Muscle Growth: Nutrition, Genetics, and Training Explained
For individuals trying to build muscle but are not seeing results, can knowing factors like what foods to eat, how to work out, and genetics help achieve meaningful muscle gains?
Table of Contents
Muscle Growth Nutritional Mistakes
Muscle growth is an important element of overall fitness and health. Individuals can make nutritional mistakes like not eating enough protein or carbohydrates and not properly hydrating themselves which can prevent them from gaining muscle. Factors that contribute to muscle building, include:
Individuals who want to increase muscle mass more efficiently can rework these issues to maintain consistency and commitment to exercise and nutrition. Benefits include:
Building muscle helps strengthen bones
Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Experts point out some common mistakes that can hinder muscle growth, like not eating enough protein, not consuming enough calories, overtraining, or practicing improper form and technique. As everybody is different there is no one-size-fits-all approach to building muscle or hypertrophy. These include:
An individual’s genes contribute to how easy or difficult it can be to build muscle.
Some individuals have a higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which increases growth potential.
The natural distribution of muscle and body fat also varies and can affect the rate and location of muscle growth.
There are also differences in individual recovery capabilities that can influence the frequency and intensity of training sessions.
Nutrition matters when trying to build muscle. Individuals need to eat enough protein for muscle repair and growth.
Individuals may need to consume more calories than they burn to create energy stores.
At the same time, individuals need to consume enough carbohydrates and healthy fats to fuel workouts and recovery.
Gaining muscle requires regular resistance or strength training exercises.
These exercises cause micro tears in muscle fibers, which then repair and grow back stronger and larger.
Effective resistance training includes – consistency, intensity, recovery, and progressive overload.
Progressive overload means gradually increasing the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in an exercise routine to challenge the muscles.
Muscle Strength for Healthy Aging
Research shows that performing exercises that build muscle mass can slow age-related cognitive decline and decrease the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. (Joseph Michael Northey, et al., 2018)
Northey, J. M., Cherbuin, N., Pumpa, K. L., Smee, D. J., & Rattray, B. (2018). Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis. British journal of sports medicine, 52(3), 154–160. doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2016-096587
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