One question that scientists and fitness experts alike would love to answer is whether exercise or nutrition has a bigger positive impact on bone strength.
University of Michigan researchers looked at mineral supplementation and exercise in mice, and found surprising results that nutrition has a greater impact on bone mass and strength than exercise.
The longer-term supplemented diet leads to not only increases in bone mass and strength but the ability to maintain those increases even after detraining, says David Kohn, a professor.
The second important finding is that the diet alone has beneficial effects on bone, even without exercising. This surprised Kohn, who expected exercise with a normal diet to fuel greater gains in bone strength, but that wasn't the case.
This is not to suggest that people run out and buy calcium and phosphorus supplements, Kohn further said.
It is a well-known fact that humans achieve peak bone mass in their early 20s, and after that, it declines.