Hiking is a great activity to increase your stamina and even gain some lower body muscles if you are going to hike in rough terrain like mountains. You can’t expect to drastically increase your muscle mass, but it’s always good if you gain some muscles from your trips, but unfortunately, it is also possible to lose some muscle mass during your hiking journey. So if you ask yourself “Does hiking make me lose muscles” then don’t worry because we are going to explain it all to you in this article.
As we previously said it is possible to lose muscles because of hiking, and even there is a higher chance for you to lose muscle mass than increase it! It depends on a few factors, which we will explain to you in a detail, also we will give you some tips to prevent muscle mass loss.
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Why am I losing muscles while hiking?
It is a common problem in many sports, which require people to burn a lot of calories while doing them. So in our case which is hiking, we burn a lot of calories, especially if we are more experienced and doing longer hikes. If you want to lose additional body fat then hiking is a great solution but you have to know that you will also burn some of your muscle mass.
People are burning calories even while sitting, but when we start to move a lot then that number of calories burnt increases drastically. If our body doesn’t have enough energy stored inside our body then it starts to burn our body fat to get the energy it needs but it also needs to burn a bit of your muscle mass to keep your brain functioning.
How to prevent muscle loss?
For shorter hikes like 3 hours long, the normal meal that you have eaten at home should be enough, but if you are planning a longer trip for more than 4 hours then your body will slowly start to eat itself to get the energy it needs to keep functioning. The longer your hikes are the more food you will need.
That’s why it is important to bring something that’s high in proteins for your hiking adventures to give your body enough protein to save your muscle mass from reducing.
If you are on a normal hiking trip where you don’t need to care about the time then you can simply bring anything you would like to eat with you and take some breaks every hour to eat and drink, that way your body will be supplied with proteins for the rest of your hiking trip.
But if you care about time then you can bring with you a protein shake, that way you won’t need to stop for every meal, which will cause you to lose some time.
Should I avoid hiking while building muscle mass?
Muscle mass loss caused by hiking is very small even if you plan a few days long hiking trip, your body will mostly lose body fat. A proper well-balanced diet for your hiking trip won’t let you lose muscle mass. If you don’t have any diet plan for your hiking trip, then you should focus on proteins and fats.
Note that you will burn a lot more calories than you normally do in your daily life, so bring more than you normally eat at home. Some additional supplements like vitamins will be also good to bring with you.
In summary – Does hiking make me Lose muscles?
Unfortunately, hiking is likely to make you lose muscles, due to the high amount of calories burned while walking, but the number of lost muscle mass should not be a problem unless you are a bodybuilder. So you should enjoy your hiking trips and don’t bother yourself about almost nonexistent problems like muscle mass loss.
If you want to lower the number of lost muscle mass you should supply your body with enough proteins to give your brain enough fuel and prevent it from burning your muscles! Most people are happy about the high amount of calories burned because they can reduce their additional body fat.