Protein: 2 Powerful Tips for Muscle Maintenance
Are you in your 30s? You’re starting to lose muscle mass. But you can do something about it…right now. Changes in muscle mass start in your 30s and get this… you lose 1-2% a year in your 50s.
If you’re not eating protein, you don’t have amino acids in high enough levels in the blood to make muscle. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Loss of muscle mass happens because not enough protein is eaten at meals.
Boomers are the kick-butt generation who expect to be healthy and fit with a good quality of life. But to live this dream, you must prevent the loss of your muscle mass and strength called sarcopenia, part of the aging process. Even athletes lose muscle mass over time. As you age, your body makes less muscle mass, your muscle strength decreases, and immune function can decline.
Protein packed recipes to try from my Pinterest boards:
So what can you do to keep and maintain your muscle mass? Eat more protein! When it comes to protein, timing is everything. How much protein you eat and when you eat it make ALL the difference. So tweak your daily diet in two ways: instead of eating all of your protein food at dinner, spread protein throughout the day. Include a protein rich food at every meal and snack. Second and just as important…consume 20-30 grams of protein at each meal, which is like 3-5 ounces, or the size of your palm.
Where do you find all of this protein?
Animal Sources: milk, cheese, yogurt, beef, seafood, chicken, pork, ham
Plant sources: nuts, beans, lentils, kamut, quinoa, edamame, lima beans, soy nuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, soymilk, tofu
Quick ways to add protein to your meals/snacks:
1. Add cheese, tofu, eggs or salmon to salads
2. Snack on Greek yogurt and stir in your favorite fresh fruit
3. Add nuts or seeds to muffin, pancake or bread batters. Sprinkle nuts on cereal, yogurt, ice cream or fruit
4. Add beans to soups, quesadillas
Want more food ideas to help keep your immune system perking along? Listen to this week’s podcast.