Muscles are like the most important ornaments for a gym-goer.
They are surely a cherry on the cake which adds up a lot to your overall physical look.
Now think about the amount of dedication and years you put in to develop those hard-earned muscles, and suddenly you start losing them due to some of the other reasons.
Having an injury or falling sick is one of the responsible culprits.
MUSCLE LOSS sounds like a nightmare, right?
This condition is also called MUSCLE ATROPHY (muscle wasting) which means ‘decrease in the muscle mass’.
So how to preserve muscle mass and prevent muscle loss?
Here I’m gonna give you 7 tips which will prevent MUSCLE LOSS
1) Avoid Stress:
It may sound uncommon but STRESS elevates your CORTISOL hormone, which is a negative hormone when it comes to your GAINS.
It puts unnecessary strain on your brain and body by messing up your positive muscle-building hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone.
Stress can be catabolic (meaning breakdown) and a major responsible factor for muscle wasting.
Getting 7-8 hours of sound sleep is the best natural way you can combat stress and keep a better hormonal environment.
2) Weight Training:
WEIGHT TRAINING is always an amazing stimulus for your muscles.
It makes sure that you are not losing your hard-earned muscles by constantly stimulating them.
If you do not use your muscles for a prolonged period of time, you are not them giving any reason to stay.
Focus more on compound movements which are multi-joint movements.
This way you make sure that you are utilizing most of your muscle fibers and maintain anabolism (building).
Greater the muscle stimulation = Lesser the losing of muscles.
LIFTING HEAVY and PROGRESSIVELY OVERLOADING your muscles is the key!
You can also read about the SAID Principle which can maximize your training output!
3) Proper Nutrition:
It is rightly said that
“It’s not about an hour you spend at the gym, but about how you spend the rest of the 23!”
If your nutrition isn’t good enough, definitely you gonna compromise on those muscles! Eating good and clean is the part where most people fail.
You eat clean and good for growing those muscles right? So obviously you gotta do the same for preserving them lifelong.
The body’s main purpose is to survive first then building or preserving the muscles.
Guess what if you are not feeding it with adequate calories?
Your body goes in a catabolic state and it starts breaking down your muscles for the fuel source.
4) Eat enough Protein:
We all know that proteins are the ‘building blocks’ of the muscle. So yes you need enough protein for ‘anabolism’ and maintaining that muscle mass.
Muscle building is not the hardest part while maintaining it for the rest of your life is.
No matter whether you are following some diet or not, just make sure you are getting adequate protein daily.
The recommended protein value is 0.8 grams x (body weight in kgs) for ‘sedentary adults’ and double the amount for the ‘active adults’ including the gym-goers.
International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests that individuals who exercise should ingest protein around 1.4-2grms per kg of the body weight.
5) Keep your CARBS moderate to high:
Carbs are ‘protein and muscle-sparing’.
They are Insulinogenic which can help to prevent the breakdown of the muscles by the transportation of other nutrients.
Also, CARBS holds water in the form of glycogen which keeps your muscles look fuller and loaded instead of deflated.
Yes, they can help you to achieve some massive PUMPS at the gym too:)
Carbs lately have been demonized a lot, but the truth is, they aren’t bad for you and even crucial for recovery purposes.
Go for slow-digesting carbohydrates instead of sugary refined ones.
They will provide you with sustained energy and steady blood sugar levels (insulin).
6) Avoid ‘too much CARDIO’:
No, I’m not a CARDIO hater and it isn’t bad for you at all. I personally enjoy doing cardio.
But there is often a big misconception amongst people that doing more and more cardio will yield better results.
But the truth is, doing excessive cardio can be highly catabolic.
Especially when your nutrition part is not up to the mark and you running for a long number of hours, this can be adversely unfavorable to your muscles and surely you gonna compromise them!
Instead, focus on WEIGHT TRAINING if the goal is to preserve muscles as much as possible.
7) Increase your Immunity:
Undeniably the lesser your body immunity, the more the chances of it being weak and falling sick.
Survival is always the primary function of the body.
Falling sick can be highly risky for your muscle-building/preserving goals.
Illness can also put you at bed rest causing you to miss out on your gym sessions!
If you have a stronger immune system, chances of you getting sick are minimal and you stay consistent continuing to make those gains.
What’s the point of making a good physique if you are internally unfit?
8) Avoid Alcohol:
Excessive alcohol consumption reduces your ‘testosterone levels’ which is an important male hormone responsible for muscle growth/preservation.
Higher the alcohol consumption = Higher the drop in the testosterone levels.
Alcohol also dehydrates you which can be counter-productive for your muscle mass.
Excessive amounts of alcohol will but-obviously create havoc in your body. Your recovery would be delayed as it inhibits your recovery process too.
So does that mean that you should never ever drink?
Well, moderate consumption is okay, but avoiding it as much as possible would obviously be a better choice.
I would personally prefer a pint/can of a mild beer over hard spirits once in a blue moon as it fairly has less alcohol content.
As I always say, Supplements are supplementary, not mandatory.
Supplementation part comes later on but they can definitely help you with achieving your goals by providing you an extra edge.
There are many supplements available that can prevent muscle loss. You can consider adding up
- Whey Protein
- Calcium & Vitamin D3
- Fish Oil
Check Out: 3 Best Bodybuilding Supplements of all time!
Living a dysfunctional and sedentary lifestyle can be the biggest reason for killing those gains!
A healthy functional lifestyle including a good diet, workout, and other mentioned factors can prevent muscle loss.