This is how low-carb diets destroy men’s muscle mass

dangerous unhealthy and high-fat diet reduces muscle mass

Share this with all your low carb obsessed friends

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This is how low-carb diets destroy men’s muscle mass

Guys like to be muscular — and most women prefer muscular, masculine men.

But greater mass muscle isn’t just about what men and women want. Muscle mass is probably one of the most important predictors of health.

Muscles are involved in optimizing hormones like testosterone. 

Muscle cells are also the place where much of the testosterone action happens. 

Muscle cells contain androgen receptors which are activated by testosterone — making you more masculine.

Holding more muscle on your frame keeps your resting metabolic rate higher — meaning you are less likely to gain fat.

As we age, testosterone and muscle mass can drop — so much that it becomes a serious problem. 

Frailty from low muscle mass is the major reason why people may need to move into assisted living facilities.

Bone fracture and resulting hospitalizations from muscle weakness play a major role in early death.

Diet is one of the major factors in maintaining muscle mass…

And the high-fat, low-carb diet makes it nearly impossible!

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This research was carried out at the EADE-University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Spain. The results were published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

The ketogenic diet is a popular high-fat, low-carb, low protein diet. It can cause rapid but short-term weight loss. 

“Ketogenic diets have become a popular method of promoting weight loss.”

I’ve written about low-carb before — it causes metabolic problems and people end up fatter and sicker in the long term.

Because of the short term effects of cutting carbs on body weight, many people have become interested in its overall effects. 

Some sports science researchers wanted to know what high-fat, low-carb does to body composition — body fat and muscle.

“More recently, some have recommended that athletes adhere to ketogenic diets in order to optimize changes in body composition during training.”

This study looked at the effect of the high-fat, low-carb diet on body composition in men who were regular exercisers.

“This study evaluated the efficacy of an 8-week ketogenic diet during energy surplus and resistance training protocol on body composition in trained men.”

The researchers recruited 24 men in their 20s and 30s. The men were split into three different groups.

One group was put on a high-fat, low-carb diet.

Another group was put on a diet that was 55% carbohydrate, 20% protein and 25% fat.

The third group were told to continue eating what they normally eat, except to hit certain caloric targets.

All the men took part in a resistance training program for the 8 weeks and they ate slightly more than they needed to maintain body weight. 

The idea was to build muscle while they lost fat.

The researchers measured body composition using high-tech DXA body scanners.

The men on the low-carb diet lost body fat compared to the other two groups — something often seen in short term low-carb diet studies.

The men on the higher carbohydrate diet gained muscle — an average of about 2 pounds of new muscle over 8 weeks — not bad.

But men on the high-fat diet could not gain muscle — even with the same amount of calories and on the same training routine.

“No increases were observed in muscle mass in the ketogenic diet group, but the known ketogenic diet group showed increases in this parameter.”

Of course, not everyone will take part in a muscle building exercise routine for their entire lives- – but a little muscle is built up from daily activities regardless.

In illness and other times where we don’t eat enough, we lose muscle. 

Later we put some muscle back on — triggered by daily activities and adequate nutrition.

Not so with low-carb — it seems impossible to regain muscle on the high-fat, low-carb diet.

“The ketogenic diet might not be useful to increase muscle mass during positive energy balance in men undergoing resistance training for 8 weeks.”

This is because muscle is built from protein and carbohydrate — not fat.

Low carb diets can cause rapid weight loss — but don’t be fooled. A lot of that weight that is lost is precious muscle mass!

The long term effects of low carb diets include muscle wasting and serious metabolic issues.

You should always consult a healthcare practitioner about treating and diagnosing health-related problems.

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Matt Cook is editor-in-chief of Daily Medical Discoveries. Matt has been a full time health researcher for 26 years. ABC News interviewed Matt on sexual health issues not long ago. Matt is widely quoted on over 1,000,000 websites. He has over 300,000 daily newsletter readers. Daily Medical Discoveries finds hidden, buried or ignored medical studies through the lens of 100 years of proven science. Matt heads up the editorial team of scientists and health researchers. Each discovery is based upon primary studies from peer reviewed science sources following the Daily Medical Discoveries 7 Step Process to ensure accuracy.