justgottaknow wrote in little_details

Maintaining Muscle Mass while Malnourished

I'm working on a character who is homeless and relies on stealing and cheating just to get by. Obviously, not having a steady/reliable source of food or income (in a small village nonetheless) means they're probably pretty malnourished (at least to the point where their ribs are somewhat visible). The problem comes with the fact that their weapon of choice is a bow and arrow, which I know requires a lot of upper-arm strength. My question is this: would it be possible for them to maintain enough muscle/strength to feasibly use a bow while malnourished? 

I tried several searches related to this topic, and read articles on WebMD and Mayo Clinic relating to malnutrition, but I couldn't find a single line anywhere specifically talking about whether or not one can maintain muscle mass while malnourished.

Also, the story is set in a fantasy world not our own, so there's not really a real-world time period with which to compare. Though- if this helps- there's not a lot of technology beyond simple things like watches, for example.

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Anonymous

May 17 2021, 21:38:25 UTC

Have you considered making your character eat stray cats, dogs, foxes? Also, if they rise early in the morning, there might be food to be pinched from the deliveries that supermarkets get. Or at least, that is something our supermarkets complained of, here in Austria, at some point. Other food sources would be flower beds, if there are not too bad herbicides, pesticides etc. in use. Also, hazelnuts, walnuts and fruits might grow in parks. If your character is knowledgeable regarding plants, that would really influence their possibilities, putting less known mushrooms, grasses and roots on the menu.

I think one really big concern is salt. Your character needs a source of salt. However, if you have a farmer with cows or goats, there could be a salt licking stone, which would solve your problem.