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As long as you're challenging yourself, running builds muscle — here's how to build muscle and run.

Does running build in muscle in 2022? We know it works for fitness, but does running build muscle? And are there other physical benefits?

Many people start running to get in shape, but does it actually build muscle? Many people think of lifting weights at the gym or using resistance bands when they think of muscle building, so how does running fit into that?

Over 50 million Americans run and jog on a regular basis, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, meeting the World Health Organization's recommendation of 150-300 minutes of weekly activity.

How does running help you gain muscle?

We know that running helps you gain muscle, but how does that happen? Here's a quick explanation without getting too deep into the science.

When muscle protein synthesis (MPS) exceeds muscle protein breakdown, muscle growth occurs (MPB). Protein can be added to and removed from muscle depending on a variety of factors, including diet and exercise. Muscle grows when you do an exercise that produces more protein than it removes, i.e. more MPS than MPB. The muscle shrinks if the exercise stimulates more MPB than MPS.

What to eat after a run if you want to gain muscle?

Running can help you gain muscle mass, but only if you fuel your body properly. Your body will not be able to support the muscle-building process if you do not consume enough nutrients, particularly protein, and all of your hard work will be for naught.

Protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis (MPS) even more, resulting in greater muscle gains. It is recommended that you consume 0.64-0.91 grammes of protein per pound of body weight on a daily basis to build muscle. That's about 125 grammes of protein if you're 170 pounds. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and beans are all high in protein, making them ideal for a post-workout meal.

Learn more about muscle growth through strength training

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