Can You Build Muscle Without Taking Protein Supplements?
You may not know that muscle mass is very important for your overall health. But can we build muscle without taking protein supplements? And what other supplements help you to gain muscle mass apart from protein and creatine?
Does intermittent fasting affect muscle mass?
Is muscle building healthy when you get old?
Let’s look at some health benefits of building strong muscles, before we answer these other questions.
Building muscle mass is not just something vain young men obsess over to get women in bed because they have no charm or intelligence, or perhaps have no other real aspirations. That is not a dig at everyone hyper-focused on building muscle, but I have known many of these young men, who haven’t yet seemed to realize that humor, intellect and character are also muscles that require development.
How did that get in there…?
At any rate, physical muscle building is in fact very important for overall health.
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What Are the Health Benefits of Building Muscle Mass?
What are some health benefits of building strong muscles, and why is muscle mass important for overall health?
Increasing the strength of muscles of the lower body helps to protect joint structures. It also creates strength and stamina. Your body produces more mitochondria, which not only give you energy, but the energy is produced more efficiently.
Muscle mass is very important for metabolic regulation and glucose disposal, as well as improving blood-sugar control, sleep quality and mental health. Maintaining muscle is an overlooked, but crucial aspect of long-term health, wellbeing and longevity. Muscle building helps control body fat and builds bone. It is every bit as important as finding a diet or cardio program that suits you.
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Did you know that around 70 percent of the population in the West is overweight or obese, and prediabetic or diabetic?
Our liver and skeletal muscle store glucose as glycogen. Weight training enables us to adequately store carbs. When there is no place to store carbs, blood sugar increases and the pancreas secretes insulin and your body stores fat. The more muscle we have, the more space we create for glucose to be stored.
Concerning body fat, muscle burns approximately three times the calories per pound than body fat does.
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You Need More Than Just Protein
To answer our main question, No. You don’t want to try building muscle without adequate protein intake. But you need other nutrients alongside the protein for the protein to do its thing. You also shouldn’t think that consuming enormous amounts of protein will give you better or faster results. Too much protein, and eating protein snacks between meals is counterproductive. Too much protein stresses out the liver.
What is the best muscle building supplement besides protein, and what other supplements help you to gain muscle mass apart from protein and creatine?
First, here is why protein is important:
Protein is broken down by enzymes in the body into amino acids, which then are built back up into protein again, which helps build healthy tissue.
The most important nutrients besides protein for building muscle are:
- Trace minerals
- Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K)
- B vitamins
- Vitamin C
The first two of these are the most important for building muscle, and also the 2 that most people lack. But as co-enzymes, they are all necessary for the process of converting amino and fatty acids into muscle tissue.
We require a lot of potassium and trace minerals (or micro minerals), which are very hard to get enough of, and most people are likely deficient. Trace minerals are difficult to get enough of because of soil depletion, and potassium requires eating way more vegetables than most people would even want to.
So, the best muscle building supplements besides protein that you will want to buy are potassium and trace mineral supplements. I highly recommend that you get them here, because it is very hard to find supplements that are not garbage, and this is a trusted source, trust me. I’m also a trusted source, for trusted sources.
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Intermittent Fasting and Muscle Mass
Does intermittent fasting affect muscle mass?
Intermittent fasting is just a great idea, first off. It is all the rage these days for good reason. You can read our article about intermittent fasting here, if you are as yet unenlightened as to it’s wonders. Yes, intermittent fasting is very beneficial to acquiring muscle growth.
Intermittent fasting is not so much a diet as an eating pattern, and an approach to achieving good physical and mental health. You basically do all of your daily eating in a certain time window, and don’t eat outside of that window. The most common and most advised intermittent fast is 16:8, which is an 8 hour eating window with 16 hours of zero calorie intake.
How does intermittent fasting affect muscle mass?
Intermittent fasting affects muscle mass by boosting certain hormones in our body, particularly human growth hormone (HGH) HGH has muscle-building and fat-burning properties. Insulin sensitivity levels also drop, and when you’re in a fasted state, your body alters the genes that effect longevity.
Intermittent fasting is not ideal for anyone trying to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. This is because to gain that much muscle mass you will need to be consuming protein every 3 or 4 hours, throughout the day. You need to be in a “caloric surplus”, which isn’t possible with intermittent fasting.
Some people can still “hulk up” with out this caloric reserve, and other people not so much. But if you just want to get lean and add some muscle mass for the sake of your overall health, intermittent fasting is great.
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Doesn’t Intermittent Fasting Lead to Muscle Loss?
Intermittent fasting will not lead to muscle loss, typically. And there are several studies that prove this. You can most certainly burn fat while gaining lean muscle during intermittent fasting.
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It is the chemical processes in your body that cause you to gain lean body mass, as you work your muscles. These chemical / hormonal processes (like testosterone production, insulin-like growth factor and human growth hormone production) are amped up during intermittent fasting.
This study shows that fasting can be up to four times more effective than calorie-cutting diets at preserving muscle. And, of the fasting group and calorie-cutting groups in this study, the fasting group lost more than double the amount of visceral (or belly) fat than the carb-cutting group.
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Is It Harder to Build Muscles When You Hit a Certain Age?
Usually, yes. Why Is building muscle harder when you are old? Is muscle building healthy when you get old?
Muscle building is healthy at any age, and in fact is more important the older we get, because both muscle strength and mass decline perpetually from our mid-thirties onward. It is harder to build muscle when you hit a certain age, because your testosterone levels decline. And testosterone is a key element in building muscle. Plus it is just harder to work out, the older we get.
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So, can we build muscle without taking protein supplements?
You definitely need protein to build muscle. And if you eat a healthy diet, with lots of foods that contain protein, you shouldn’t need to supplement with shakes, or the like, to build the amount of muscle you need for overall health. Protein shakes are really just food with concentrated protein and other vitamins in them. So you should probably save your money and just eat food!
Besides, it seems that people who walk around all day with a protein shake in their hand don’t understand that you can take too much protein. And it isn’t a magic potion for hulking up. Yes, you need protein to build a healthy amount of muscle mass, but don’t forget that you need more than protein for building muscle. And too much protein is hard on your liver!
The bottom line is that there are some health benefits of building strong muscles, to be sure. In fact, I think the health benefits of building muscle mass are greater than most people realize, the more I have looked into it.
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2 thoughts on “Can We Build Muscle Without Taking Protein Supplements?”
Thanks for your thoughts!
Although I’m a woman, I worked in a food factory for many years, where I did heavy physical work, moving materials in 10-20-kilogram batches. As a result, I got nice, lean muscles. I also paid attention to healthy eating. Based on this, my experience is that it’s possible to build muscles without taking protein supplements. And in older age, muscle building is vital because it reduces the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.