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Simple Truths About Muscle Growth (part 3) | Creatine Blog

Simple Truths About Muscle Growth (part 3)

Exercise stimulates muscle development and enhances athletic performance; hardly anyone would argue with this assertion. In essence, muscle tries to adapt to the extra load you are placing on it by training by increasing its capacity to perform at that new level. A type of memory, if you will. Based on recent history, muscle anticipates the new heights in physical activity (exercise) that you will be imposing on it and attempts to rise to the occasion. Sadly, this is only a short-term memory. If not “reminded”, muscles will return to their previous smaller size. Admittedly, sort of a strange way of thinking about it but, welcome to my world…

So, train your brain and train your body. Test both on a regular basis and they will stay stronger for longer.

Now, back to the point at hand. One of the most fundamental ways that muscle enhances its potential for growth is by producing and locally releasing IGF-1. In response to exercise (mechanical stimulation) the IGF-1 gene is read (transcribed), converted into protein (translated) and locally released into the community of surrounding muscle. IGF-1 then acts as a trigger to stimulate muscle development. How this is actually achieved is still not fully understood, though I have my ideas. This will be the topic of a future post. The important point to remember for now, however, is that muscle activity produces IGF-1 – for the local use by muscle – that then acts to stimulate muscle development.

Go here for more information about the IGF-1s:

It was thus somewhat surprising that IGF-1 expression could also be induced in response to a simple nutritional intervention even in the absence of mechanical input. I purposefully use the term “mechanical input” in this instance because these results were obtained in muscle cells maintained outside the animal in artificial conditions known as tissue culture… In this man-made environment you can stretch muscle cells as well as provoke them to contract with electrical signals - but one cannot accurately call this form of cellular activity exercise…

The simple nutrition maneuver I alluded to earlier, the one that instigates IGF-1 production without “mechanical” stimulation, is nothing other than creatine monohydrate added to the solution (media) bathing the cells. This was a rather exciting result in the field.

Obviously, the hope was that creatine would do the same in an intact human being. That is, that creatine could stimulate IGF-1 production in a person despite being incapable of training for whatever reason, injury, illness, old age…

The story continues….

Read about the latest creatine research here:

This entry was posted in Elderly, Muscle Growth, Supplementing Strategies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


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