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Prevent Muscle Loss that Comes with Aging

by Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

A review article from The Netherlands shows that:
  • All men and women lose muscle as they age;
  • All men and women make new protein in their muscles in response to exercising and eating protein;
  • Older people cannot grow muscle as much or as rapidly as younger people do in response to exercising and eating protein;
  • The only known way to prevent loss of muscle with aging is to exercise against progressive resistance; and
  • Muscle growth in aging is enhanced markedly by taking protein and carbohydrates immediately after heavy exercise (Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews, July 2013;41(1):169-173).

Exercising immediately before eating a protein- and sugar-rich meal markedly increases muscle growth and the increased muscle growth brought on by exercising before eating persists for up to a day afterwards (Am. J. Clin. Nutr, 2011;93:322-331).

If your muscles are becoming smaller and weaker as you age, you should set up a program of lifting weights or using exercise machines, and eating a meal that contains protein and sugar immediately after lifting weights.

  1. The sugar causes a rise in blood sugar that causes your pancreas to release large amounts of insulin.
  2. Insulin drives the protein building block amino acids into your muscles faster and you grow large and stronger muscles.
  3. For this program to work for you, you have to do workouts that are sufficiently long and hard to grow larger muscles.
  4. Any combination of carbohydrates and protein foods will increase muscle growth. You do not need to take supplements. You can eat beans and whole grains, or meat, fish or poultry along with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

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