With all the different thoughts and theories on how we can optimally age, preventing loss of muscle mass is unquestionably very important.
The medical profession calls age related loss of muscle mass “sarcopenia”. As you lose muscle mass while getting wiser (also called aging), you are setting yourself up for increased metabolic problems, increased falls, and greater difficulty with activities of daily living (ADL’s). Along with regular exercise, there are several nutritional supplements that can prevent and even reverse sarcopenia, if utilized on a regular basis.
A recent study from McMasters University, published in PLOS ONE, has shown that increased protein supplementation (this study used whey protein supplements), combined with exercise, increased lean muscle mass in direct proportion to what would have been lost with the sarcopenia most people experience. Compared to those who use placebo, study participants who were involved in an exercise program (just twice a week in this study) and took the whey protein, exhibited significant strength gains. This, of course, translates into fewer falls, less metabolic disease, and a better quality of life.
Reviewing this study, I think it is safe to assume that increased protein intake, whether from supplementation or diet, was essential to the outcomes. This study demonstrates that taking a supplement, or eating enough protein, in combination with exercise, is vital not only to preventing disease, but also to optimizing your quality of life.
To ensure that you truly do get wiser and stronger, as you age, make sure you are moving daily and eating adequate protein!