet! Everything you do or don’t do during 24 hours a day will contribute to the outcome of your efforts.
Put it all together:
• Anabolism is the required metabolic process to strengthen your body at the cellular level.
• You must feed your body or else it will break itself down.
• Time off from exercise, clean water, minerals, deep sleep, protein, healthy fats and a personal commitment will help you reach your fitness goals.
Good luck to all!
“Role of Oxidative Stress in Cardiac Hypertrophy and Remodeling.” American Heart Association (2006): Web 22 November 2006. http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/49/2/241.full.