Building muscle is always great, but are you doing enough to maintain it? If you're not staying in an anabolic state, you could be losing a lot of hard earned muscle.
What does it mean?
So what is being anabolic? Being anabolic means of protecting your muscle tissue against catabolism (breakding down muscle) to enable you to build more muscle. There's no in-between, you are either catabolic or anabolic at any given time. The longer you can remain in an anabolic state, the better for your physique, no matter what your goals. So now you know the importance of remaining anabolic you need to know ways in which to maximise anabolism.
From personal experiences with my physique as well as working with a very wide variety of clients, I've seen the huge benefits of regular high meal frequency. One of which is people recover quicker, appear more muscular, perform better, feel better mentally and build muscle more easily plus burning fat at a faster rate. All of which sound amazing right?!
Over previous years, many people argued that overall total protein intake by the end of the day was all that was important. However from my experiences, the importance of eating protein regularly throughout the day (every 2-3 hours) has been essential for maintaining an anabolic environment and therefore a better physique.
Not under eating - Adequate Calorie Intake
Like I stressed in my previous article under eating isn't optimal for your physique. It is impossible to remain anabolic if you are under eating all of the time because ultimately your body will look for additional fuel sources. More often than not your body will turn to muscle as a fuel source, the last thing we want as it will mean the breakdown of the muscle mass we've worked so hard for. Eating as many calories as you can whilst being able to still progress is another KEY principle to increased anabolism. However his doesn't mean eating as much rubbish you want. The calories have to come from the right foods for us to continue to progress!
Whilst on the topic about consuming the right source of calories, we need to discuss the importance of pre-bed nutrition. Everyone knows the importance of post-workout nutrition but not enough people understand the importance of pre-bed nutrition. This is the time of day where you're going to be going without calories or proteins for 6-8 hours plus. This can effect your rate of anabolism, which is why I always recommend and stress the importance of a slow release protein source before bed along with some healthy fats to prolong the digestion of that food (carbs will be dependant on the person and there goals).
The last way in which you can promote an anabolic environment is through hydration. Remaining hydrated is one of the most under valued aspect of remaining anabolic! Being dehydrated even slightly can create an environment whereby your muscle mass is far more vulnerable to catabolism. As well as this, it can also effect nutrient transportation which in turn effects nutrient uptake within the muscle cell. To maximise anabolism, make sure you're consuming 3-5litres of water per day.
By taking control of these 4 factors, you will definitely increase your overall rate of anabolism which then improves your ability to recover and your ability to build an optimal physique (build new muscle tissue and burn fat).