Age can have a significant impact on nutritional requirements for the preservation of muscle mass. As you age, metabolism slows and muscles melt away. This phenomenon reduces strength and weakens all the muscles. It is therefore important to adapt your diet accordingly.
- Sarcopenia: an age-related disease
- Increased nutrient requirements
- How to prevent sarcopenia?
Sarcopenia, an age-related disease
Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by a progressive and generalized loss of muscle mass and strength. This can lead to decreased physical performance and loss of independence in older people. It is considered a musculoskeletal disorder, mainly related to aging.
This is linked to several factors: a decrease in muscle protein synthesis, a breakdown of amino acids and a decrease in physical activity. Additionally, hormonal changes occur with age that can also contribute to sarcopenia. Sarcopenia can occur as early as age 40, although studies have been conducted on older subjects.
Increased nutrient requirements
Older people tend to eat less and therefore consume fewer nutrients.
For building muscle, older people need a higher protein intake than younger people. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, and sufficient amounts are needed to maintain muscle mass. Through food or supplementation, a good protein intake can prevent sarcopenia.
Essential for the proper functioning of the heart and vision, omega-3s protect the nervous system. Most French people do not consume enough omega-3s, which degrades their immune system more quickly.
For the elderly, the recommended intake is 1200 mg per day. It is important to monitor your calcium level in order to fight against osteoporosis, a disease of bone demineralization.
This vitamin allows the assimilation of calcium and its fixation on the bones. It is recommended to consume 10 to 15 mg per day, for people over 65 years old. According to several studies, vitamin D is the most widespread deficiency in the French population, especially during winter periods. For older people, especially those who stay indoors, it is important to monitor vitamin D levels.
It is important to monitor your vitamin E level for several reasons. This vitamin facilitates recovery, strengthens the immune system and protects the nervous system. For athletes of all ages, vitamin E is a valuable ally in protecting against free radicals. The recommended daily allowance is 20 mg per day for the elderly.
Vitamin K deficiency is uncommon, but is seen more in older populations. Supplementing with vitamin K2 reduces the risk of cardiovascular accidents, osteoporosis and dental problems.
How to prevent sarcopenia?
Cell renewal being much longer with age, sarcopenia is difficult to avoid. However, it can be measured.
As seen above, the diet should be rich in protein, vitamins and fiber. Refined sugars, stimulants and bad fats are to be avoided, without completely banishing them.
It is important to fight against a sedentary lifestyle at any age, but even more so for the elderly. Indeed, the lack of physical activity promotes sarcopenia.
A sporting activity helps prevent muscle wasting by developing muscles. It is important to adapt the intensity of the effort according to the level of activity.
Two types of physical exercise help prevent sarcopenia:
- Resistance exercises (muscle exercises and stretching with weights, dumbbells, rubber bands)
- Weight-bearing exercises (walking, running, dancing, badminton, tennis, skating, etc.).
Ideally, two to three weekly sports sessions are recommended.
In the context of a sports practice, the intake of food supplements is recommended, in particular BCAA 4.1.1 which will be more adapted to the physiological needs of seniors. BCAA Builders help build muscle and promote recovery.
It may also be relevant to supplement with type II collagen. This helps prevent joint pain and promotes joint tissue regeneration. It is ideal for people prone to osteoarthritis or arthritis.