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Thread: Why do human bodies neglect muscle growth?

  1. #1 Why do human bodies neglect muscle growth? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    I seem to remember having read somewhere that if the calorie intake is low, the FIRST Thing the human body sacrifice is muscle growth and its maintenance.

    Having started to work out this really have me wondering why, seeing how muscles are directly related to our very survival.

    Im guessing this only counts for human muscles. I dont really know much about animals but lions, wich are very muscular have a reputation for sleeping alot right? Though i do imagine they get tonns of nutrition when they first DO get a kill, i dont see them using their muscle as much as to justify their size.


    My first thought was that our bodies and the bodies of organisms with alot more muscles are different, in that their very biology priorotize muscle growth more. While our bodies consider it needless due to our superior intellect?

    Do our intelligence require just as much, if not more than muscle tissue needs - in calorie intake to function proparly?

    At the moment im having huge problems putting on weight after my workouts as my bodytype is ectomorph and it requires a HUGE load of calories. It is as if the body itself tries to FIGHT it.

    If my body had a list over 100 000 things it uses its energy on id bet gaining weight through muscle or fat both is number 99 999 and 100 000

    The stereotype that all strong and big people are dumb, more to it than what we thought?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Our brain is more important than anything else. So the the body will consume anything but the brain first.


    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  4. #3  
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    It costs your body to haul around extra muscle mass. Why should your body become less efficient?

    Lemme guess: you're doing this to display fitness to potential mates.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Live to display another day.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Lemme guess: you're doing this to display fitness to potential mates.
    That was my main reason when i began, guess theres no reason to hide my vanity. But it has other great benefits that i have started to notice like increased stamina, health and well being - along with better sleep and a general feeling of happiness.

    Anyway!

    It doesent make me less curious on the issue itself. What im really wondering about is:

    1) Do different organisms have a different genetical priority to the energy distribution of calorie intake to the body.

    2) Is it true that the human body really consider muscles as little important as it seems. (Ive read this many times but cant find a source to its truth on the internet)

    3) Does having a human brains intellect require that much more energy than a "Dumb" species of the same size? In other words, do the process of thinking itself require lots of energy?
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  7. #6  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Muscles require a lot of energy to maintain. It's all about finding a balance. If you are trying to survive in an environment where food is scarce, then you will only keep enough muscle to find food and avoid predators... no more. The benefit has to outweigh the cost, and it costs us a lot to maintain muscle.

    You know this implicitly. When you work out, you get more hungry. You need more energy to rebuild those muscles... You even take special drinks high in protein to assist in the process. Muscles are needy little buggers...

    So, too, is the brain. Our selection for intelligence as a preferred trait has come at the expense of our need for huge intakes of energy/calories. The brain alone... despite making up only about 2% of our body's mass is responsible fore more than 20-30% of our body's energy consumption.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...e-brain-need-s
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...rgy-efficiency
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    1) Do different organisms have a different genetical priority to the energy distribution of calorie intake to the body.

    2) Is it true that the human body really consider muscles as little important as it seems. (Ive read this many times but cant find a source to its truth on the internet)

    3) Does having a human brains intellect require that much more energy than a "Dumb" species of the same size? In other words, do the process of thinking itself require lots of energy?


    1) I doubt it, for any animal the most important thing is the brain. Animals may genetically be more inclined to develop larger and stronger muscles, but that is because they need them. A stronger faster lion will be able to kill prey more efficiently and thus be more likely to mate.

    2) I don't really know, it wouldn't surprise me. We don't NEED huge muscles, we need just enough muscle to allow us to do what we need to do. We don't rely on our muscles to kill something so we can eat, so whether or not you're a big muscular guy, or a scrawny weak guy, has no bearing on whether you survive.

    3) It is possible that because our brains are so much larger than other animal brains it requires more energy, that makes sense to me. It very well could be that our brains a require a lot more energy and that is why we have smaller muscles, we spend more time powering our brain. But that wouldn't be a genetic disposition to small muscles, that would just be a by-product of having a larger brain. You might have a better chance to mate if you're toned, but you don't have a genetic disposition to be toned, or you would be without working out.

    There are plenty of "dumb" people out there, that are not bulging with muscle mass, so I don't think your intelligence defines your ability to gain muscle.
    Always minimize the variables.

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  9. #8  
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    Muscles burn more calories than fat, so it is more efficient to lose muscle than fat when food becomes scarce, strictly from the standpoint of energy conservation. The tradeoff is that weaker muscles could impair your ability to get more food. I would not be surprised if lions tend to lose fat before muscle, more so than we are, as they are more dependent on strength and running speed for survival.
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  10. #9  
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    I know this is an old post but I think it's worth reviving.

    First things first I really hope you've made progress towards your goals Raziell.

    The reality is somewhat more complicated than you have implied here.

    Both muscle mass and body fat obey the law of homeostasis.

    The more fat you have the higher your body will prioritize burning fat.

    The more muscle you have the more your body will prioritize breaking down muscle.

    If you have been following a decent program for a year it's almost impossible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time (or even keep body fat the same) without "chemical" assistance. That's why bodybuilders and strength athletes usually follow bulking and cutting.

    Individual genetics and hormone levels will determine where homeostasis is. I'd imagine it's the same for all mammals.

    That being said I don't buy in to the whole ecto/meso/endomorph concept. The way it's presented for the most part is too fatalistic, lifestyle can drastically change your body shape for better or worse.

    It's generally used as an excuse for people to not achieve their goals or for supplement companies to sell rubbish.

    Individual genetics may determine appetite and metabolism to a large degree but you can force yourself to eat/not eat and make lifestyle changes to drastically change your energy output.

    Most people who think they are ectomorphs just aren't eating enough. Even if they are eating 5000 calories a day they aren't eating enough if they aren't putting on weight.

    I was 70kg a few years ago, now I'm 95kg at about the same bodyfat and still growing(6'4). I've seen countless other transformations among people who make the necessary adjustments to their nutrition and follow decent strengh/hypertrophy programs.
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