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Anabolic-Catabolic Immune System Response to Nutrition

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 6:38 pm
by wtfscience
Hi, first post and it's a thread, I know, bad form. My apologies! Been lurking a while in my defense.

Anyway, I have a question based on the following assumptions (please challenge them or the question).

1. Based on available dietary energy, the body is either catabolic or anabolic, meaning losing fat or muscle, and gaining fat or muscle.
2. Catabolism and Anabolism may occur many times during the day as energy availability fluctuates.
3. The body cannot use stored fat as a source of energy to build muscle and would be in a catabolic state when breaking down fat.
4. Muscle growth is a human immune response to micro fractures caused by stress (such as weight lifting).

If those assumptions are sound and valid, my question follows:

After a bout of heavy weight lifting, and when in a caloric deficit, will dietary energy be used by the immune system to recover and repair muscle?

Sub-question (high-fidelity shout-out), is there a known dietary intake threshold that will change the body from catabolic to anabolic -- even if for just a small amount of time (ideally long enough for nutrient uptake and recovery)?

Reasoning for the question:
Research has shown that during a substantial caloric deficit, muscle catabolism may be slowed or even stopped when resistance training is employed. When losing fat or cutting, what is possible in a deficit can change your approach to training, eg., If I'm not going to be able to build muscle, I'm not going to train anymore than is needed to preserve muscle. If muscle will recover and grow from post workout nutrition, despite being in an overall caloric deficit, then it would be worthwhile to lift with heavy weight and high total work, along with reserving daily nutrition for post-workout windows.

Thanks for your tolerance and responses,

Re: Anabolic-Catabolic Immune System Response to Nutrition

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 7:28 pm
by stuward
The answer to most of your questions is that it doesn't matter. You should train as if you can build muscle while on a cut anyway. In fact, training to avoid muscle loss is the same as training for muscle gain. If you have to chose between intensity and volume, keep the intensity.

I reject the assertion that you can't gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. In fact, I expect it's common in people that follow a mild deficit low carb, high protein diet and do appropriate training.

Re: Anabolic-Catabolic Immune System Response to Nutrition

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 8:34 pm
by wtfscience
Valid points. I suppose my final question would be: Do you have a good free resource for non-dogmatic "appropriate training?'

I reject a lot of the common knowledge spewed out at bodybuilding dot com and by most nutrition and sport science "experts," really interested in scientifically controlled and tested protocols.

Re: Anabolic-Catabolic Immune System Response to Nutrition

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 8:59 pm
by stuward
I've been looking for this study for a couple of days but I just found it and it supports what I said earlier." onclick=";return false;

You will notice in that study that the athletes just continued their normal 4 day a week resistance program. This tells me that the actual program doesn't matter except that you need to work hard at building strength and power. I also would suggest about 3 sessions of hill sprints a week. You could use some other HIIT method, and then incorporate about an hour or more of leisure activity per day. There are very few tested protocols but HIIT and low level activity are shown to be best at minimizing compensatory eating, therefore making it easier to sustain fat loss.

Re: Anabolic-Catabolic Immune System Response to Nutrition

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:17 am
by Dub
I don't like this. It's too black and white. There is no ON-OFF switch to fat burning or muscle building/Catabolism and anabolism. It's not a matter of "either...or". Both are happening all the time.
You store fat and synthesize fat cells each and every minute. You also break down fat cells and use it as energy all the time. There is no biological function that totally shuts down any operation. Muscle regerates all the time. It breaks down for energy and the body is building more by protein synthesis.

The body is amazingly adaptive. There is no certain point where fat burning turns into fat storing. If you consume a little less energy than the body needs, the body slows down it's functioning, making the metabolism even. If you are in a big calorie deficit, your metabolism will slow down even more especially when combined with exercise for a long period of time. It will take it's energy from storages of fat, glycogen and protein. It all the depends on the hormonal network and available nutrition that roams around your body at that point.

Re: Anabolic-Catabolic Immune System Response to Nutrition

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:44 am
by Jungledoc
You're right, Dub. I was bothered by the simplistic assumptions, too, but didn't have the energy to get in to it. In particular I noticed this:
wtfscience wrote:3. The body cannot use stored fat as a source of energy to build muscle and would be in a catabolic state when breaking down fat.
Why not? Stored fat is a major energy source for the body. Energy is energy (mostly glocose) no matter what it is being used for. Fat cannot be used as substrate for muscle building--that's amino acids--but the energy for the process comes from wherever the body is getting it's energy at the moment, whether recently-absorbed glucose, or newly released glucose from gluconeogenesis from stored fat.

Re: Anabolic-Catabolic Immune System Response to Nutrition

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:19 am
by Ironman
Yea the main problem is number 3. It's not that it can't so much as it won't do it very much, and it is only completely violated in certain situations. I imagine it depends on hormones, as it all boils down to chemistry. That's how most things like that tend to work.

We know that response to training is greater when you are untrained. The more overweight you are the easier it will be to burn fat (as compared to when you are thinner, not compared to other people). The combination of the two will certainly use fat for muscle building, even in caloric deficit.

Any energy available will be used for muscle building.

Anabolism/catabolism aren't total body systemic states of being. They are just something that happens.

When cutting or in maintenance, if you aren't going to be able to build muscle because you are a more advanced, natural trainer, intensity is all that must be maintained. The volume of your workout can be minimal. You need just enough response to hold onto it. Lots of protein, adequate testosterone levels, and a less severe caloric deficit are the other things needed to hold muscle. If you do it right, you may even be able to hold onto your strength in a cut, as long as it's not too long or too extreme.

Keeping your volume at muscle building levels does have the benefit of increasing fat loss though. If you want to do that however, you would be better off doing the minimal amount with high intensity, and then doing the rest with lighter weight, but faster, and a lot more of it. Like complexes for example.

Re: Anabolic-Catabolic Immune System Response to Nutrition

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:54 pm
by Immortal2
Dont agree with this. You can lose fat and build muscle at the same time. Ive done it. Hell, during wrestling season, no one on my team lost any muscle and we all dropped an average of 17 pounds (actually did the stats on it). In fact, some people got even stronger in the weight room and others dropped 2 weight classes while keeping the same strength levels. My friend Danny S for example when from 217 benching 350 to just a little over 190, benching 330 and the only reason why he could not get the 350 was because his body was severely tired from wrestling practice the day before. If he had lost that much weight without having wrestling practice, then he would have gotten 350 easy. We all used to lift while losing weight for wrestling. Some got way stronger. Some stayed the same and some lost only a little bit of strength but the ones that actually lost strength were usually the guys who were worn out from practice because they had to stay and drop extra pounds. I dont think anyone can hit their true max the day after a 3 hour wrestling practice , starving yourself, and doing extra running or exercise affterwards