2 questions about muscle growth from a boilogical/evolutionary pov

In summary, there is no specific timeline for muscles to go back to normal after stopping a workout. The deterioration of muscles does not begin immediately after a workout has stopped, and it may take a few days or weeks for the body to stop maintaining that muscle. From an evolutionary standpoint, there is no specific "window of opportunity" for muscle growth and repair after a workout. Our bodies are not designed to build excessive amounts of muscle without the use of supplements or drugs, and extreme workouts may not have any real evolutionary advantage.
  • #1
moe darklight
409
0
hey, I've always wondered this and couldn't find an answer for it:

1) suppose you're a person who works out, and then you stop. how long does it take for your muscles to go "back to normal." and does this deterioration begin as soon as muscle repair after the workout has stopped (24-36 hours after workout), or does it take a few days/weeks for your body to stop maintaining that muscle?2) from an evolutionary standpoint, why is it that our bodies are told to build muscle only if we ingest food right after the workout/muscle damage.
if you work out, you know that you are supposed to eat large amounts of protein and carbs right away after the work out, preferably before an hour has passed, or else you won't grow and the workout will be a waste.
I don't understand how this would make sense from an evolutionary standpoint? ... if a caveman works hard for hours to hunt for food, why the small, one hour window of opportunity to reward him with muscle repair and growth? thanks
 
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  • #2
1. This isn't a one-line-answer-question. As you extend physical capability (it ain't just size of muscle, it's how the muscle "wiring" has changed, and how effective it is at doing work) muscles will do more work and be used in new ways, ways that were not part of the the "before resistance training" snapshot of activity for the muscle group.

2. I'm not sure this statement is correct. It sounds more like an ad for a protein supplement. Protein does speed up mucle growth, but it is not the whole picture like those whey protein supplement companies would have you believe.

If this topic really interests, you consider reading 'Paleolithic Prescription' by Eaton, Shostak & Conner. While the book emphasizes diet, it also deals with a lot more.
 
  • #3
jim mcnamara said:
2. I'm not sure this statement is correct. It sounds more like an ad for a protein supplement. Protein does speed up mucle growth, but it is not the whole picture like those whey protein supplement companies would have you believe.

true, I guess it could be a rumor started by protein-shake companies that has turned into an urban legend... but pretty much every place you read on weight lifting tells you to ingest high amounts of protein/carb before that magical one-hour window is up... I've always thought it would make no sense for an animal to evolve with such a small window for muscle growth...
 
  • #4
Those drinks do impact muscle and weight gain to some degree. However, when being strong and fast meant not being eaten by the local pride of lions, there were no whey supplements.

It's a little like the "perfect" plant fertilizers we've developed. They get max results more quickly than more "natural" means. And we've genetically altered plants to do netter with those fertilizers. Maybe we could do the same with humans, but other than cosmetic and impatience reasons I don't know what the real benefit would be. We might live or die on the presence of daily whey milk shakes in our diet :)
 
  • #5
One question to ask yourself when considering things from an evolutionary point of view is what is the physiological basis for this? In other words, it's not part of normal physiology to grow giant muscles from normal amounts of work. What body builders are pushing their bodies to do has no particular evolutionary advantage (other than potentially mate selection), and involves growth of muscles to an extreme that one would not expect without pharmacological assistance.

There is no "1 hour window" for eating protein to gain strength. Just doing the same activities day after day will develop enough muscle to do those activities. The type of extreme workouts that body builders go through would be considered a waste of energy from an ecological standpoint. It doesn't help acquire food, it doesn't help provide shelter, and it doesn't help chase down a mate and reproduce any faster.
 

What is muscle growth and why is it important from a biological/evolutionary perspective?

Muscle growth, also known as hypertrophy, is the process by which muscles increase in size and strength. From a biological perspective, muscle growth is necessary for the survival and functioning of an organism. Muscles provide the ability to move and carry out essential functions such as breathing and digestion. From an evolutionary perspective, muscle growth has played a crucial role in the survival and adaptation of species. Stronger and more efficient muscles allowed early humans to engage in activities such as hunting and gathering, increasing their chances of survival.

What are the main factors that contribute to muscle growth from a biological/evolutionary perspective?

There are several factors that contribute to muscle growth from a biological/evolutionary perspective. One of the main factors is physical activity or exercise. Regular exercise, especially resistance training, stimulates muscle growth by causing micro-tears in muscle fibers, which then repair and grow stronger. Adequate nutrition, specifically protein intake, is also essential for muscle growth as it provides the building blocks for muscle tissue. Additionally, hormones such as testosterone play a significant role in muscle growth, as they promote protein synthesis and regulate the body's response to exercise and stress.

How does muscle growth differ between different species from a biological/evolutionary perspective?

Muscle growth can vary significantly between different species from a biological/evolutionary perspective. Larger and more complex animals, such as mammals, typically have more developed and stronger muscles compared to smaller animals. This is because larger animals require more muscle mass to support their body weight and engage in activities such as hunting and defending themselves. Additionally, the type of diet and physical demands of a species can also affect their muscle growth. For example, herbivores may have more muscle mass in their legs for running, while carnivores may have more developed upper body muscles for hunting and fighting.

How has muscle growth evolved over time in humans?

Muscle growth has evolved over time in humans, with early humans having a different muscular structure compared to modern humans. Our early ancestors had more muscle mass and a thicker bone structure, as they were more physically active and relied on physical strength for survival. However, with the development of agriculture and technology, humans became less physically active, leading to a decrease in muscle mass. In recent times, the focus on physical fitness and exercise has led to a resurgence in muscle growth in humans.

What are some potential implications of excessive muscle growth from a biological/evolutionary perspective?

From a biological/evolutionary perspective, excessive muscle growth, also known as hypertrophy, may have both positive and negative implications. On one hand, increased muscle mass can provide advantages in terms of physical strength and endurance, which may increase an organism's ability to survive and reproduce. On the other hand, excessive muscle growth can also lead to health issues such as strain on the heart and joints, as well as decreased agility and flexibility. Additionally, in modern times, excessive muscle growth may also be associated with societal pressure and distorted body image ideals, leading to potential psychological implications.

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