Does Having More Muscle Increase Your Metabolism?

Does increasing muscle mass consequently increase your metabolism? The short answer is YES. The long answer requires a bit more science.

Much like modern-day technology, our bodies require a source of power to function daily. The majority of this power comes from the foods we consume that are broken down and used as a major source of energy. The combination of all these internal and ongoing processes in the body is what creates our metabolism. The greater the metabolism, the more energy (calories) your body is burning. Each individual has a unique metabolism that is continuously modified by variable factors. Some of these factors include age, hormone levels, exercise habits, and body composition. Now, let’s elaborate on the relationship between body composition and metabolism.

At rest, the differences in calories burned by fat and muscle tissue are not significant enough to have any major effects on your metabolism. However, during recovery from exercise, the difference is enough to have temporary, yet significant effects on your metabolic rate. The discrepancy in tissues post-exercise is that muscle requires recovery after a workout, whereas adipose, or fat tissue, does not. During the recovery stage, muscle fibers demand energy to repair their cells and replenish their energy storages that were utilized to perform the workout. Therefore, a greater percentage of lean muscle tissue results in a greater need for energy during recovery. In simpler terms, your muscle tissue continues burning a surplus of calories, even after your workout has ended.

If you’ve managed to stick around for the long answer, congrats! You now have a science approved explanation for why maintaining muscle tissue can have beneficial effects on your metabolism. Don’t forget that gaining muscle tissue requires a clean diet of protein together with progressive muscle overload at the gym. Happy lifting!