Running can either break down or build your muscle depending on the intensity of the run. But before we talk about running, let’s understand first if how muscles are built.
Building muscles are like building bricks, and proteins act as the bricks. Proteins are the primary component in building muscles. In short, the more the protein intake, the more muscles can be built.
The process of gaining more protein is called muscle protein synthesis (MPS), while the process of removing protein is muscle protein breakdown (MPB). One of the best ways to increase MPS is through exercises such as weight lifting.
However, the breaking down and building of muscle is always based on the exercise and effort you’re making.
Can Running Build Your Muscle?
The answer is yes, and no. As mentioned, running can help you build your muscle or not because it depends on the intensity of the run as well as the duration.
You can build your lower body muscle through an aerobic exercise including running because it inhibits proteins that help the fiber to grow and become firm.
However, your muscle can’t grow when you do a long-distance run because it damages the muscle that causes the increase of MPB.
How Much Protein Do You Need to Build Muscle through Running?
Proteins are the building blocks of your muscle, and without proper protein nutrients, the building process might not work.
Protein works together with the right exercise to build your desired muscle, and the best way to achieve that goal is to make sure that you acquire the right amount of proteins in your body.
According to healthline.com, 0.64-0.91 grams of protein is the recommended consumption daily per pound of body weight. A 150-pound person needs an average of 96-137 grams of protein daily.
Where can you get proteins? You can get proteins from your everyday meal like in meat, fish, eggs, beans, poultry, and dairy products such as milk and cheese.
What Other Nutrients are Needed?
Proteins are not the only factor to consider when you’re trying to build muscle. Carbs and fats are also essential for achieving your muscle goal.
Carbs are one of the sources of energy of your body that is good for anaerobic exercises. On the other hand, fats are an essential source of energy if you’re planning to do long-distance running.
Based on healthline.com, in ensuring enough vitamin and mineral intake during workouts, the applicable carbs you should get is 45-65% and 20-35% from fats. You can find carbs in various fruits, vegetables, and dairy products as well as from beans.
And lastly, don’t forget the water. It has lots of vitamins, minerals, and proteins to offer either to help you build your muscle or to keep you dehydrated and healthy.