We are all aware of the need for protein to build and maintain muscle mass and strength.
But are there any surprising elements of diet we don’t normally think of that can influence both our strength and muscle mass, beyond just protein consumption?
The scientific research will probably surprise you.
(It surprised me anyway.)
Here are three very surprising and unique dietary factors that can impact your muscle strength, mass, and fitness.
#1: Vitamin C and muscle mass
Researchers from University of East Anglia and University of Cambridge found not only that greater vitamin C consumption was correlated with greater muscle mass, but more importantly that there was a stark difference between those who ate sufficient amounts of vitamin C and those who did not.
So the next time you’re loading up on protein to maintain your muscle mass, don’t forget about vitamin C!
Their study was published in The Journal of Nutrition and you can click here for more details.
#2: The Mediterranean Diet and physical fitness
Researchers from Spain, Uruguay, and Chile found that those in their study who adhered the most to a Mediterranean Diet were associated with 2.26 times greater odds of higher cardiorespiratory fitness than those who adhered the least to a Mediterranean Diet.
Additionally, they found that those study subjects with high adherence to the Mediterranean Diet had 1.26 times greater odds of higher musculoskeletal fitness than those with low adherence to the Mediterranean Diet.
The Mediterranean Diet is a diet that consists generally of plenty of colorful vegetables, healthy servings of seafood, some grains, olive oil, salads, lighter portions of red meats, and is a whole food-based diet.
Their study was published in the journal Advances in Nutrition and you can click here for more details.
#3: Whole foods and grip strength?
Did you know that diet could influence how strong your grip is?
Researchers from Brazil found that among teenagers aged 18-19, both male and female, there was an association between greater processed food consumption and lower grip strength.
Among the males, there was also a correlation between higher unprocessed food consumption and greater grip strength.
Grip strength may be one of the most important forms of strength we have, seeing as how your grip is used in all upper body training movements as well as virtually every task and chore you can think of in daily life. Greater grip strength makes all other tasks easier and more effective. It’s no small matter.
Their study was published in Nutrition Journal and you can click here for more details.
We may have only scratched the surface on the effects of a healthy diet
We often think of protein, protein, and more protein when it comes to strength and muscle mass, but here we’ve found three examples just recently that point to a variety of other dietary factors that can influence our strength and fitness.
The only question at this point is, how many more factors are yet to be discovered?
The answer likely is more than we can think of.
So talk to your licensed health care practitioner to see what diet is right for you, and enjoy your journey on the pursuit of great!
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