Saturday, November 29, 2014

Low Protein Plus Little Strength Training Equals Accelerated Aging

Lots of people seem to think that once they reach the age of 40 they start to become weaker, less toned, and less fit.  They blame these conditions on aging.  In my line of business I hear all about the aches and pains of getting older.  Most people think there is very little they can do to avoid the physical degeneration that is associate with aging. Contrary to this belief there are 2 things that have been proven to combat the aging process, and they are increased protein in your daily diet, and regular strength training.

Most of the physical decline in your body  you associate with aging is caused by muscle loss.  Muscle loss associated with aging is called sacopenia and it can begin as early as your 30s and it accelerates with time if you don't do anything about it.  Fortunately increasing the amount of protein you consume daily combined with a regular strength training program has been proven to be the best approach to curbing and even reversing the effects of sacopenia.

Protein is a necessary part of every living cell in your body. Next to water, protein comprises up the greatest portion of your body weight. Protein substances make up your muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, glands, nails, hair, and many vital body fluids.  It is essential for the growth, repair, and healing of your bones, tissues, and cells.  Additionally, the the enzymes and hormones that catalyze and regulate your body processes are comprised of protein.  So, you see protein is greatly involved in many vital activities in your body. 

All proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. As you age your body becomes less efficient at processing protein and if you don't get the proper amount in your diet your body starts to break-down lean muscle in order get the amino acids it needs to keep your body functioning.  Thus, the protein you consume will be used for purposes other than building and maintain muscle which leads to muscle loss.

As you age the goal of protein consumption should be to optimize lean muscle mass.  Studies now show that consuming 25 to 30 grams of high quality protein at each meal is necessary for maximal muscle growth, repair and maintenance.  Thus, eating this way signals your body that it has enough protein to start a process called protein synthesis (growth and repair).

Strength training or weight lifting has been demonstrated to increase muscle size and strength.  Your muscles grow and increase in strength in order to meet the increased resistance you are lifting.  2 to 3 strength training sessions weekly are recommended to increase muscle size and strength.

Now you see that when you combine proper protein consumption with regular strength training you maximize muscle growth and strength, and thus you minimize the effect of muscle loss associated with aging.  This combination of increased protein intake and strength training is what I do to build and maintain my muscle mass and strength as I age.  I'm in my 50s and I am stronger and more fit than I was in my 20s.  I'm living proof that this strategy works to combat the effects of aging.

Please checkout my strength training publications by clicking on this link: My Publications, and also checkout one of the highest quality protein supplements on the market by clicking on this link: Protein My Whey.