By Gabe Sanders Ph.D., NSCA-CSCS
Post-exercise, nutrition, and wellbeing are critical for optimizing muscle growth and regeneration. In order to grow muscles, the muscle cells must rebuild after they have been broken down. The rebuilding of cells and muscle tissue is an active process, which means the process requires energy.
To supply the process of muscle growth and regeneration, humans must consume calories to fuel the process. While consuming an excessive number of calories will aid the muscle regeneration process, the body will also store the extra calories as fuel. Therefore, the goal is to eat the right number of calories to build muscle while preventing increases in fat storage throughout our bodies.
Low levels of chemical factors contribute to muscle loss with aging
In addition to muscle growth and regeneration via proper nutritional intake, researchers are constantly investigating how to improve muscle regeneration in humans. The process of muscle regeneration is also a critical process for aging adults and even those with musculoskeletal disorders because these populations tend to lose muscle mass over time for unknown reasons.
A recent study published in Nature Communications by lead author, Chao Wang, explains how low levels of chemical factors in the body contribute to muscle loss with aging and it may be possible to increase chemical factors called myogenic progenitors in the body will improve muscle growth and regeneration.
Additionally, this entire process requires stem cells to enhance the growth of muscle cells. However, limiting myogenic progenitors also limits stem cells from doing their job in the process. It is important to note; that this study was conducted on mice and much more work is needed before applying the results to humans.
Daily physical activity enhances chemical factors
In the meantime, a person must avoid over-indulging in daily calories, while consuming adequate amounts of lean proteins. Also, limit daily carbohydrate and unhealthy fat intake. Combining proper nutrition with daily physical activity, cardiorespiratory exercise, and strength training will naturally enhance chemical factors in the body responsible for growth and regeneration. Then, in time, research can discover ways to improve this process via a type of chemical or physical therapy.
*Before starting a new exercise regimen, consult with your physician and/or medical healthcare provider
Wang, Chao, et al. “In vivo partial reprogramming of myofibers promotes muscle regeneration by remodeling the stem cell niche.” Natu
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