The importance of Muscle Health as we age
As we get older, we tend to start losing muscle mass. In fact after the age of around 45 years old, we lose around 1% muscle mass each year, which means that by the time we are 65 years old, we may have lost a quarter of our muscle mass or even more!
This is an alarming fact to most people. In fact there is a medical term for this and this is ‘sarcopenia’.
Of course loss of muscle mass leads to a reduction of strength and even the onset of frailty later on. Frailty can in turn lead to a higher incidence of falls and fractures, the hip fracture being the most common.
But we can fight back against this quite easily with a two pronged approach. The first is to eat plenty of protein. The recommended daily intake for protein is around 60 grams a day for a 70kg person (men and women). Most of us get this if our diet is good, but it is now well proven that a higher protein diet is necessary to combat this muscle wasting and the suggested intake of protein is nearer 90gms a day, not 60gms.
This new recommendation has been the subject of a recent major international conference called the ProtAge study, in which top international scientists collaborated together in coming to an overall conclusion about ageing and protein intake.
The second way of fighting back against muscle wastage is to remain active. The ‘use it or lose it’ saying is quite true when it comes to ageing and muscle mass. Furthermore, if this exercise can be weight bearing then this will be even better as this will help strengthen legs, vital in gait, posture and balance.
The very best form of exercise is called ‘resistance’ exercise, in which weights can used to stress the muscles. The muscles then want to recover afterwards and this is when they use protein from the diet or supplements, to rebuild themselves, so leading to enhanced strength over time.
The combination of both resistance exercise and a high protein intake is a proven combination to help inhibit sarcopenia or muscle loss.
See why our Maintaining Muscle product can help keep you strong and active.