Why be concerned?
As we age we all go through a process called sarcopenia; the natural progression of muscle degradation with advancing age or more commonly known as GOA “General Old Age” . It actually starts to occur beginning slowing after age 25 increasing to the point of after 50 advancing quickly. It’s the reason that even when you get back down to your youthful body weight as a seasoned person, you don’t necessarily regain that youthful shape. And like most other tell-tale signs of aging, this process can be slowed down immensely with both a bit of effort and a bit of restraint.
What are the Health Connections related to this trend?
The reduction of muscle mass & strength and the increase of injuries can be related to hormones, free radical damage, liver overload and general reduction of organ strength.
The most significant organs include:
- The testes-responsible for production of testosterone
- The liver- as hormones are broken down and re-circulated through this organ
- The adrenal gland- responsible for the production of epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol (when elevated for long periods of time makes it difficult to lose weight), DHEA (breaks down into estrogen and testosterone) and progesterone
- The thyroid-responsible for your rate of metabolism
Anatomy of Stress- shows the complete relationship of the organs and the balance in the nervous system, the adrenal gland, the thyroid and their relationship to hormones. The pathway from beginning to end is shown in the Health Wellness Spectrum(HWS)©: (For more details of the HWS © see the April 2008 Newsletter Allergies, Asthma and Eczema)
Top 10 Treatment Options
- Utilize an effective bodybuilding/strength training program – no matter what age you are a complete training programs involves weight training 3 times per week , 30 minutes each session. More highly developed muscles enhances protein metabolism and speeds up the resting metabolic rate burning more calories in the end per day. How much is too much? “ After 45 minutes of exercise your body drastically increases the amount of cortisol which simultaneously decreases your levels of testosterone, putting you in a state of catabolism or burning a high level of muscle mass compared to fat. So optimally target zones of 30-45 minutes of exercise in one session is ideal. The more muscle you have the more efficient you will be at burning fat. For example: 1 pound of muscle burns 35-50 calories a day. Add 10lbs of muscle (while losing 10lbs of body fat) and burn an extra 350- 500 calories a day while sleeping. So you can see why trying to gain muscle will in fact burn body fat and keep it going in the long run.” comments Jean Luc Boissonneault from Free Form Fitness Ottawa.
- Eat plenty of Protein and Fuel the Body every 3 hours. Protein is needed for muscle cell regeneration. On average 90-150 gm of protein is needed when on a strength training program. A protein powder can be used after each training session.
- Eliminate or Greatly Reduce Sugar Intake– Sugar can bond with proteins or lipid molecules which creates a cross linking process called “glycation”. Heavily cross-linked tissue can lead to accelerated loss of muscle. Sugar cravings will be at highest when an individual is fatigued because the body is looking for a quick source of energy, so extra sleep will also help. If the cravings are extreme consider discussing with your Naturopath the use of GTF chromium or Carnosine (to reduce glycation in the body)
- Follow Low to Medium Glycemic Index Foods . Eat mostly foods that rank below 70 on the glycemic index. This also helps the pancreas function better which gives better control over blood sugar reducing body fat further.
- Vitamin B12 which aims to reduce lethargy and improve stamina allowing the athlete to train for longer and more often.
- Ginseng is believed to help increase athletic performance as it seems to increase the blood flow around the heart and lungs allowing for more effective oxygen transfer therefore improving their stamina. Consult with your Health Care Professional to know which ginseng is right for you.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid-as part of the group of linoleic acids which are essential omega 6 fatty acids it has been researched to be beneficial to weight loss and increasing muscle mass. Increase foods such as seeds to increase natural sources.
- Creatine-is found naturally in the body and is a naturally occurring amino acid. It’s role is to increase the body’s energy supply and allow muscles to function and benefits the overall strength of the muscle. In order to be of benefit one must be jointly exercising on a regular basis.
- Organ Strengthening-Adrenal , Liver and other organ specific support customized to you
- Food Intolerance Testing- For optimal nutritional balance for your individual needs.
Protein Powders What To Consider?
The following are some things to consider when speaking with your health care professional in your selection of a protein powder:
- Source of Protein– Whey, Egg, Soy, Rice
- Type of Protein– Whey Isolate vs Concentrate vs Combination. Isolates burn faster and have quicker absorption thus they are better after a workout and before bed. Concentrates are slower burning and thus are a better option for a breakfast option. Combination products give you both fast and longer acting fuel for the body
- What are they sweetened with ? Stevia, Sucralose, Natural Vanilla
- Alpha- lactoglobulin vs Beta-lactoglobulin . Present research suggests that a higher ratio of Alpha-lactoglobulin gives you better conversion and thus the more that is present generally the higher the cost i.e. Range is from 15-4- gm with the 30-40 gm range being more expensive
|Focus on Foods with a glycemic index of less than 55 – 80% of the time, glycemic index of 55-70 only on weekends|
|Glycemic Index Food Chart|
|Low Glycemic Index food (less than 55)|
|Foods with GI index between 55 and 70 are consider intermediate|
|High Glycemic Index food GI (more than 70)|
|GI Food Chart | Low GI Foods | Medium GI Foods | High GI Foods|
|Food List||Rating||Food Glycemic Index|
|Cake , tart||Medium||65|
|Multi grain bread||Low||48|
|Pita bread, white||Medium||57|
|Whole meal bread||Medium||69|
|Mini Wheats (wholemeal)||Medium||57|
|Yogurt low- fat (sweetened)||Low||14|