Mitigation of Muscle Loss in Stressed Physiology

Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert. Sport & Exercise Nutrition. British Army Physical Training Instructor.  


Optimisation of muscle mass is often associated with sufficient energy intake to meet metabolic demands.

However, in the military, operational demands can result in severe energy deficits.

In such situations, the duration and magnitude of the deficit are critical factors in determining the physiological consequences.

Adaptation to heat acclimatization

Adaptation to heat acclimatisation is a process that improves physiological responses during heat stress.

Exposure to hot or warm environments results in physiological adaptations that increase extracellular volume and tonicity, reduce cardiovascular strain, and improve fluid balance.

The rate at which these adaptations are lost depends on the duration and intensity of heat exposure, as well as on the core body temperature.

The lower the core body temperature, the faster the rate of decline in heat acclimatization.

Heat acclimation is essential during exercise in hot environments. Heat-acclimated humans exhibit no significant changes in plasma cortisol after performing mild exercises in hot environments.

In contrast, humans with a lack of heat acclimatization have large increases in plasma cortisol during heat exposure.

In addition, sweating can have a positive or negative effect on thermoregulation.

Adaptation to heat acclimatisation improves endurance exercise performance and is beneficial for competitive athletes.

The benefits of heat acclimation include improved peak heart rate, maximal oxygen uptake, and mean skin temperature.

Moreover, heat acclimatization enhances plasma volume, rate of perceived exertion, and blood lactate concentration. In addition, heat acclimatization can increase mitochondrial muscle mass.

Adaptation to heat acclimatisation reduces the oxygen uptake during submaximal exercise. This effect is largest during stair-stepping exercise and smaller during treadmill or cycle-ergometer exercise.

The exact physiologic mechanism underlying this effect is unclear, but three hypotheses have been proposed.

Although the effects of heat acclimatization on the skeletal muscle are not yet fully understood, this effect is believed to enhance physiological responses to hypoxia.

This means that HA can help athletes adapt to altitude. The beneficial effects of cold acclimatization may be greater than the benefits of heat acclimatization alone. This phenomenon is called cross-adaptation.

Nutrition requirements of female military personnel

Muscle represents a critical metabolic component in the clinical setting, and its roles are relevant to military operations.

The stress experienced by military personnel during training and combat operations elicits a wide range of physiological responses that are highly relevant to muscle functions.

This context presents a unique opportunity to study the effects of extreme stress on muscle mass in otherwise healthy individuals.

Understanding these responses is essential for designing effective nutritional and pharmacological strategies to mitigate muscle loss.

Muscle protein is primarily composed of amino acids (AAs). Therefore, it is important to restore muscle response to anabolic stimuli to minimize muscle protein loss.

Research shows that anabolic hormone production is suppressed in stressed states, and muscle protein loss occurs when the muscle fails to respond to anabolic stimuli. In addition, the greater the stress, the more muscle protein is likely to be lost.

Effects of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on body composition and performance

Effects of vitamin D and calcium supplementation have been investigated in athletes. Several studies have suggested that these nutrients improve body composition and performance.

One study found that athletes who consumed vitamin D supplements were less likely to develop fractures. This is because vitamin D levels are related to bone mineral density.

Vitamin D may also play a role in muscle strength and injury prevention. This vitamin is critical for the normal function of bones and muscles.

Vitamin D is produced naturally in the skin by exposure to sunlight. In addition, it has direct effects on skeletal muscle through the vitamin D receptor.

It is known to improve muscle strength, endurance, recovery, and performance. However, there are still many questions about the optimal amount of vitamin D to take.

One study found that vitamin D supplementation improved muscle strength in athletes and people with poor physical health.

The authors found that vitamin D supplementation improved upper and lower limb strength. The authors found that daily vitamin D3 supplementation was more beneficial than weekly or monthly doses.

A study from the United States showed that low vitamin D levels were associated with the development of stress fractures in athletes.

However, when athletes were supplemented with vitamin D, their risk of injury decreased significantly. They also found that vitamin D supplementation improved bone mineral density.

Vitamin D is a naturally occurring organic compound found in the skin of most animals. The human body is able to produce the required amount of vitamin D through UVB exposure, which converts 7-dehydrocholesterol to D3.

After vitamin D3 is produced in the skin, it is transported to the liver through a carrier protein called vitamin D binding protein. Once inside, it undergoes hydroxylation into 25(OH)D.

Effects of high ascent rate on circulating anabolic hormones

The effects of high ascent rate on circulating anabolic hormones in stressed physiology may be associated with increased inflammatory markers.

This is important since inflammatory markers are associated with poor physical performance in old age.

These markers may be used to determine whether an individual will be able to cope with the high-stress training regimen.

The stress response is initiated by the brain when the body perceives a threatening, uncontrollable situation.

When this occurs, the hypothalamus releases a hormone known as cortisol and adrenaline, which elevates the blood pressure and heart rate.

Adrenaline also increases the supply of glucose to the brain and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

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Mitigation of Muscle Loss 

The military requires soldiers to maintain a high physical fitness level. The guidelines developed within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) specifically mention the need to monitor soldiers who are not physically fit enough to perform their duties.

This is important because the least fit soldier will have trouble acclimatizing to his or her new environment.


Regular exercise improves skeletal muscle mass and strength and can reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

Exercise also improves metabolic function in multiple organs, including the heart. This is important, because chronic low-grade inflammation is a potential contributor to chronic diseases.

A key mechanism for exercise's metabolic benefits is muscle adaptations. Working muscles depend on intramuscular fat and glucose to provide energy.

