Men lose 1% of muscle a year as they age – but this builds MORE muscle, without you ever having to set foot in the gym…
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419% muscle growth…without weight training
Frailty is one of the greatest problems we face as we age.
Hormones decline with age – and with them goes muscle mass.
The loss of muscle mass leads to weakness…
This can lead to falls, hospitalization, and assisted living.
Recovering from falls is more difficult as we get older.
Weight training and hormone supplementation are good ways to protect muscle mass.
But for some people, weight training may be out of the question and hormone supplementation can be difficult to access.
Luckily, nutrition can play a large role in protecting muscle mass as we age.
A recent study shows that just eating more protein can protect muscle mass.
Scientists carried out this human trial at the Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea, and published their results in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The name for this loss of muscle associated with aging is sarcopenia.
After the age of 50, sarcopenia can mean to up to 1% loss of muscle per year.
There is a lot of research that looks at exercise and nutrition to protect and build muscle.
“Nutrition supplementation with exercise is an effective strategy to decrease frailty by preventing sarcopenia.”
But can nutrition alone have an effect on the amount of muscle we carry?
“The effect of protein alone is controversial.”
This study looked at the effect of different doses of protein on muscle mass in older people.
“We investigated a dose-dependent effect of protein supplementation on muscle mass and frailty in pre-frail or frail malnourished elderly people.”
They recruited 120 men and women between the ages of 70 and 85 years old and conducted the study over a 12-week period.
“A 12-wk double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted in elderly subjects aged 70–85 years old.”
They divided the participants into three different groups.
They allocated a different amount of protein to each group per day, based on body weight.
“Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: 0.8g, 1.2g, or 1.5 g protein per kilogram of body weight per day.”
The researchers measured muscle mass using two different techniques.
“Primary outcomes were appendicular skeletal muscle mass and skeletal muscle mass index measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.”
The research showed that higher protein intake led to greater muscle mass after three months.
Both of the measurement techniques confirmed the results.
“After the 12-wk intervention, the 1.5-g protein group had higher appendicular skeletal muscle mass and skeletal muscle mass index.”
The researchers also tested the gait speed of all three groups.
Gait speed is simply a test of how quickly somebody can walk over a specified distance.
Higher protein intake was associated with faster gait speed.
“In addition, gait speed was improved in the 1.5-g group compared with the 0.8-g group.”
Higher gait speed is associated with greater life expectancy.
Muscle mass and gait speed both increased in people taking the higher dose of protein (1.5g/kg/day).
But there were no significant benefits to taking the intermediate dose of protein over the low dose of protein.
“There were no significant differences between the 1.2g- and 0.8-g protein groups in muscle mass and physical performance.”
The effective dose of protein used in this study is probably a little more than most people eat.
But it’s not a huge amount of protein either.
1.5 g of protein per kg per day would equate to about 130 g of protein per day for the average man.
Getting enough protein can protect muscle mass and increase gait speed in older people.
“Protein intake of 1.5 g/kg has the most beneficial effects in regard to preventing sarcopenia and frailty in elderly people.”
You should always consult a healthcare practitioner about diagnosing and treating any health-related problem.
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Yes, your waist size gets smaller, and your chest and thigh muscles get better defined. Some older guys even discover that yes, they have ab muscles, even a six-pack.
- Protein supplementation improves muscle mass and physical performance in undernourished prefrail and frail elderly subjects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
- Effects of Protein Supplementation on Performance and Recovery in Resistance and Endurance Training
- The hidden dangers of protein powders - Harvard Health