What most people don’t realize is that there are small diet changes that can be implemented to create a “pro-muscle building” state. In athletic circles we call this, creating an anabolic environment. It is important to minimize muscle-wasting periods during the day and help your body stay in an anabolic state as much as possible. If done right, this type of practice will keep you in the muscle building zone for the whole day. There are so many choices of different proteins, different carbs, fats, and different veggies to choose from. I have found chicken breast and tuna fish to be the most rewarding proteins but today I am going to discuss vegetables and which ones are optimal for creating anabolism.
There is a compound called sulforaphane that is found in cauliflower, broccoli, and sprouts. Sulforaphane has been teasing athletes and scientists for a while with research promoting improvements in a stem cell that is capable of developing into muscle cells. Recently, a group of molecular scientists in Italy have found that sulforaphane deactivates myostatin, which is a muscle growth inhibitor. This compound also has an anti-carcinogenic and detoxification effects. The researchers gave a group of pigs, who’s muscles cells bear almost identical resemblance to human cells, different concentrations of sulforaphane. What they found is that it increases vitality of the cells and dramatically reduced the syntheses of caspase-9 and -9, which are suicide proteins. This is extremely intriguing however, because sulforaphane reduces vitality in cancerous cells and triggers the suicide mechanism.
In conclusion, sulforaphane may actually reduce muscle wasting and increase protein synthesis. Including this in your diet will help maintain that anabolic environment that we all work so hard to create. What good is busting your ass in the gym if you aren’t getting the nutrients your body needs to repair and build. On your next trip to the supermarket, it might not be a bad idea to grab a bag or four of broccoli and sprouts.
Source of sulforaphane
The best natural sources of sulforaphane are brussels sprouts and fresh broccoli. I buy a big bag of frozen broccoli and heat it up for lunches and dinners. Heating the broccoli will reduce positive effects so anytime you can eat it fresh it is more beneficial. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or resources to constantly stock fresh produce so I work with what I have.