Age Related Muscle Loss Part 2: Protein Metabolism

After discussing the age related loss of muscle mass and the benefits of movement based therapy, I thought it would be beneficial to continue by discussing the nutrition side of things.  So we’ll call this one “Age Related Muscle Loss Part 2: Protein Metabolism".

What is protein metabolism?  Well, it’s a combination of two processes called protein synthesis and protein breakdown.  To build muscle, we must keep our body in a constant state of protein synthesis.  As we age, protein breakdown becomes more predominant which is one of the main reasons for the age related muscle loss.  So how do we counteract this?

We need to eat protein.

Whether it’s meat, rice and beans, or your favourite protein powder, consuming protein helps maintain protein synthesis, which can greatly decrease the loss of muscle mass with age.  How much should you be eating?  Well, research has shown that for the general population a good rule of thumb is to consume approximately 0.8grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day and as we age, that number can increase to just over 1gram per kilogram of body weight.  Other research has shown that most of the general population and especially seniors do not consume enough protein in their diet.   As we age, we begin to lose our appetite, which is where a protein powder can be very effective.  Most protein powders contain 25-30grams per scoop, a great way to boost your daily protein intake without the hassle of cooking a meal.     

So along with staying active, remember to include protein as a regular part of each meal!