A lot of factors go into encouraging muscle growth. Some factors are commonly known, such as work outs, endurance training, and more. However, some factors are less well known, but just as important. These include sleep, diet, helpful supplements, and activities to reduce inflammation. Today, we’ll look at an overview of these factors, all of which come together to promote muscle growth.
A commonly known aspect of encouraging muscle growth is working out. To encourage muscle growth, you have to work your muscles to the point of exhaustion to create micro-tears in your muscle fiber which will then grow back stronger than before. This can be done through a variety of workout routines, including high weight exercises, low rep exercises with an Olympic bar, or sprinting. For added endurance training, high rep exercises, body weight exercises, and distance running will help.
The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is an important part of fitness because our body does most of our regenerative processes at night during sleep. When you are awake, most of your energy is devoted to keeping your body functioning. At night, your body has the resources to focus on rebuilding muscle. Therefore, if you are not getting sufficient sleep, then eventually your body will not be able to heal as fast as damage is created.
Amount of Sleep Needed
The amount of sleep required for healing can vary from person to person, depending on age, activity level, and other factors. However, in general a minimum of seven hours of sleep is needed for average physical activity. If you are working out heavily, or must do a lot of physical labor during the day, then you may need closer to eight or nine hours of sleep at night.
Sleep Needs Change
As people get older, they need less sleep. From those in their late teens to those in their early twenties, up to nine hours of sleep may be needed for their bodies to recover, especially if they work out a lot. Those in their late twenties to late thirties may need slightly less, around eight hours of sleep. As your age increases, it becomes easier to function fully on seven hours of sleep or fewer, regardless of daily activity. However, this can vary by person, some people needing more, others needing less sleep to recover. Pay attention to your body and ensure that you get the amount of sleep that’s right for you.
Diets that Promote Muscle Growth
Another important factor in encouraging muscle growth is what you eat. It is commonly known that protein is an important part of healthy diet. It is also important to ensure that you eat enough antioxidants to combat muscle inflammation. Many antioxidants are found in vitamins, such as vitamin C and various B vitamins. Another important element to include in your diet is unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats. These ensure that you stay healthy and that your heart can get blood and oxygen circulated throughout your body.
Sources of Necessary Nutrients
Knowing what your body needs is one thing, but finding foods that carry those elements can be more challenging. Below are some suggestions for getting enough protein, antioxidants, and unsaturated fats.
Protein: Good sources of protein include lean meats, nus, and dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and eggs.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants can be found in various vitamins, such as vitamin C and others. Healthy sources for these vitamins include fruits, such as oranges (making fruit smoothies is a great way to get antioxidants). Salads also offer many great antioxidants. If you need to supplement your diet, vitamin C tablets are also an option.
Unsaturated Fats: Unsaturated fats are good for your health, and can help lower cholesterol. Healthy sources of unsaturated fat include nuts, seeds, certain grains, avocados, yogurt, and eggs.
What to Avoid
While some fats, like unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are good for your body, others can be detrimental. Avoid foods high in trans fat, and limit foods high in saturated fat. These fats can raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of developing certain health issues such as heart disease. These fats are found in high amounts in fried foods, such as doughnuts, and baked goods, such as crackers. Avoid these types of foods as often as you can.
If you would like more information about exercises and nutrition that encourage muscle growth, visit STR8 Training, located in San Marcos, TX.