At our science meeting recently, John shared a science paper that he read that made his jaw drop.
It was about how to grow muscle without exercise. Exercise is perhaps the most important thing we can do to maintain wellness. We love exercise. But this paper was about how to grow muscle, specifically in older adults who may have issues moving, without exercise.
This is important because muscle isn’t just used for lifting things or moving. It isn’t just to show off our beach bodies. Our muscle is central to how we process and dispose of glucose. In this way, it is our metabolic currency. And when we age, we can begin to see diseases related to our lack of metabolic regulation, such as diabetes. This is due to loss of muscle with age.
My parents are in their 80’s and they are shrinking, as is normal with older people. This, in part, is due to age-related muscle loss, which is called sarcopenia.
Muscle loss starts early; after age 30, we start to lose 3-5% of our muscle mass per decade. This is significant in older people because muscle can limit mobility and lead to falls.
But maintaining muscle mass isn’t just about not falling as we age. It’s much more about the topic we’ve talked a lot about recently: anti-aging (click here to read our anti-aging supplement list).
So, what was in the paper? Glad you asked.
It showed that people who supplement with 3 grams of β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) and 2000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 and didn’t exercise, had a nearly identical increase in muscle as a group who did exercise and a group who both exercised and supplemented.
This is important for:
- Older people who cannot exercise,
- Women in menopause, as this is when you lose a lot of muscle,
- If you’re trying to gain muscle or maintain what you have,
- If you have a metabolic disorder potentially due to low muscle mass – contact your clinician to see if taking these supplements may work for you.
There are many people out there who suggest eating loads of animal protein to build and maintain your muscle mass. This often works, but there can be a cost. Eating more than 15% of your diet as animal protein can have negative repercussions in your wellness. The main one that is always on my mind is the correlation between high protein intake and cancer. If you want me to go into this in more detail later, put a message in the blog.
A good rule-of-thumb for protein consumption is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Most people eat more than this. For example, a 150 lbs person should eat 2 oz of protein per day. A typical hamburger patty is 3.5 oz.
After our science meeting, John sent me the paper to read, and I immediately went to Amazon and bought HMB for both me and my parents (we already have D3).
Regardless of whether you plan on taking this supplement combination now or not, please keep in mind the link between muscle mass, anti-aging and metabolic health as you navigate the waters of wellness for you and your family. And keep exercising if you can!