Put age-related muscle loss behind you with...
6 power nutrients proven to preserve muscle mass
Maintaining healthy muscle mass has nothing to do with bench pressing Buicks or pulling locomotives with your teeth——or even having a “beach-ready bod.” Let’s be real here. A healthy amount of muscle is what makes everyday living not only possible, but what makes it effortless .
Remember when you didn’t think twice about moving the sofa for your wife... or carrying in a load of wood for the fireplace... or tossing your grandchild in the air and hearing his squeals of laughter? Or even think back to the time when you were a little steadier on your feet——and not quite so worried about taking a fall.
That’s what maintaining muscle is all about: allowing you to enjoy the things you love to do——and giving you the confidence you need to do them.
But like it or not, by the time you hit 40 years old, you could already begin suffering from age-related muscle loss. And if you’re like so many other Americans, you think you have one of two choices: 1). accept that this is just another part of growing older, or 2). join a gym in a desperate attempt to get back what you’ve lost.
Well, both options are not only unnecessary... they’re unacceptable .
You don’t have to spend your retirement money paying hefty gym membership fees——or waste your valuable time “sweatin’ to the oldies”——to maintain your muscle mass. In fact, that kind of “exercise” is little more than an exercise in futility —— because no amount of weight training will help you prevent this degenerative muscle disease .
As the years tick by, your muscle mass decreases... and all the weight lifting in the world won’t change that fact. But let me tell you what does... giving your body the nutrients it needs to increase muscle mass from the inside out .
Nearly 50% of everyone over 65 suffers from degenerative muscle disease—— but you can beat the odds
The best way to start is by making sure you’re getting enough omega-3s. These healthy fats are found in salmon, eggs, and grass-fed beef, and study after study has shown that they’re beneficial for everything from cardiovascular disease to cancer.
But now, a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that omega-3s could also be a key nutrient in the battle against degenerative muscle disease .
Although researchers have believed for years that omega-3 could help promote healthy muscle mass, this is the first study on humans that has confirmed their suspicions .
Researchers gave 16 healthy adults in their early 70s either omega-3s or corn oil for eight weeks. They found that with just 4g of omega-3s per day, you could boost your production of muscle protein and reduce your risk of degenerative muscle loss .
Omega-3s increased the signaling pathway that controls muscle cell growth.
The researchers said their study suggested that “dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation could potentially provide a safe, simple, and low-cost intervention to combat sarcopenia.”
5 more ways to treat or prevent degenerative muscle loss
Testosterone will definitely increase muscle mass. (Why do you think the body builders love it so much?) Have your serum testosterone checked. If you’re over 50, it’s very likely to be low. If it’s below 500 micrograms per cc, you should take 100mg once a month and maintain a blood level of 500mcg per cc or better.
2. Vitamin D
You already know that vitamin D is crucial to maintaining strong, healthy bones. What you might not know is that D is just as important when it comes to defending the integrity of your muscles .
For starters, vitamin D helps maintain the function of type II muscle fibers, which helps preserve your muscle strength. Second, vitamin D is known to have potent anti-inflammatory activity. This is crucial since people with sarcopenia consistently have high levels of inflammatory substances.
I recommend taking at least 10,000 IUs of vitamin D per day to maintain healthy blood levels. If you’re extremely deficient, you’ll need to take even more than that to get your levels back to normal. Get your vitamin D (25-hydroxy D) blood levels checked to see where you fit into the equation, and then talk to your doctor about the amount that’s right for you.
3. Amino acids
Studies have shown that supplementing with amino acids can help build your lean body mass specifically in those suffering from sarcopenia.
In an article published in the American Journal of Cardiology , 41 subjects with sarcopenia received either amino acids or a placebo. After just six months of supplementing with amino acids, the subjects experienced significant increases in whole-body lean mass. To put it another way, amino acids could reverse the damage caused by years of degenerative muscle loss .
In another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism , researchers found that taking just 7.5g of essential amino acids for three months significantly increased the lean body mass of older women .
One specific amino acid that has been proven time and again to add muscle mass is creatine. While it’s true that creatine has little value to body builders (or “body preeners” as I prefer to call them), it is of tremendous value to the elderly.
Adding creatine supplementation to a healthy, active lifestyle will add bulk and strength to wasting muscles. It’s therapeutic because it adds water back to dehydrated muscle cells. If you have muscle wasting, whether from illness or from age, you need creatine supplementation. I recommend taking 250mg daily.
The Journal of Physiology published an article saying that the amino acid leucine can help the elderly maintain proper muscle mass. The researchers compared protein breakdown in young and old rats. After you eat a meal, the breakdown process ordinarily slows down and your body uses the protein to build muscle. The researchers found that the slowdown process did not occur in old animals. But when the scientists boosted the levels of leucine, the balance of synthesis and breakdown was restored.
Although leucine supplementation is valid, I wouldn’t depend on it alone. Accord to BBC News , “UK experts agree that the best way to boost leucine levels is to eat meat.” In other words, you need to eat a high-fat, high-cholesterol, low-carbohydrate, low-starch diet——which I hope you’re already doing anyway.