But to sustain their energy demands, sustained exercise requires a larger supply of substrates from outside the muscle. This increased glucose uptake increases hepatic glucose output and gluconeogenesis.

Permissive dehydration

Studies have shown that dehydration during a training session or competitive event can hinder acute exercise performance and delay recovery from a previous exercise bout.

This is due to the disruption of skeletal muscle's structural properties during exercise.

Recovery is an essential part of performance, especially for athletes who compete in many competitions and practice sessions in a short period of time.

The researchers found that dehydration can significantly reduce muscle volume. They conducted a study to investigate the volume changes in skeletal muscle following exercise in hot weather, and after fluid replacement.

They found that the most prominent loss of muscle volume occurred in the mid and proximal regions of the knee extensor musculature.

However, these changes were prevented by the intake of a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage.

Fluid regulatory hormones

Fluid regulatory hormones, such as testosterone, may mitigate muscle loss during a stressed physiology.

These hormones work by directing muscle intracellular AA toward a synthetic process.

While this process is beneficial in the short term, the longer it lasts, the greater the loss of muscle mass. It is imperative to develop strategies to counter this process.

During exercise, muscle tissue begins to break down ATP and PCr and produces lactate.

While lactate has been associated with fatigue and decreased force production, it is actually an important signaling molecule and metabolic intermediate.

In addition, increased muscle metabolism and ion fluxes cause acidosis. Consequently, higher H+ concentrations interfere with muscle force and power production.

Orthostatic tolerance

A new study reports that exercise improves orthostatic tolerance. This effect is associated with increased aerobic capacity, which is related to increased muscle strength and better endurance.

However, orthostatic intolerance may not be the sole cause of muscle loss during exercise.

Other factors are likely to contribute to poor postural tolerance, including cardiovascular remodelling and reduced baroreceptor responsiveness.

Heat stress profoundly reduces orthostatic tolerance in humans and is associated with a variety of changes in cardiac output and blood distribution.

To overcome heat-induced central hypovolemia, countermeasures have been developed to increase orthostatic tolerance.

However, these treatments increase peripheral vascular resistance and are expensive, particularly when syncopal episodes occur.


Vibration therapy is an alternative treatment method that employs vibration as a physical tool. Vibration is a series of short, repetitive movements that create deformations and tensions on a continuous medium.

It may be applied locally or throughout the body. It is known to improve muscle strength and reduce the symptoms of muscle soreness after exercise. It may also reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

These findings are consistent with previous research. For instance, vibrations may help mitigate muscle loss in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Studies also show that vibration training improves the disability status of patients with multiple sclerosis.

Maximizing testosterone

Researchers have found that testosterone increases muscle protein synthesis. This is because testosterone increases the production of protein by increasing the inward transport of amino acids.

It can also stimulate pituitary hormone responses, which are known to improve muscle protein synthesis.

Furthermore, testosterone may enhance the presence of neurotransmitters at the fiber site, which can promote tissue growth.

Testosterone also has the ability to activate cellular growth by interacting with nuclear receptors on DNA.

Testosterone also promotes muscle growth in adult men with myotonic dystrophy. When testosterone is administered to patients, they show a significant increase in muscle protein synthesis. T

estosterone enanthate administration increased muscle protein synthesis in all patients. In addition, it stimulates muscle repair after repeated damage.

A further study, sought to identify candidate biomarkers of testosterone-induced muscle anabolism. These markers could aid in the development of novel therapies for cachexia and sarcopenia.

Specifically, we identified a muscle-specific candidate biomarker, the plasma P3NP concentration.

In addition, skeletal muscle protein profiling revealed novel gene signatures associated with muscle anabolism.

Naturally enhance testosterone production

Many men experience low levels of testosterone, so a good diet full of healthy foods can help men boost their testosterone levels.

Some foods that contain high amounts of healthy fats include avocados and salmon. These foods contain a variety of nutrients including vitamin D, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids.

Studies have shown that omega 3 fatty acids boost the production of testosterone.

Eggs are another great source of healthy fats and protein. Eggs also contain selenium, which may be important for testosterone biosynthesis.

Flavones are another powerful antioxidant that are believed to promote healthy testosterone production.

These compounds can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as green tea and olive oil. Other antioxidants found in foods include resveratrol, a key component of red wine, and oleuropein.

Studies have also shown that honey and propolis contain chrysin, a plant chemical that inhibits the conversion of testosterone to estradiol

Unfortunately Western diets are lacking in the nutrients that are proven to stimulate hormone secretion yet also high in saturated fats and calories that promote inflammation which can lead to hypogonadism and other chronic diseases.

In which case you may benefit from taking a natural and safe supplement.


Muscle atrophy can be difficult to diagnose, but the good news is that it is treatable. In some cases, it can even be reversed with the right plan.

Your healthcare provider can help you find an exercise program, recommend nutritional supplements, and recommend other treatment options.

The type of atrophy and severity of the condition will determine the time it takes for a person to regain muscle mass.

In general, disuse (physiologic) atrophy can be reversed with regular exercise and a balanced diet.

However, neurogenic muscle atrophy cannot be reversed due to the nerve damage.

The oxidative stress produced in muscle cells is caused by an imbalance of oxidant and antioxidant species. In the presence of oxidants, the cellular lipids and proteins are damaged.

This damage interferes with their functions. Moreover, it can result in muscle atrophy and weakness.

Aging also reduces muscle size. The reduction in muscle size is accompanied by a decrease in satellite cells that are important for muscle repair and regeneration.

The rate of muscle loss is not consistent across age groups, but it is related to gender and physical activity. Muscle loss can affect daily living, resulting in reduced walking capacity, falls, and fractures.

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