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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #114 -- The All-Natural Way to Build Muscle
February 02, 2013

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The All-Natural Way to Build Muscle

When it comes to building muscles, the average person immediately thinks of lifting weights. While it is true that weight lifting is a necessary first step, it must be accompanied by something else in order for it to be effective.

That something else is nutrition.

musclesAs a matter of fact, research points to exercise (in this case lifitng weights) contributing 20 percent towards increasing lean body mass (muscle) while nutrition accounts for a whopping 80 percent!

Since I am a hardgainer, it took a lot of effort in the gym to stimulate muscle growth, and a lot of protein. The result is the bicep you see pictured.

Many amateur and professional bodybuilders have taken anabolic steroids in order to build huge muscles. Athletes in other sports such as football have also take steroids in order to build size.

This synthetic way to build muscle is not without its side effects; they include liver damage, unsightly feminine breasts in men, enlarged clitoris in women, etc.

Steroids are banned in all sports - amateur and professional. I have never taken steroids, never considered taking them, and will never take them.

That being said - natural is the only way to go. I suggest taking the following food nutrients to build lean body mass.

Studies have shown that there are four nutrients crucial for building lean body mass: (1) conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (2) leucine (3) omega-3 fatty acids, and creatine

Studies were undertaken on seniors to see the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on building muscle. This group was chosen because once you reach 40 and are basically sedentary, muscle is lost (sarcopenia).

If you are like the average American, you are woefully lacking in dietary omega- 3. I therefore recommend that you include it in your diet whether you are a senior citizen or not and whether you are looking to build muscle or not.

Salmon and sardines are high in omega-3s. But a better bet is krill oil. Krill are small shrimp upon which whales and other marine life feed.

Studies have shown that CLA is very effective in not only synthesizing protein (building muscle), but reducing bodyfat too. The optimum daily amount is at least 3.4 grams (make certain it is Tonalin).

Leucine is a branched chain amino acid. The greatest source of leucine is whey protein.

You would have to eat 1.5 pounds of chicken or 16 eggs or one-half pound of cheddar cheese to get the equivalent of what you get in 3 ounces of whey protein.

Leucine has been shown to improve muscle synthesis and minimize muscle breakdown. Studies show that a daily consumption of 8 to 11 grams will provide the necessary amount.

There are a lot of whey protein products on the market and you want to be careful in which you choose. Make certain that it is concentrated and not isolate. You also want a product that has been sourced from organically raised, pasture-fed cows.

The last nutrient that is a proven muscle builder is creatine monohydrate. There has been a boatload of studies to prove its anabolic (muscle building) quality.

I recommend that you simply buy creatine monohydrate itself. There are a lot of products that combine it with something else. You do not need all of this.

Here is an important point. Make certain to drink a lot of water when you are on a high protein diet.

Building muscle is a process and it requires work. Many beginning bodybuilders work very hard in the gym but tend to neglect, either through ignorance or laziness, their diet.

What you eat and when you eat are crucial to maximizing your muscle-building journey. Be certain to include the nutrients I have written about in your daily nutrition and you will be as successful as I was in building quality, all-natural muscle.

Sources: National Institute of Health. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for twelve weeks increases lean body mass in obese humans. NIH
Nutrition&Metabolism. 2012. Nutritional regulation of muscle protein synthesis with resistance exercise: strategies to enhance anabolism. Nutrition&Metabolism
American Journal of linical Nutrition. July 13, 2010. Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. AJCN

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