Are you 'Flat?'

Do you sometimes find that you look bigger certain times of the day or week? Maybe in the morning you don’t look quite as ‘full’ as you did before you hit the sack. This can become a real ‘head messer’ because you always feel skinny and small when in fact you are not! There is often an explanation as to why your muscles look fuller during certain times, and here are some of the most common reasons!

Dehydration

If you are dehydrated that means there is going to be far less water inside the muscle cell, common sense would suggest this! Therefore not only do you want to ensure you are drinking at least 4-5 litres of water a day, you want to make sure you are sipping it all day long to constantly drip feed the body with clear fluid! It doesn’t count if you drink 4-5 litres within a couple of hours, and then nothing all day! Like food, your body can only make use of so much water at once and if you don’t drink steadily throughout the day you will find you will become dehydrated and your muscles will show this. They will look flatter and stringy.

Glycogen depletion

If your muscle glycogen levels are low you will find that your muscles may find it hard to hold water within the muscle cell. Again this can lead to you looking depleted and flat, which is never a good look! To help maintain steady muscle glycogen levels, look to take on board 1.5g of low G.I carbohydrates per pound of body weight every 3 hours throughout the day. This should also help keep your metabolism running fast and prevent catabolism.

Over training

This is a bit of a twist on the first two points! If you train for too long then your muscles will become depleted of water and glycogen! This will leave you looking flat, soft and depleted! This is partly why we suggest not training for more than 1 hour, because after this you risk the chances of becoming catabolic for these reasons!

There you have some of the reasons why you may always look flat and stringy! If you are following an ultra-low carb diet to get lean I would suggest that is why you are not looking full. Even if low or almost zero carbs is your thing, I would always advise doing a high carb day or even 2 each week to reload the muscles with glycogen. This way you should look fuller and your nutrient uptake in the muscle should be better because there is more water in the muscle cell, due to the increased levels of muscle glycogen!

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