Muscle Loss With Age

muscle loss with age
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Preserving Mobility With Protein

As we age, maintaining muscle mass and function becomes increasingly important for preserving mobility and independence. One of the greatest threats to this is natural muscle loss with age, which can significantly impact our quality of life as we grow older. In this article, we’ll explore scientific evidence for the critical role that protein intake plays in combating muscle wasting and preserving independence in our later years.

Understanding the Threat of Muscle Loss with Age

Muscle wasting, characterized by the loss of muscle mass and strength, is a common consequence of aging. According to data from clinical research, individuals over the age of 50 can lose up to 1-2% of their muscle mass per year, with this rate accelerating after the age of 70 [1,2]. This decline in muscle mass not only affects physical strength but also increases the risk of falls, fractures, and loss of independence [1,2].

This phenomenon can be explained, in part, by the fact that as we get older, skeletal muscle develops a resistance to the stimulatory effects of amino acids from the diet [3]. So, a sufficient intake of amino acids from our younger years is not necessarily enough to trigger the growth of new muscle in our later years.

The Protein Connection

Protein (made up of amino acids) is often referred to as the building block of muscle, and for good reason. Adequate protein intake is essential for maintaining muscle mass, promoting muscle repair and regeneration, and supporting overall musculoskeletal health. Research suggests that older adults may have higher protein requirements than younger individuals to offset the effects of muscle loss and maintain optimal function.

Scientific Evidence Supporting Protein Intake

Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive impact of protein intake on muscle health and mobility in older adults. For example, there is a data-based link between higher protein intake and better muscle mass, strength, and physical performance in older adults [4]. Similarly, analysis of the available research shows that increasing protein intake could help mitigate age-related muscle loss and improve physical function [5].

As we age, we tend to produce less stomach acid and fewer enzymes (namely, pepsin) for breaking down meat and soy protein [6]. This means much less of the protein we consume can actually be absorbed as usable amino acids. You can supplement with a protease such as Betaine with Pepsin and HCl to aid in this breakdown.

Practical Recommendations

Of course, we are not suggesting switching to a carnivore’s diet, or that one’s protein intake should be sky-high. We just need to consider changes in our ability to digest and absorb protein as we age, and be reticent of meeting daily protein needs, as age increases our risk of muscle wasting. 

Incorporating varied, high-quality protein sources into each meal, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts, can help ensure adequate intake for changing digestion. Additionally, for those who may struggle to meet their protein requirements through diet alone, supplementation with protein powders or shakes can be a convenient and effective solution.

Detox Complete Powder

Metabolic Maintenance offers a powdered plant-based protein supplement that can fulfill the protein needs of those at any age, while also providing so much more nutritional value. 

Metabolic Detox® Complete is both a protein powder and a full-spectrum multivitamin/mineral formula. In just 165 calories, it delivers 20 grams of protein and many other nutrients that combat common consequences of aging. Among its extensive contents, it contains omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins in their active forms, supporting cognition, mood, and brain health; calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K, to support lasting bone mineral density; and vitamin A supports healthy vision.

The word “detox” in its name is there to signify this product is supportive of both phase I and phase II detoxification processes in the liver and is an appropriate addition to a detox protocol or elimination diet. It is also an easy meal replacement or protein supplement for any healthy diet.

Metabolic Detox® Complete powder contains vegan, hypoallergenic protein sources (pea, hemp, and rice proteins) and comes in two flavors (chocolate or vanilla). It can be mixed into water for a shake on-the-go, or added to any smoothie recipe. 

To see the supplement facts in their entirety and purchase Metabolic Detox® Complete, click here.

Amino Acid Supplements

Amino acid supplements are another targeted approach to combat muscle loss with age by providing essential nutrients that are vital for muscle maintenance and growth.

Key amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine, collectively known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), are particularly effective in stimulating muscle protein synthesis [7]. Leucine, in particular, plays a critical role in activating pathways that promote muscle repair and growth [7]. Additionally, essential amino acids (EAAs) like lysine and methionine contribute to overall protein synthesis and muscle health [7,8].

Incorporating these amino acids into a dietary regimen can help preserve muscle mass, enhance physical strength, and improve overall mobility [8]. Metabolic Maintenance offers some amino acids as stand-alon supplements, or you can take a balanced blend of aminos with our BAM Balanced Amino Maintenance capsules or Amino Acid Base Powder.

This targeted nutritional support can significantly contribute to maintaining an active and independent lifestyle as we age, reducing the risks associated with muscle loss and promoting better quality of life.

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