subject: muscle tissue

Getting the Balance Right

Getting the Balance Right

Once described as an epidemic, obesity has now reached pandemic status with an estimated 600 million obese adults worldwide, and an additional 1.4 billion that are overweight. The cause of the pandemic is known—people consuming more energy (calories) than they expend—so it would seem that the solution would be to simply eat less. But a team of nutritional ecologists believes that cutting calories will not solve anything, because it ignores some basic tenets of human (and animal) biology. Using data from fruit flies, mice, birds, fish, monkeys, and humans, Raubenheimer, Simpson and their colleagues demonstrate a seemingly universal law of animal nutrition: a predominant appetite for protein. They propose that the human need to meet a fixed daily protein target leads to weight gain through the overconsumption of low protein foods that have come to dominate the Western diet. Rather than advocating for a high protein diet that eschews carbohydrates, they emphasize a balance of macronutrients for optimal health. Can dairy help strike this balance? Whole-food sources of protein that are easy to access, like dairy, can help balance out those beloved low-protein, high-carbohydrate processed foods and keep energy consumption in check. Read More...

Dairy Helps Dieters Maintain Muscle While Losing Fat

Dairy Helps Dieters Maintain Muscle While Losing Fat

If you have ever been on a diet, chances are you own a scale. From contestants on popular weight loss reality shows to at-home dieters, the scale is used as an indispensible tool for measuring dieting success. Unfortunately, those changing numbers on the scale only tell part of the story. Successful weight loss is not just about losing body mass, but about losing fat mass while preserving lean muscle mass. So, what is the secret to success? Dieters eating more protein and fewer carbohydrates have been shown to maintain muscle while dropping fat (1), and a growing number of studies are finding that increased consumption of whey proteins from dairy promotes even greater fat loss and lean muscle preservation (2-5). If you also take into account calcium’s positive effects on fat metabolism, there is great potential for dairy to really tip the scales in a dieter’s favor. Read More...

Milk Nutrients Augment Muscle Growth and Recovery

Milk Nutrients Augment Muscle Growth and Recovery

As strange as it sounds, a good number of us purposely inflict damage to our muscle tissue on a daily basis in an activity called strength training. A set of bicep curls or leg presses places the associated muscle fibers under strain, which damages the fibers. To repair themselves, the muscle fibers fuse together and increase in diameter and length, thereby creating a larger muscle. This gain does not come without pain. Damaged muscle fibers are a site of inflammation that normally lasts between one and three days. With this inflammation comes soreness, tenderness, decreased mobility of the muscle group, and subsequently decreases in agility and muscle performance. Researchers refer to this as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and it is considered a normal side effect of the muscle rebuilding process. Read More...