Is Your Diet Causing Muscle Loss?

When you go on a diet, you don’t just lose fat – you lose muscle too. This can have many repercussions – not only on your fitness and strength, but on your metabolism. To lose weight (body fat), you need to be in a calorie deficit. This means consuming fewer calories than your body uses, or exercising to burn more calories than you consume.

During the first few days in a calorie deficit, the body uses up its small reservoir of glycogen stores for energy. Glycogen is a string of glucose (sugar) that comes from the carbohydrates you eat. Since carbs are the body’s main energy source, this is why any glucose the body doesn’t immediately use is stored to use for energy later.

But as carbohydrate molecules bind with water, this means that when the body stores glycogen, it also stores water in the muscles. As these glycogen stores are used up, the body also releases a significant amount of water.

Excerpted from Science Alert

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