Does Running Make You Lose Muscle?

Running is an excellent way of getting in cardio further its benefits for weight loss and endorphins are well known in the fitness world. It is safe to say that running makes you feel better and is one of the most effective ways to get rid of excessive fat. However, some avoid running for the fear of losing not only weight but also muscle. But does running make you lose muscle or fat? If you are considering to build up your home gym, but are not sure whether to purchase a treadmill or not, you should know what are the benefits and the drawbacks of running.

Unfortunately, with a lot of contradictory information out there, it is hard to get a clear answer to the question “Does Running Make You Loose Muscle? The thing is that the answer is not as straightforward as you might think. For this reason, we decided to help you get a clearer picture of the impact of running in your fitness journey and discover whether it does have an impact on muscle loss or not. We will also take a look at what you can do to avoid that from happening, but still, be able to run.

The Truth: Does Running Make You Lose Muscle?

Let’s be honest, losing your muscle mass from running it is a possibility, but it is also true that it can be avoided. Many factors can affect your muscle loss, including your diet and your lifestyle. Here we will take a look at how you can reduce the risk of muscle loss while keep including running in your workout routine.

In general, the key to run in the right way and avoid losing muscle along the way is to combine your intensive cardio activity with appropriate strength training and the right diet.

So, first of all, you should schedule a balanced training plan where you alternate running to weightlifting or a high-intensity bodyweight workout. By doing so, you’ll ensure to keep building muscles when not doing cardio.

In general, including 3 days a week of HIIT cardio (where you run intensively for 20-30 minutes) is good enough for getting the right results and building your insurance.

The Importance of Following the Right Diet

However, like most things in the fitness world, it is not only the intensity of your workouts or your workout plan that will have an impact on your results. Diet plays an extremely important role in your fitness journey and more so in the avoidance of muscle mass loss while performing regular high-intensity cardio exercises such as running.

It is important for you to get the right amount of calories you need, but also enough nutrients for your body to support your training. You might not know this, but while being on a calorie deficit is an effective way to lose weight (fast), it can also lead to quick muscle mass loss. The good news is that your fuel your body will have an impact on the source of energy your body will use to operate. That means that with the right diet you can “control” where will your body will take energy from.

To reduce the risk of muscle loss, your diet should be rich in proteins and healthy fats. Proteins will help to repair and rebuild your muscles. Healthy fats, such as nuts, avocados, and salmon, are a longer-lasting form of energy compared to that provided by carbs and a good way to increase your calorie intake with healthy food.

The key information you should have in mind is that with low energy stores around your body (usually given by a calorie deficit), you’ll tend to use more muscle protein as a source of energy to fuel activity during a workout. But that should be avoided. Investigate on the right amount of protein you should consume according to your activity levels to avoid this from being much of a problem.

The Bottomline

All in all, running does not make you lose muscle if you perform it correctly and combine it with the right diet and training. Instead, it is an effective way to lose extra fat and to work on your endurance. Keep in mind the tips above outlined and don’t be scared to include running in your fitness routine!

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