Protein Synthesis & Muscle Gains

Your muscles’ primary building block is protein.

Protein is broken down into amino acids when it is consumed. In the intestines, these amino acids are absorbed before being released into the bloodstream. The amino acids are then transferred to nearby tissues where they can be absorbed and turned into tissue protein. 

Building new proteins is a process known as protein synthesis. All organs go through this procedure. Building primarily muscle protein is called muscle protein synthesis.

Consider a muscle to be a wall. An amino acid is a brick. The laying of new bricks on the wall is known as muscle protein synthesis.

This would imply that the wall will progressively get bigger. There is, however, a counterproductive process. Bricks are being removed from the opposite side of the wall by a procedure called muscular protein breakdown. Muscular degradation or muscle proteolysis are other terms that are frequently used to describe muscle protein breakdown. 

It’s crucial to understand that muscle protein production and degradation occur continuously. They can speed up or slow down, yet they are neither “on” nor “off.” The rate at which these two antagonistic processes proceed affects the overall change in the size of the muscle protein.

The wall will enlarge if muscle protein synthesis outpaces muscle protein degradation (your muscles are growing). The wall is contracting (you’re losing muscle mass) if muscle protein synthesis is less than muscle protein breakdown. 

Your net balance is determined by adding these two steps together: 

Muscle protein production minus muscle protein degradation equals net muscle protein balance. 

It can be compared to your bank account as well. 

balance = earnings – expenses


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