The Importance of Maintaining Muscle Mass

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Why is it crucial to maintain muscle mass as you age? 

“Over time, unless you maintain your muscles and strength, you can lose anywhere from 3% to 30% or your muscle mass during your lifetime. The loss of muscle mass with age is known as sarcopenia. Keeping healthy stress on the bones from your muscles helps with reducing your chances of fractures, osteoporosis, arthritis or other bone degeneration problems.”

- Dr. Raj Maniam 

What are the benefits of maintaining muscle mass?

“Maintaining muscle mass helps prevent weakness, fatigue, unstable mobility, and poor balance, as well as keeps your body strong to support your bone mass and joint strength. Maintaining muscle mass also helps with your metabolism. Working out your muscles burns twice as many calories as general daily activity. This means that in order to provide the energy your body needs to work the muscles, maintaining muscle mass has a latent effect that advocates for a healthy diet as well. A healthy diet and sufficient levels of exercise can further lower the risk of other diseases including heart disease, diabetes and obesity.”

- Dr. Raj Maniam

What are practical ways to maintain muscle mass and promote exercise and a healthy diet as you age? 

“Workouts focusing on resistance training with weights and low repetitions, as well as workouts with an emphasis on muscle contractile exercises can all help to maintain and build muscle mass. This should be supplemented with daily consumption of the suggested amount of protein. 

To maximize muscle growth, a recovery period is important as well. A recovery period refers to the time it takes for your body to repair and build muscle. The nutrients you supply yourself during that time are important.

Protein intake for optimal muscle growth is suggested to be 1.5 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. We suggest simply taking 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight unless specified otherwise. There are personal circumstances that play into this, of course. For example, older men tend to experience anabolic resistance, which lowers their bodies ability to synthesize the protein needed for muscle gain. As a result, they may require more resistance training, a higher intake of protein, and a greater emphasis on controlled diet to maintain healthy muscle mass.”

- Dr. Raj Maniam

Are there any research studies worth checking out? 

“The American College of Sports Medicine released “Protein Intake for Optimal Muscle Maintenance” that provides useful information on protein intake. 

Another study published in Nutrition & Metabolism, “The Impact of Protein Quality on the Promotion of Resistance Exercise-Induced Changes in Muscle Mass” discusses evidence-based workouts to maintain muscle mass and whether protein quality impacts how efficiently we build muscle mass.”

- Raj Maniam

Edited By: Camden Rowe

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.