Muscle loss, that is, atrophy, concerns not only athletes, but everyone. Muscle mass is more important than you think for a healthy life. As time goes by, we see more and more research on this subject. With research, muscle mass becomes even more important. So far, we have looked at muscle mass in terms of body development and focused on how to increase muscle mass.
It’s very important for building and maintaining your muscle mass, taking into account muscle breakdown. What is muscle wasting in this article? We will answer questions such as, and explain what needs to be done to prevent muscle loss.
What is muscle loss ( Atrophy )?
Muscle loss can be defined as the body metabolizes muscle mass by entering the catabolic phase for various reasons and consequently the weight of the muscle structure decreases. The described muscle wasting can occur for many reasons.
Like all cells, muscle cells have a metabolism where production and destruction reactions come together. In this metabolism process, if the production events are damaged and slowed down, and the destruction events accelerate, catabolism-destruction- occurs. Catabolic events occur with the breakdown of protein molecules that are generally stored as building materials in muscle cells. We call this muscle breakdown for short.
Important and common reasons for muscle breakdown,
Poor and malnutrition,
Intense metabolic and mental stress,
Exercising too much or too little
Low and poor quality sleep,
can be listed as. In the rest of my article, I will talk about how you can prevent these issues and explain how to minimize muscle loss.
Causes of muscle loss ( Atrophy ) and measures to be taken
Above I mentioned the main reasons that cause muscle mass destruction. It is very important to learn the details of these reasons and reach their solution.
Causes of muscle loss ( Atrophy ): Poor and malnutrition
Malnutrition can actually mean many different things. There are two main topics that concern us from these meanings. The first is to get insufficient calories, the second is to create a bad macro combination.
Insufficient calories appear especially in individuals in the diet period. Calorie restriction, which is the most important point for losing weight, causes the use of protein skeleton together with fat due to the stress environment it creates when exaggerated and the excessive energy need.
Poor macro distribution is a common situation in individuals who do not plan about nutrition. Unplanned nutrition and insufficient follow-up cause your macros to enter your body lacking regularity. In such cases, we often see the intake of poor quality proteins and the lack of essential amino acids, as well as excessive carbohydrate consumption.
Solution: During the dieting period, you should calculate the calories you need to take, and leave about 500 calories open. Increasing the calorie deficit further can stress your body and increase muscle loss.
You should also follow your essential amino acid intake and fill your meals with quality proteins. I prefer to determine the foods I will consume on a weekly basis for both follow-ups. Although it may seem difficult, it is easy to prepare a nutrition program after you get used to it.
Causes of muscle loss: Metabolic and mental stress
As a result, all these effects put your body into combat mode. This mod is designed for survival and focuses solely on energy generation. Muscles break down to produce more energy. Because glycogen and fat stores are very valuable in energy metabolism. In order to better understand this phenomenon, I have to tell you that cortisol is in full control.
Solution: You need to manage stress well and avoid bad living conditions. Here I will examine the bad living conditions under other headings piece by piece.
Causes of muscle loss: Exercising more or less
Exercising is one of the most important factors in building and maintaining muscle mass. Using this factor correctly directly affects the result.
Your muscles need stimulation to maintain their current state. These impulses send the message to cells, “We need more muscle power, keep growing.” If you exercise insufficiently, this message cannot be conveyed to the muscle cells sufficiently, and as a result, your muscle cells begin to shrink, believing that they have an unnecessary size.
If you exercise too much, metabolic stress occurs in your body. This stress can range from excessive metabolic waste accumulation to an increase in cortisol levels. As a result, excessive exercise stresses you, causing your muscle mass to shrink.
Solution: Correct exercise pace is essential for reducing muscle loss. First, you should create the right time and intensity for training, then plan the necessary rest period. I determined the ideal exercise pace for my body as three days of weight and one day of cardio. Each workout takes a maximum of forty minutes.
I have extensive articles about set repetition planning, weekly exercise pace and rest period between sets. I recommend that you read the topics you are curious about in detail.
Causes of muscle loss: Low or poor sleep patterns
Sleep is effective on critical body functions, as I have mentioned in many articles before. We can see these effects especially on hormones. As such, a good quality and good sleep is essential for the release of anabolic hormones, which have a serious role in protecting muscle mass.
It is known that good sleep increases anti-aromatase levels and significantly increases anabolism, which inhibits the aromatase enzyme that turns testosterone into estrogen. In addition, growth hormone, another hormone closely related to muscle mass, is also closely related to sleep.
Solution: Adequate sleep is 7-8 hours on average for adults. In addition to sleep duration, paying attention to sleep quality and a night sleep (starting at 23:00 at the latest) in a quiet and dark environment will always be beneficial.
Other factors for muscle loss
There is much more to be said about muscle loss. There are many reasons such as muscle loss associated with old age, muscle loss associated with hunger after intense exercise, muscle loss during serious illness, muscle loss during injury.
All causes of muscle loss can be solved based on the cause. As a result, keeping muscle loss under control is a big step towards a healthy life. You can make a big difference with small changes.