Aging is a normal part of life – that much we know. It usually brings on sarcopenia or age-related muscle loss. And while old age seems far away, you might be surprised to learn that sarcopenia can begin in your 30s. In fact, a sedentary 30-something-year-old can start to lose between 3 to 5 percent of their muscle mass each decade. Clearly, there’s plenty at stake. Even active people can still lose some muscle. So, how do you limit this from happening?
The concept of early sarcopenia prevention has been gaining traction. After all, muscle strength and mass in later years aren’t only linked to diet and exercise during that time. It’s associated with the peak muscle mass in your younger years, too. This means that the best time to prevent sarcopenia is right now! Of course, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the prime of your life or middle-aged. Early intervention and careful attention to diet and exercise are crucial. So, instead of counting on a miracle during your senior years, don’t procrastinate. It’s never (ever) too early to start.
Here are 4 ways to stop age-related muscle loss.
1. Increase Protein Intake
Protein can be a game changer when it comes to muscle development. According to research, an increase in protein intake can actually stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Studies also suggest that, aside from meeting RDA protein requirements, elders should incorporate 25 to 30 grams of “high-quality protein” in every single meal. And since protein intake under 20 grams can actually blunt muscle protein synthesis in elders, these recommendations are worth taking note of.
Not sure where to start? Here are some foods that will boost your protein intake:
- Fish or seafood
- Meats like beef, lamb, or pork
- Lentils and beans
- Milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products
Whey Protein Or Casein?
Sometimes, you might be advised to supplement with protein powders. These basically make up the post-workout protein shakes that fitness buffs and body builders often drink. Yet, with so many options out there, you might be feeling super confused. Should you drink whey-based protein? Or casein? Or none at all? According to research, whey is the top choice. It’s been proven to be more effective in increasing muscle protein synthesis in comparison to casein. If you’re still confused, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or nutritionist.