What Happens to Your Muscles When You Work Out?

Whether you’re new to the world of fitness or a veteran weightlifter, you might be interested to know what happens to your muscles when you work out. The team at Boneafide Nutrition is nerding out on the science of muscles, including how they work, what happens to them during and after a workout, and the best ways to make noticeable gains towards your fitness goals.

How Muscles Work

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the main purpose of your musculoskeletal system is to move your body and define its shape. In order to work effectively and efficiently, your muscles adapt to the various demands you throw at them, including all forms of exercise. A study on the physiological effects of exercise by the British Journal of Anesthesia notes a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) enables muscles to contract by supplying them with energy.

The CDC adds that when you begin a sweat session, your muscles respond to a change in the pattern of your blood flow. Through an increase in cardiac output during exercise, “blood is sent to the active skeletal muscles.” With resistance training, your muscles will begin to develop “considerable force …because of both increased muscle size (hypertrophy) and increased muscle fiber recruitment” in both fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers. 

So, what happens to your muscles after exercise? The CDC explains that when you work out, your muscles are actually changing, which can lead to soreness. Sometimes, you’ll be sore immediately following exercise, while other times you might experience delayed soreness a couple days after an intense workout. Don’t forget to stretch!

What’s the Best Way to Build Muscle?

All this technical talk about exercise physiology is a lot to take in, but if you're wondering how to build muscle, the good news is that it’s not rocket science. Classic weight training (including arm, chest, and shoulder workouts), leg lifts, ab exercises, HIIT, bootcamp classes, and even cardio-focused workout lead to muscle gains. 

Maybe you’ve heard of the “little tears” on your muscles that rebuild themselves following a strength and conditioning session. How can you help your body build muscle after you lift weights? Research by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) notes that adequate nutrition is crucial to muscle recovery, and consuming carbohydrates “facilitates muscle glycogen replenishment.” Also, when you combine protein and carbs, it will support the essential process of post-exercise muscle recovery, which means you’ll see more gains and feel less sore. But that’s not all! ACE adds that you can combine caffeine with carbs for even better “muscle glycogen synthesis.” 

If you want a workout supplement that covers all the bases, we’ve got your back. Boneafide Nutrition offers an impressive selection of caffeinated products containing clean carbohydrates designed to be taken both before and after a pump session. To help your muscles do what they do best, try our supplements today!

Join Zo and Bryce to continue this conversation over on Facebook or Instagram. Or if you see us in the gym, say hello! Thanks for reading.

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