Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

You can avoid muscle mass loss through nutrition and exercise no matter how old you are.

We live in an era when we are living longer than ever before but the question is “how are we expecting to feel as we age?”  I always tell my patients that we should not buy into the “aging” theory.  We are brainwashed to believe that we are supposed to lose our energy, our sleep, our strength and our memory as we age.  That is just not the case.  Our goal is to be nutritionally and hormonally balanced no matter how old we are.

A “common” change as we get older is a decrease in muscle mass.  But “common” doesn’t make it “normal”.  A decline in muscle mass can be precipitated by nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes, changes in your metabolism, systemic inflammation, side effects of long-term medication, lack of physical activity and in a few cases genetic predispositions.  The result is that patients feel tired, they gain weight easily, they feel weaker, increased risk of falling and an overall loss of functional independence.

Muscle equals strength and health.  We now have the science to know how to preserve your muscle mass no matter how old you are, in order to be able to continue enjoying not only your independence but also your hobbies and enjoying life for years to come.

So how do we achieve this? Well, the first step is to find out the root cause of your problem.  Patients benefit from a thorough nutritional, metabolic and hormonal evaluation to find out where your imbalances or deficiencies are.

Here are the top tips that can help you keep a healthy muscle mass:

  • Regular exercise.  We consider “mild” amount of exercise 30 min 5 x week or 150 minutes per week.  Yes, I know!! Many of you don’t even get close to that.  If you are not exercising at least 150 minutes per week then you may really want to try to make some changes.
  • Never ever skip out of your proteins.  You need a minimum of 1 g / kg of body weight.  You should be having protein at least 3 to 4 times per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and ideally 1 snack.  Yes, this means you need to have breakfast!  Your breakfast should have at least 15 g of protein.
  • Water! You need a minimum of 2 L per day.  Most personal trainers will even recommend 3 L per day at first to get people’s metabolism boosted.  You cannot build muscle without water.  Muscle and water are really connected with one another.
  • Vitamin D levels – Ask your naturopathic doctor to check your levels.  Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common and it can cause and increase propensity to low bone density conditions, low mobility and disability issues, slower gait speed and weaker handgrip strength.

If you feel like you are losing muscle mass even though you have not changed your lifestyle and nutritional habits, then call us for a thorough evaluation.  An easy tweak on your supplements or nutrition can make a big difference. 

Dr Miranda offers free “Meet&Greets” if needed.  Call us today for an appointment 905-239-3900.