Is this really possible?
A certain food that shrinks a certain muscle does not exist. Let`s be clear on that first. My goal with this article is to show that viewing dietary habits as a whole often times makes more sense than looking at one particular food.
First of all, it is important that We understand that energy (in the form of food) is needed to maintain or build body mass. Accordingly, We can bring the body into an anabolic (building-up) or into a catabolic (breaking-down) state – depending on whether We eat enough or too little food. The nutritional cornerstone to build muscle mass is the intake of calories and tied to that the intake of macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fat. Micronutrients are important as well of course, however, they aren’t the topic of today’s article and I will cover them in another blog post in the future.
Based on two common diets I will explain to You how the growth and breakdown of muscle mass is possible, despite two quite different approaches when it comes to nutrition.
Plant-based vs. omnivore diet
If We look at the topic from a vegan diet point of view, it is quite clear that proteins coming from plant-based foods (proteins are important building blocks for many processes in the body, including the growth of muscle mass) have a lower biological value than proteins coming from animal-based products. This means that animal-based proteins can be absorbed and used for the buildup of bodily proteins (such as new muscle tissue) more easily than plant-based protein sources. So yes, an omnivore diet (one, that contains meat) probably makes it easier to consume all essential amino acids, which are important when it comes to building muscle.
However, this does not mean that Your muscle mass is going to decrease or that it`s impossible to build new muscle if You chose to eat vegan. If the food sources are composed wisely and consumed in a high enough amount, the protein needs can be covered by a plant-based diet as well.
Besides that, vegans generally consume a lot of carbohydrates, which can be beneficial for the buildup of new muscle tissue as well, since carbohydrates support intense training sessions and because they can help create a hormonal milieu that supports the buildup of muscle mass.
To sum it up
no, eating a plant-based diet won`t make Your muscles shrink. Therefore, this statement is a myth.
If You have any further questions about the topic, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me directly.