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How nutrition can help you build muscle.

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It’s quite a long process on how the food you consume turns into muscle. This blog is going to briefly describe how what you see on your plate can turn into helping you lift more weight!

So, how can the food we eat reach our muscles? Digestion, absorption, and transportation are the three ways in which our bodies use the nutrients in food. When combined, these allow our muscles to be supplied with the proper materials they need to become stronger.

Digestion begins the moment we put food into our mouths. Lots of mechanical and chemical breakdowns in the body happen to turn the food from large particles in your mouth, to what is called “chyme” and is disposed of in the toilet (insert shocked face emoji).

“But,” you might be wondering, “if food that is absorbed is excreted as feces…how does it reach the muscle?” The large and small intestine are the intestines that help with absorption. Absorption of nutrients is basically how we “suck out” the good stuff in our food and begin the long ride to our muscles.

Once nutrients are absorbed, they are transported to our muscles in a number of ways. The number one way for nutrients to be delivered is via the blood stream.

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the three macronutrients that our bodies need. A form of carbohydrate, glucose, is the primary source of energy during HIGH intensity exercises. Glucose is made in our bodies when carbohydrates are broken down. A small amount of glucose is stored in our muscles and is constantly supplied by glucose delivered from the blood. Glucose helps us maintain a healthy brain, healthy nerves, and substantial amounts of energy.

In addition to building muscle, protein speeds up reactions in the body, delivers messages to other parts of the body, regulates fluid and acid-base balance, transports substances, helps build a healthy immune system, can provide energy, and improve appetite control.

Fatty acids (fats) that are transported through your body can be stored in your muscle tissue, and taken from the blood stream. Lipids are the most sustainable source of energy for our body – we store most of this energy in our fat cells for safe keeping. These stored fatty acids are used during low-intensity exercises and as you build up to moderate-intensity your body draws stored energy from your muscle.

Always be conscious of the food and energy you are putting into your body. All three macronutrients are important in the function and building of healthy muscles. Each one plays a specific role in providing energy through the use of ATP. But be careful! When you consume too many macronutrients and do not exercise enough, you can gain weight in the form of fat. Exercising along with eating a healthy balanced diet is the best way to build strong muscles.

Next blog, we will discuss why/how vitamins and minerals can help build muscle!