The June 2015, issue of Men’s Health magazine, focused the value of Protein.  The article by Lou Schuler, entitled “The Life-Extending Power of Protein” was particularly interesting.  It focused on the Baby Boomer generation – who are now Seniors.  The picture of guys flexing muscles was of 4 gents, ages 62, 67, 78 and 97.  Sure it caught this guy’s eye – after all – I’m 70.  I’m also I guy who is at the gym 6 days a week – 7 if I can.  What follows are some highlights of that Article.

  • “After age 30, an untrained body tends to lose about 1 percent of its muscle mass each year.”
  • “T]he weakest men on two moves – the bench press and leg press – had the highest risk of premature death.”
  • “A study of adults in the U.K. found that those who had the worst composite scores on three fitness tests – grip strength, balance, with their eyes closed, and functional ability (time needed to sit down and stand up from a chair) at age 53 were almost four times as likely as top performers to die over the next 13 years.”

Comment – I’ve always noticed how so man people need to boost themselves up from a chair by using the arms of the chair or the dinner table.

And this report from a study done at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas is of particular interest to me – I had to stop exercising and even – active movement for 90 days while recovering from surgery.

  • “In one recent study, Phillips had older people reduce the number of steps they took each day  by 76 percent.  In just two weeks, they lost almost 4 percent of their leg muscle while gaining fat.  Even worse, they saw a rise in insulin resistance – a precursor of diabetes – and a decline in muscle-protein synthesis after eating.” 

During the 3 month period of severely limited activity, I lost weight, muscle and gained fat.  The amount of strength lost, shocked me.  I never expected that the loss of strength would be that significant.  It is now 60+ days after getting back to the gym and my strength gains are slow in happening.- but they are happening.  I’ve also gained some weight – but lost girth around my waist.  Strange world.

One part of the story bothers me.

  • “[O]ur bodies crave an optimal amount of protein, and once we’ve consumed it, out appetite shuts down.  It usually takes a protein intake of 25 to 35 percent of total calories for the mechanism to kick in.”

 25% – 35% of my calories would put my protein intake at 160 –  220 grams per day.  That is over the top.  I try to keep my protein level below 140 grams – otherwise I undermine my Low Carb eating.  Where does this concept come from?  Probably because the author discounts a high fat diet in shutting down our appetite.  If you are eating High Carbs and relatively Low Fat – then this makes sense.

The article then goes on to stress the value of exercise in slowing cognitive decline – no surprise there.  Exercise is one of the first things a neurologist prescribes for someone showing memory loss.  

This was a pretty good article.  If you don’t subscribe to Men’s Health magazine – maybe you should.

One way or another – get off your sorry arse and start moving.  Check out the 52 Day Challenge as place to help motivate you.