If you diligently follow the recommendations outlined in this article, you will be amazed at the pace at which your body increases muscle size and strength. If you have been at a plateau and thought adding muscle was no longer possible, then rejoice in the knowledge that you have an arsenal of weapons at your disposal that can allow you to naturally maximize your muscle building physiology. More...
By dotFIT experts
on October 10, 2008
The athlete’s goal is to have their stomachs relatively empty while energy stores are full at the start of training or competition. Following a specific eating pattern can maximize the storage and production of energy. By properly loading your energy systems (phosphocreatine and glycogen) that are rapidly depleted during exercise, you can delay fatigue and optimize performance during activity. More...

How can I make sure that I'm not burning muscle when I'm working out?

How can I make sure that I'm not burning muscle when I'm working out?

Answer: Muscle being burned during exercise is determined by a couple of factors: 1) calorie intake (including carbohydrate (CHO) and fat intake) and 2) duration of activity. If total calorie intake is very low or if CHO intake is inadequate, then the body will have no choice but to liberate energy from muscle stores, effectively "burning muscle". This is why you may hear carbohydrates described as protein-sparing. If there is a sufficient amount of CHO coming in, then it can be used for energy, thereby "sparing" the protein for muscle building or other structural roles.

As duration of activity increases, energy stored in muscle and the liver (glycogen) diminishes. Amino acids from muscle (specifically the BCAA—branched chain amino acids) can contribute part of their structure to glucose production during prolonged bouts of activity. This generally does not occur to any great degree until well over an hour of continuous activity, but can contribute up to 10% of the energy used in very long endurance events.

Eat correctly and enough, and take your multivitamin/mineral every day and you will not have to worry about muscle loss. If your goal is to build muscle while losing fat, be sure that your calorie deficit is not too great (no more than 15% below maintenance) and enhance the recovery process and results by using immediate pre- & post-workout shakes/bars and/or branch-chained amino acids. Want more info?  See Xtreme Muscle Stack: Creating the Perfect Anabolic Storm.

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