Whether you are planning to increase your fitness level, lose weight or look more toned, increasing your muscle mass is beneficial. Not only does more muscle increase your metabolic rate, it has other benefits, such as improving your insulin sensitivity. Nevertheless, we lose muscle as we age. Here are a few tips to maintain and increase muscle:
1. Eat Enough Calories
Even if you are concerned about weight loss, you must eat to gain muscle. When you don't eat enough calories, your body searches for other sources of fuel and will consume your muscle for energy. Nevertheless, all calories are not the same. Your muscles require protein to grow. In fact, to gain muscle, you should consume about 1 to 2 grams of protein for every kilogram of weight. Approximately 25 percent of the your body's protein synthesis occurs in your muscles.
2. Time Your Meals
Eating a meal or snack that is rich in carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of strength training can aid in muscle development by increasing anabolic hormones, such as testosterone and growth hormone. In addition, studies show that time-based eating plans, such as intermittent fasting, that focus on a scheduled window of calorie consumption may help you lose fat and preserve or increase your lean body mass.
People who are sedentary can lose up to 5 percent of their muscle mass every 10 years after they reach 30. However, the use of weights or resistance bands can increase protein synthesis and help your muscles grow. Even if you don't have a set of free weights or bands, you can exercise with your own body weight. Strength training exercises, such as push-ups, are no less effective.
4. Stay Hydrated
Water makes up about 60 percent of the human body. Thus, it plays a significant role in many metabolic actions, including the formation of muscle. Your muscles require nutrients to grow, and water is needed to help transport the required nutrients to your muscle cells and to help remove unneeded waste. In addition, muscles that are dehydrated are more prone to cramping and fatigue, so dehydration can ruin your workout.
5. Be consistent
Muscle growth takes time. However, a three-month study of the response of men and women to resistance training suggests that significant gains in muscle size and strength can be attained in 12 weeks. During the study, men only gained slightly more muscle mass than women. However, women gained considerably more muscle strength.
There are many reasons that you may want to increase your muscle mass. However, muscle growth occurs over a period and requires adequate nutrition and exercise. Work with a personal trainer at a fitness center like Superior Strengthening Systems if you're interested in learning more about maintaining your body's health.