Pieces to the lifelong fitness puzzle

Health Mar 9, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Health-article2__1_2_1550By Editorial Staff

We’re all searching for answers to the question, “How do I stay healthy for as long as possible?” Researchers keep finding key pieces to the puzzle, especially applicable to anyone who’s reached the age of 40 and is looking to maintain their fitness in the coming decades.

The latest: A comprehensive review of research suggests lifting weights and eating more protein are two components to maintaining physical strength with age. (As we discussed last issue, weakness / frailty in old age can increase fall risk and can complicate recovery from injury and illness.) This review study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that people who weight trained and consumed more protein increased muscle size and strength: 25 percent more muscle mass and 10 percent more muscle strength compared to subjects who consumed less protein, even though they also weight trained.

How much protein does the trick? According to the research review, approximately 1.6 grams per kilogram body weight on a daily basis – that’s about 130 grams of protein for a 175-pound man. What about timing and protein type? The researchers found no difference in muscle size / strength based on whether subjects consumed protein before, during or after a workout, and all types of protein (solid vs. liquid; beef vs. plant, etc.) had a similar impact. It’s also important to note that the more was not necessarily better; protein consumption beyond 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight did not result in additional muscle size / strength.

Talk to your doctor about these findings as part of a conversation on how to stay healthy and happy for a lifetime, starting today.