Saturday, September 24, 2016

Getting Enough BCAAs In Your Diet Is Crucial To Maintaining Healthy Muscle As You Age

The natural process of losing muscle as you age is called sarcopenia and it can begin in your 30s, and this process accelerates with time if you don't do anything to slow its progress.  The good news is there are two things within your power you can do to slow and even reverse muscle loss with age, They are resistance training two to three times each week, and getting an adequate amount of Branched Chained Amino Acids (BCAAs ) in your diet each day.  These two activities combined have been shown to slow the effects of sarcopenia in people well into their 90s.

BCAAs  are the three essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine that come from the protein that you eat, such as chicken, fish, and dairy products, or a protein supplement..  They are called essential because your body cannot make them out other amino acids, and therefore they must come from the food you eat, or a protein supplement.

BCAAs are most well  known for triggering protein synthesis,(the building, and repair of muscle cells).  Combining BCAAs with weight lifting results in maximal protein synthesis because both these activities trigger something called the mTORC1 signaling pathway that is essential for muscle building.  The proper amount of BCAAs can increase protein synthesis by as much as 145 percent when you consume it right after a session of resistance training.

As you get older, getting the proper amount of BCAAs is paramount for building, and maintaining muscle.  Creating a muscle building environment in the body is important, but becomes harder to do as you age.  Activation of protein synthesis is impaired, and starts to decline after the age of 35.  This decreased muscle building effect along with the tendency to eat less dietary protein with aging are the primary contributors to muscle loss and sarcopenia.

You need at least 21 grams of good quality protein in a meal in order for your body to have an adequate amount of BCAAs for the amino acid Leucine to turn on the signal for protein synthesis to take place.  This signaling process to begin muscle building, and repair can also take place if you have a BCAA supplement that is 40 percent Leucine.

The goal of protein consumption as you age should be to maximize, and maintain muscle mass.  Studies have shown that consuming 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal is optimal for building and maintaining muscle mass, and strength.