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Muscle, metabolism, and nutrients: beneath the surface

Published: September 04, 2015

Muscles move your body
Muscles move your body
Your skeletal muscles support and provide movement for your body.  The outward movement you observe is the result of a multitude of unobserved metabolic reactions.
The term metabolism refers to the sum of cellular chemical reactions of small molecules (metabolites) which are involved in anabolic (biosynthesis) and catabolic (degradation) processes in your body.
These sequential processes are known as metabolic pathways which are catalysed by a variety of enzymes. All of these metabolic processes require fuel and nutrients with which to synthesise and degrade molecules.
Muscle synthesis starts with your DNA and is a highly complex process, too complex for an article such as this. However, this article provides an outline of some of the key metabolic processes of muscle synthesis and the relationship between muscle synthesis and dietary nutrients.
Muscular system: an overview
Within your body there are about 700 known muscles formed of muscle tissue, blood vessels, tendons and nerves and responsible for movement.
In addition to skeletal muscle you have cardiac (heart muscle contraction) and smooth muscle. Smooth muscle is involved in contractions of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract which move digestive products through your GI tract. In your blood vessels smooth muscle contractions move blood through your arteries and redirect blood flow to all your body tissues.
Your cardiac and smooth muscle are involuntarily controlled by your nervous system while your skeletal muscles are activated voluntarily. Each type of muscle has a unique structure related to its function.
Skeletal muscle
Skeletal muscle is comprised of bundles of skeletal muscle cells or fibres which are highly ordered and specialised to suit their specific function. These bundles of long cylindrical muscle fibres, which may contain up to 150 fibres, are surrounded by three layers of connective tissue: the epimysium (outermost), perimysium (middle) and the endomysium (inner most).
This fibrous connective tissue is continuous with your tendons, which attach your muscles to bone across joints. Body movement is effected by coordinated contraction of muscle fibres...link to the full article to learn more.

Related Topics

Diet  Metabolism  Nutrients  Protein  Exercise  Muscles  Your Body 

References

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CSEP (2013) Physical Activity Training for Health Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology http://www.csep.ca/english/view.asp?x=898
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American Council on Exercise (1993) Aerobics Instructor Manual: San Diego, CA: American Council on Exercise
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Baechle, T.R. (1994). Essentials of strength training and conditioning. NSCA.
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Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
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Gropper, S.S., Smith, J.L. & Groff, J.L. (2005). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (4thEd.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.