Free Muscle

You don't have to read this time. I'll tell you right now how to get free muscle. It's a formula, actually: PROTEIN + UNOPPOSED TESTOSTERONE = MUSCLE. 

The key here is unopposed testosterone. If you want to know why this happens I'll tell you that too. But first, I need to point out something that's pretty obvious.

 Early January 2016, after two years of not working out but a dozen times & losing 40 lbs.

Early January 2016, after two years of not working out but a dozen times & losing 40 lbs.

We are monkeys. Well, great apes. Primates. And no other species of great ape hits the gym. Gorillas, the most muscular of all primates, sit on their butts all day long. They don't lift heavy things or move much in the search for food. So where'd all that muscle come from? 

In humans, males grow bigger muscles than women. This is because of their naturally higher levels of testosterone, though testosterone is still required for women and deficiency can be just as detrimental. If women supplement more testosterone, they suddenly grow large, masculine muscles (as well as other masculine traits). Transgender people also experience this change, or the inverse if they become female. You can see how hormones affect body composition. 

I spend eight to ten hours a day sitting at a computer. Off work I am usually on my bed or my couch, or sitting at a cafe. I do go on walks, especially to fill up on coffee. I get to the gym once a week on average and get an odd hike in here and there. Sex is my only other athletic activity and lets be honest, there could be more of that. 

With this fairly sedentary lifestyle I lost more than 40 pounds and six pant sizes, I also experienced an increase in the musculature of my arms, legs, and chest. Just because exercise can make you lean and build muscle does not mean it is the only way to do it. Muscle also isn't just for looking good. Being able to move through life, avoid or reduce injury, engage in sex, care for children without tiring, endure a workday, and let's not forget important muscles like the heart, are all reasons to be concerned about muscle health that are not aesthetic. 

So the question is, can you get muscle without working out? Well, yes actually. And if you incorporate an understanding of muscle growth into your active life you can get even greater gains in physical health. Because muscle is not a function of effort, strain, or "tearing," of the fibers. If it was, women who workout just as hard would grow bigger muscles. But they can't. Because testosterone and protein are what grow muscle. Exercise can increase testosterone (especially concentric strength training), women having a natural limit on it's production. A good diet can also increase testosterone. But more important than increasing T, a good diet lowers things which oppose testosterone, thus increasing the amount of it that is unopposed, and the formula protein + unopposed testosterone = muscles. 

Body-builders who inject steroids increase the amount of unopposed testosterone, and get even bigger muscles. They just grow and grow until they look like an old basketball about to burst. A guy at my gym is actually purple, because the blood flow to his gigantic, artificially inflated muscles is being choked off, though I think that says more about doing something in excess than it does about muscle building. 

So how do you raise the level of unopposed testosterone? Certain foods facilitate the body's normal production of testosterone. Taurine is an amino acid which indirectly increases the amount of testosterone in the body. Aspirin also increases unopposed testosterone by helping to oxygenate organs and speed up their metabolism. Sugar fuels the sex organs and lowers cortisol. Post workout aspirin helps to lower lactic acid and repair muscle. 

Some foods trigger the stress reaction and oppose testosterone. Grains for instance raise estrogen, which in males is especially oppositional to testosterone but also harmful in excess for women. Soy aggressively competes with testosterone, and it's probably in your protein powder (check ingredients). Polyunsaturated fats depress metabolism, and a depressed metabolism reduces testosterone. Alcohol is very oppositional to testosterone (the body produces a rebound of higher testosterone after drinking, to repair the damage. This effect stops over time). Excessive and strenuous exercise also lowers testosterone, and raises the hormones that oppose it. This is why long distance runners have smaller, long muscles.

So lowering stress and eating foods that are easy to digest, while avoiding the ones which aren't is the key. Foods which are easy to digest are things like fruits, potatoes, dairy, butter, and most meats. Foods which cause stress and inflammation are things like grains and polyunsaturated fats (corn, canola, vegetable oil, fish oil). Chemicals like chlorine, and industrial food additives like soy and gums all lower testosterone or raise oppositional hormones.

It is also easy to unknowingly neglect the other portion of the muscle formula. Protein. In fact, most people who hesitate to eat do not get enough protein to build muscles. Eating enough of the other macros fat and carbohydrates will make you feel satiated, but there is no specific biological response to a protein deficiency, other than disease. 

A serious cause of muscle loss happens every single day. At night. While you're asleep. The lack of food (protein and sugar) causes a sharp and sustained increase in the hormone cortisol. Cortisol opposes the effects of testosterone by catabolizing muscle. This also happens every time you go hungry. By taking casein protein before bed, with plenty of sugar, and usually ice cream I retain muscle grown during the day. Even if it's just a tiny bit of muscle, over time it adds up to a lot.

Protein is not only for tissue building. Amino acids in protein are used to create hormones. Tissue catabolism can produce the stress hormones, but very little of the healthy androgens. A minimum intake of protein a day should be 50 grams for women and 80 grams for men (with larger people requiring more), and getting closer to at least 100 grams a day for both sexes can have a therapeutic effect if suffering from any heath problems. Casein protein changed my life. It helped my body heal the damage caused by the tumors and thyroid disease, and also gave me free muscle. Specifically I use Naked brand Casein, but any brand is fine (and casein is plentiful in most cheese). Just avoid brands with lots of additives and binders. Of course, plain dairy and meats have lots of protein, as well as potatoes. 

If you are unsure if something in your diet raises or lowers unopposed testosterone, there is an easy barometer—Your gut. Any time you have gas, constipation, bloating, stomach aches or other uncomfortable conditions of the gut, you have eaten something that is lowering your testosterone (or raising stress hormones). Every time you are hungry your body has already released cortisol to catabolize your muscle. If your gut is free of pain, bloating, gas, and constipation, and you are fed then you are raising your testosterone and lowering opposing hormones. Not only will you get free muscle, but the rest of your body will be happy as well.