Running Can You Lose Or Gain Muscle.

Running Can You Lose Or Gain Muscle.

Running Can You Lose Or Gain Muscle.
Running Can You Lose Or Gain Muscle.

People run for a variety of reasons to reduce stress, improve their health, and compete in competitions.

However, if you are trying to gain muscle, you may be wondering if running helps you or can make you lose it.

This article explains the effects of running on muscle gain or loss.

How does running affect your muscles?

Running can help build lower body muscles, but it depends on the intensity and duration of your runs.

In a study of 17 members, where they ran at different speeds and durations, the results of gaining muscle mass were good by running for short periods of time - and resting between sets.

However, running marathons or long-distance racing can have negative effects on muscle growth.

Another study with 30 male amateur runners who ran 10, 21 and 30 km, all groups had a significant increase in markers of muscle damage. (two)

Levels of these muscle markers increase with distance and remain elevated even 3 days later.

Such studies show that training as a sprint can be beneficial for the  growth of  leg muscles . Even more so if supplemented with recovery methods.

These results suggest that short-term high-intensity running builds leg muscles, while long-distance running causes significant muscle damage, inhibiting muscle growth.

How Your Body Can Gain Muscle

Muscle size increases when a person constantly challenges the muscles to achieve higher levels of resistance or weight. This process is known as  muscle hypertrophy  .

Muscle hypertrophy occurs when muscle fibers are damaged or injured. The body repairs damaged fibers by merging them, increasing muscle mass and size.

Some hormones, such as testosterone, human growth hormone, growth hormone and insulin, also play a role in muscle growth and recovery.

High-intensity running can help the body:

  • release growth hormone from the pituitary gland
  • stimulate the release of testosterone
  • improving muscle sensitivity to testosterone

Some examples of running and muscle training exercises:

  • 6 sets of 20 seconds sprint with maximum intensity with 2 minutes of walking or light jogging
  • 5 sets of 30-second sprints with maximum intensity, separated by 4 minutes of brisk walking or jogging
  • 4 sets of 30-second steep sprints, separated by the time required to return down the hill
  • Try to do these workouts 3-4 times a week.

After training, walk at a normal pace for 5-10 minutes. Active cooling helps reduce heart rate and prevents muscle build-up.

Ideal nutrition for gaining muscle by running

Good nutrition is as important for building muscle as running. Without the right nutrients, your body cannot carry out the process of building muscle.

1. Proteins

While running stimulates cellular micro-damage and hormone production, protein is essential for repairing and strengthening muscle fibers.

That's why many people drink a protein shake before and after their workouts.

To build muscle, experts recommend consuming 1.0-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. This equates to 80-120 grams of protein per day for a 70-pound person.

Some protein foods are eggs, chicken, meat, legumes, soy, lean cheeses.

2. Carbohydrates

Of  carbohydrates  are the preferred source of energy, which is the body, especially in anaerobic exercise such as running.

It has been shown that  diets low in carbohydrates  and high in fat, such as  ketogenic diet  , worse performance of anaerobic exercise.

To nourish your workouts and ensure adequate intake of nutrients for running and gaining muscle, you should get 45-65% of your calories from carbohydrates.

3. Fat

Fat serves as a source of energy during low-intensity exercise, such as long-distance running. In addition, they are needed to keep your entire hormonal system normal.

Therefore, eating fat is also important for building muscle. However, it is not about eating fatty foods all the time. To increase muscle mass, you need to choose healthy fats such as vegetable oils, avocados, nuts and omega-3s.


Running can help you build leg and abdominal muscles. However, this will depend on the speed, distance and intensity at which you run.

Running long distances can suppress muscle growth.

Short, high-intensity running can help you build muscle.

In addition, to improve results, make sure you eat a balanced diet, taking into account the ratio of  carbohydrates, proteins and fats  .


1. Changes in patterns of muscle activity and kinetics
with increasing running speed. Source

2. Influence of different running distances on muscle and DNA damage of lymphocytes in marathon runners. Source