A catabolic state is a condition that is mainly caused by excessive training coupled with a lack of adequate nutrition, especially protein. It results in numerous undesirable side effects in the body, such as extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and sleeplessness.
Understanding the Catabolic State
A catabolic state is closely related to the catabolic hormone called cortisol. The more intense the workout, the more cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands to make up for the loss of muscle tissue. Many people think that their few hours of working out have helped them build muscles, but in actuality, their lost energy is compensated by cortisol. This is the reason why protein and carbohydrate intake play a significant role in building muscle. Overtraining will also lead to weakening of your body and immune system, thereby, causing influenza, the common cold and other illnesses.
Intense Training and a Catabolic State
Intense training requires a lot of proteins and carbohydrates. This is because a lot of muscle tissues are lost during a strenuous workout. To prevent ending up in a catabolic state, you need to ensure that the protein and energy needs of the body are met before and after you exercise. It is important to understand that your muscles do not grow when you are working out. They grow only when the body is given the opportunity to rest and recuperate. Therefore, excessive working out and lack of a proper diet will make your training futile.
Also, sleeping rejuvenates the body, and it prepares you for any rigorous activity that you have to perform during the day. The highest amount of growth hormones are released when you are asleep, and this works to restore your anabolic state, which is the opposite of a catabolic state. Intense training will invariably cause immense mental and physical stress, and lack of sleep will make it worse.
HOW to avoid a Catabolic State
Some very simple measures can be taken to avoid a catabolic state. A protein shake can be beneficial after a session of rigorous or high intensity training. Intake of carbohydrates and proteins about one or two hours before and after a workout will work wonders for your body, and keep you from feeling lethargic. Nowadays, there are a number of protein drinks that have been proven to be effective in helping people avoid a catabolic state.
The most common way the general gym goer to high level athletes avoid going catabolic is by sipping on an amino acid supplement during their training. When looking for an amino acid supplement. Be sure to find one that contains all 9 essential amino acids including your BCAAs. Research has found that a BCAA supplement at a 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine, Isoleucine & Valine is optimal.
Vitamin C is vital for strengthening your immune system, and it contributes significantly to the maintenance of an anabolic state. Therefore, consuming foods or beverages that contain vitamin C (such as orange juice) before training can help stave off a catabolic state.