Once upon a time, the scary tale of how firmly toned abs could turn into mush of fats if left neglected plagued the minds of beginner gym-goers. Hard and defined triceps were said to convert into flabby arm fats through time and the horrors stopped many on their tracks from the aim to build muscles. Along with the idea that muscles can be turned into fats, is the small but shimmering hope that fats could also one day, through hard-work and perseverance, turn into muscles!
Let's not let this myth fool you this April Fool's Day because muscles do not turn into fats, and vice versa!
There are three possible fuels of energy: carbohydrates, fats and muscle. When the body takes in energy in the form of food, it gets broken down into glucose to be used immediately by the body. Excess glucose gets stored as glycogen in the glycogen storage and once at full capacity, the remaining glucose gets stored as fats. This process is reversed when the body needs energy beyond what the available glucose in the bloodstream can provide. After glucose is consumed, glycogen is broken down for energy and after depletion, the next fuel for energy consumption comes from fats.
The fats in our body then gets broken down into fatty acids and glycerol which are used to produce energy. In the event the fat reserve in our body is low, the last source of energy comes from the muscles where it is broken down into amino acids for use.
So why do we need to know how our body utilises fuel for energy? Well, understanding how your body uses its resources tells us that when fat or muscle are being metabolised, it is turned into energy. Thus, your fats do not actually turn into muscles and vice versa! Even though they both do get broken down into different substances, they are used for energy and are completely separate tissues so they cannot change from one to the other.
Since muscles do not turn into fats, does this mean that we are safe from saggy, flabby arms if we stop working out after gaining muscles? Unfortunately, no. Even though muscles do not turn into fats, they can still lose their mass through muscle atrophy and this can make your once toned arms appear flabby!
Muscle atrophy happens when your muscles are not being stimulated adequately. Thus, stopping your exercise will hasten the process of muscle atrophy and you might start to experience loose flabby arms where your muscles used to be. Sounds terrifying? Fear not. With a consistent exercise regime and proper diet, your muscles will receive the stress it requires to maintain its form.
If you are interested to find out more on muscle atrophy and how to prevent or even treat it, you can do so with our trained professionals at PhysioActive.
Call us: 6258 5602
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PhysioActive is available in Orchard, Raffles, East Coast, Jurong & Novena!