Muscle mass loss in seniors can be prevented by eating foods rich in protein. Foods such as beans, wild salmon, eggs, and greek yogurt are rich in protein and help prevent muscle loss.
Muscle Mass: How Much Protein To Reverse Losses
The current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram (g/kg) of body weight a day for adults over 18, or about 2.3 ounces for a 180-pound adult. But research is showing that higher levels may be needed for adults age 65-plus.
Senior citizens, age 65+ may need 1.2 to 1.5 g/kg of protein a day, according to the Mayo Clinic; that’s 3.5 to 4.3 ounces for a 180-pound adult. Eat foods that include the amino acid leucine, which preserves body muscle. Leucine is found in animal foods such as beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese. It’s also found in soybeans, nuts, and seeds.
Muscle Mass: Exercise Is Important
Combine resistance exercise with protein rich foods to assure against muscle mass loss. It’s important especially in the elderly. Several effective resistance exercises are the hip squat, backstroke, hip circles, and rotation with a medicine ball. In addition, it’s also important to add cardio fitness training to your exercise regimen.
Keep in mind, however, that people should be cautious when making any change to their diet, including incorporating more protein. A 2015 article from Today’s Dietitian notes that higher protein intake poses a risk to senior citizens when they already suffer from a kidney function impairment. Consult your doctor about your protein needs and intake as you age.