Are You Losing Muscle As You Age?

2010-06-07T15:04:03+00:00 June 7th, 2010|Weight Management|
Long-term muscle mass depends on regular strength training, quality protein intake, and daily supplementation with vitamin D and coQ10.

Three critical steps for maintaining muscle are strength training, quality protein, and vitamin D and coQ10 supplementation.

Aging is characterized by a decline in muscle mass, or sarcopenia, that nearly doubles at ages 60 and on because of a gradual, accelerating decrease in basal metabolic rate and energy levels combined with increased weakness and frailty. These outcomes only lead to less physical activity creating further reductions in lean body mass replaced by fat mass.

Statistics show that within the next few decades the population of people ages 60 and older is expected to nearly double. Because sarcopenia has a powerful influence on the body’s metabolism and health, one of the most important factors in keeping and staying healthy is preserving skeletal muscle mass and strength.

Slowing Sarcopenia With Help from Isagenix

In the last two decades, researchers have discovered excellent approaches for the preservation of muscle mass and strength. Based on their latest findings, here are three vital steps that people must adopt to help slow age-related muscle loss.

 Step 1: Adopt a Strength Training Program

Too little physical activity accelerates muscle loss more quickly than any other factor in a person’s lifestyle. This is why exercise is the single most important part of slowing sarcopenia. In addition, strength-training programs such as weight lifting have been demonstrated to not only preserve, but reverse loss of muscle strength.

A 1994 study by Dr. Mary A. Fiatarone and colleagues showed that a program including high-intensity strength-training exercise, such as stair climbing, was successful for 100 elderly male nursing home residents. The residents improved muscle strength, increased muscle in thigh areas, increased stair climbing power and increased levels of spontaneous physical activity. 

Strength training is a vital part of a balanced exercise routine that includes aerobic activity and flexibility exercises. Regular aerobic exercise, such as running or using a stationary bike, makes muscles use oxygen more efficiently and strengthens the heart and lungs. When strength training is involved (with resistance), then muscles work against extra pounds. Making muscles work harder than they’re used to strengthens and increases amount of muscle mass in the body.

Strength training can include weight lifting, stair climbing, hiking or swimming. It doesn’t have to take large amounts of time—as little as 30 minutes daily is all that is needed to begin making muscle gains and this can be broken down into three 10-minute exercise times.

Step 2: Eat Quality Protein  At Every Meal, Especially At Breakfast and After Workouts

Muscle synthesis requires amino acids as “building blocks” for making protein. Studies show the biggest muscle gains come from regular protein intake throughout the day. Consistent increases in plasma levels of amino acids support muscle recovery and growth.

Newest research presented at  in April at Experimental Biology 2010 showed that the key time to synthesize muscle occurs when you have protein of at least 20 grams at breakfast!

At the same time, there are specific amino acids that directly stimulate protein synthesis. These are branched-chain amino acids isoleucine, leucine and valine. Leucine is the most potent trigger for protein synthesis.

Studies suggests that the simple act of eating a leucine-rich meal can induce muscle growth in young adults and similar effects from leucine-rich meals have not been demonstrated in older adults who are physically active.

Whey protein’s rich leucine content makes it Mother Nature’s most effective protein source for promoting muscle. After physical activity, in fact, whey protein has been shown in studies to double  protein synthesis compared to protein sources that are lower in leucine.

Isagenix’s IsaLean products (Shakes, Soups, Bars) and IsaPro are excellent products for obtaining plenty of leucine throughout the day and, specifically, for breakfast and after workouts.

Step 3: Get Enough of the “Sunshine Vitamin” and CoQ10 Daily

Results from two different recent studies show how important Vitamin D status is to  muscle strength. One of the studies found that young women with higher vitamin D plasma levels had reduced levels of fat in their muscles. The second study found that vitamin D was associated with larger muscles and greater physical function in the elderly.

Although neither of the studies suggested a mechanism or a direct causal relationship between vitamin D and muscle strength, this hormone-like vitamin-like is now thought to have a an important link to muscle health in addition to its role in bone health. The studies provide more evidence supporting the widely held views that people need more vitamin D daily than what they currently receive.

People can easily receive enough vitamin D daily by practicing safe sun exposure and supplementation, as suggested by the latest scientific findings presented at Experimental Biology to support bones, muscles and the heart.   

Because CoQ10 is a vital nutrient for energy production in every cell in the body including in the muscles and heart, getting enough coQ10 daily keeps energy levels up for performing regular physical activity. 

Although the body makes CoQ10 naturally, its biosynthesis begins to decline with aging. By age 60, most people make only 50 percent of what they did in their mid-twenties.  

Isagenix Ageless Actives is a great way to get the benefits of vitamin D and CoQ10 simultaneously.

Muscle Strength is Monumental

Muscle mass is not just for bodybuilders. It provides the core strength for bones and is directly linked to overall quality of life. In efforts to make an impact on the effects of aging, muscle should never be discounted in the program. Muscle improves metabolism, promotes greater weight-loss benefits, and reduces risk of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The more muscle a person has over time, the longer that person will enjoy healthy living.