Protein balance is a
function of intake relative to output (utilization and loss). Body
proteins are in a constant state of flux with both protein degradation
and protein synthesis constantly occurring. Normally, these two
processes are equal, with no net loss or net gain of protein taking
place. Protein intake usually equals protein loss. If protein synthesis
(anabolism) is greater than protein degradation (catabolism),
the overall result is anabolic with a net increase in body protein. If
protein degradation is greater than protein synthesis, the overall
result is catabolic with a net decrease in body protein.
by using appropriate methods and supplements can dramatically increase
protein synthesis and muscle mass. One way to decrease the catabolic
process is to decrease the secretion of effects of the glucocorticoid
hormones, the most important being cortisol. A catabolic hormone,
cortisone can, if in appropriately elevated, be counterproductive for
bodybuilders and other athletes trying to increase muscle mass.
Exercise and diet can
be manipulated in a number of ways to maximize the overall anabolic
effect of a substance or activity. For example, if a compound or
activity increases both protein synthesis and protein breakdown (as many
do), it might have a positive or negative anabolic effect. The overall
effect is anabolic if the increase in protein synthesis is greater than
the increase in protein breakdown, and catabolic if protein breakdown
exceeds protein synthesis. It would also be useful to quantify the
anabolic effect so we can tell which substances and procedures would be
more effective than others for increasing muscle mass and strength.
substance or activity may decrease both protein breakdown and synthesis.
Again, the anabolic effect would depends on the degree that it does
either one. If we examine clenbuterol, we see that some studies show
that while it has potent anticatabolic properties, clenbuterol also, to
a lesser extend, suppresses protein synthesis. The overall effect,
however, is anabolic, since the net result of the decreased protein
breakdown and decreased protein synthesis is an increase in muscle
decrease catabolism can have anabolic effects on muscle. But like growth
hormone stimulation, many nutritional supplements drugs and even
lifestyle changes can have anticatabolic effects. Increasing dietary
calories and protein, and using branched-chain amino acids, glutamine,
alanine and other amino acids, Vitamin C, beta-carotene and other
antioxidant vitamins have been shown to lessen muscle breakdown.
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