Working out and building muscle mass are complicated topics. But, there’s always a strong emphasis on muscle. That’s because the benefits go beyond mere looks and strength. The relationship between your muscles and blood sugar is an example.
If you want to start working out, you’ll eventually run into motivation issues. Knowing why you’re doing it. Well, you can add regulating your blood sugar to the list. Building muscle can help you keep it in check.
But, how does that work? Let’s find out.
The relationship between diabetes and the muscular system
Naturally, muscles need energy. From there, you can see where the link starts. That said, it’s worth noting how each muscle type works. We can split them into three categories: skeletal, smooth, and cardiac.
Smooth and cardiac muscles are smaller muscle groups. We’re always using them for bladder control, pumping blood, etc. But, we can rarely influence their development. Skeletal muscles are another story.
Skeletal muscles are our “traditional” muscles: biceps, triceps, and others. These muscles are responsible for movement. And, they consume tons of energy, depending on what we’re doing.
Insulin is instrumental for muscles to draw glucose from our blood. Therefore, they’re crucial for maintaining healthy levels. If we have insulin deficiencies, this process gets disrupted. That’s why diabetic patients feel more tired and lose muscle mass.
Why muscles and blood sugar get along so well
As this article states, muscles and blood glucose levels share an inverse association. The study involved 53 men between 10 and 60 years of age.
The researchers found a negative correlation between blood glucose levels and muscle mass. In other words, more muscle results in lower blood sugar levels. Thus, it proposes building muscle as a prevention strategy against diabetes.
As I mentioned, that’s because muscle mass requires energy to work properly. It demands more fuel than fat. As such, maintaining muscle burns more energy than maintaining other tissues. More muscle elevates glucose utilization, lowering blood sugar.
Building muscle mass and its benefits for blood sugar
Now, resting muscles are more effective at regulating blood sugar. Yet, active muscles are much more effective. After all, engaged muscles translate into more effort. Thus, they require more energy. Building muscle and blood sugar make up a great balance.
Obviously, the main benefit is burning more blood sugar. But, things don’t end there. Trained muscles excel at storing glucose. That means there’s less glucose roaming around in your blood.
Additionally, muscle-stored sugar also helps keep healthy blood sugar levels. It’s harder for blood sugar levels to fluctuate violently. Thus, you experience fewer cravings. It also keeps glucose from being stored as visceral fat. So, it’s easier to maintain or lose weight.
How strength training can help treat diabetes
Everyday Health has a great breakdown of how strength training helps against diabetes. We can summarize their observations into five items:
- Your muscles use more glucose for energy. Thus, you need less insulin.
- It also makes your skeletal muscles use and absorb more glucose. Thus, there’s less sugar in your bloodstream.
- Building muscle also leads to losing extra weight. Losing weight is always part of diabetes treatment.
- Regular strength training improves your heart health. Moreover, it helps you lower diabetes’ heart risks.
- Finally, it helps you strengthen your bones. It prevents glucose from attaching to your bones, weakening them.
The holistic takeaway
When in doubt, you can start building muscle. That might sound like a joke. Yet, muscle mass has seemingly countless benefits. It can speed up your metabolism, replace fat, and regulate blood sugar.
Muscle and blood sugar are a relationship that requires more attention. Luckily, experts are realizing that. That leads us to today’s recommendation: Blood Sugar Breakthrough. It helps your muscles use more blood sugar. Then, it helps your body store glucose away from fat cells.