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Muscles Don't Turn into Fat

If you are afraid to exercise because you think that after you stop, your muscles turn to fat, you are out-of-shape for the wrong reason.

Muscles can't possibly turn to fat. When you exercise, your muscles become larger and stronger because exercise causes extra protein building blocks, called amino acids, to deposit in muscles. All day long, amino acids pass from your muscles into your bloodstream and then back into muscles, with exercise as the major stimulus to force amino acids back into muscles. When you stop exercising, fewer amino acids go back into muscles and they become smaller. Amino acids that do not go back into muscles, are picked up by your liver. Since your body has no way to store extra protein, your liver uses them for energy or converts them into fat. So if you stop exercising, you have to eat less or you will become fat, but muscles never turn into fat.

Checked 11/19/12

June 22nd, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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