Our guest blogger, Mehmet Edip is back with more tips and advice to help you make those sought for epic gains! You can read more articles from Mehmet in our ‘Guest Articles‘.
When you exercise, tiny tears develop in your muscle fibres but muscle repair only occurs when the body is resting or sleeping, and if you aren’t getting an adequate amount of sleep, your body cannot repair the muscle fibres as insufficient sleep is disruptive.
Sleep dramatically impacts your entire body, and it’s during sleep that your body recovers from exercise, repairs itself and grows new muscle tissue. When you are sleeping hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone and cortisol are produced in higher doses than throughout the rest of the day.
Testosterone is a hormone which determines how much muscle your body can build, and sleep is vital to this. A Singapore study found those who slept for 4 or less hours per night had 60% less total testosterone and 55% less bio-available testosterone than those who slept 8 hours or more.
Growth Hormone is vital to the body being able to form and sustain muscle mass and tests have shown that particularly in men, 60% to 70% of daily human growth hormone secretion occurs during the first two hours of sleep.
Cortisol is the hormone that assists in the breaking down of muscle tissue – in other words, it supports the metabolic systems of anabolism and catabolism, both vital to building muscle.
What can help stop muscle breakdown?
When you are sleeping you are essentially fasting as your body is not consuming any food during that period and this is catabolic to muscle growth.
A recent study found that those who took a protein shake right before sleep increased overnight muscle protein synthesis by more than 22 percent compared to those who drank the flavored water. So to stop the catabolic effect eating prior to sleeping can help reverse the process and increase protein synthesis.
Supplements which can help you sleep?
ZMA is a supplement made from zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. While this supplement can boost testosterone levels if you’re zinc deficient, but it also helps induce sleep.
Supplements to increase anabolic potential
Glutamine is an amino acid that prevents catabolism, promotes optimum growth hormone release and supports a strong immune system.
During sleeping periods, muscle wasting can occur due to amino acid shortage, and this can result in increased cortisol secretions and inflammation. Glutamine helps maintain a positive nitrogen balance and helps to promote repair.
BCAA’s – Branched Chain Amino Acids – have proven anabolic properties and increase testosterone and growth hormone levels.
BCAA’s can also help to blunt the rise in cortisol levels during sleep, helping to prevent catabolism and promote maximum anabolism.
The author of this article, Mehmet Edip is an internationally published fitness model and writer, actor and competitive athlete.
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