WHEN DOES CARDIO BURN MUSCLE?
There are some situations where muscle gets burned, lets look at those in depth so you can avoid them!
- If its the only energy source available, your body will burn muscle to survive. Fat is our bodies energy storage device, our gas tank that enables us to survive when food is scarce. If you haven’t eaten anything AND your bodyfat is dangerously low, then your body has no choice than to burn muscle in order to get the necessary energy to keep you warm and alive. What does your body consider dangerously low bodyfat, for males probably 3-5%. In this low bodyfat situation, your body will burn muscle to provide the energy to keep you alive. Very few of us have bodyfat low enough that we have to worry about this! A very small percent of the population is perpetually skinny (under 3% bodyfat), that is, no matter how much they stuff their face, they cant add an ounce of fat. For these people, they have enough trouble consuming enough calories to survive – doing cardio would burn muscle.
- If you are not consuming enough protein your body will burn muscle, this is often the case in crash diets. “Essential Amino Acids” are called essential for a reason, your must eat them in sufficient quantities or your body has no choice other than to cannibalize your muscles to get them. When people reduce their caloric intake more than 20% below their TDEE, it is *very* difficult to get enough of these essential amino acids with the protein you eat. Even when you don’t lift weights, your body needs daily protein to replace the muscle cells which have died. If you don’t eat enough protein, the muscle cells don’t get replaced. If you are doing a crash diet, then doing cardio will increase the muscle loss. DONT DO CRASH DIETS!