Elderly Muscle Wasting And Whey Protein

Whey Protein In Old Age
Is Whey Protein an answer to elderly muscle wasting?Answer is yes, a recent research indicates that a diet including good quality protein, such as whey, can help to reduce age-related muscle wasting!

As you get older taking a good diet and following a regular exercise regime become even more essential. A recent research shows that a diet including good quality protein, like whey protein, can help to bring down age-linked gradual muscle wasting / muscle loss.

To quote Dr. Alan Hayes, a researcher in exercise metabolism at Victoria University: “Delaying gradual loss of muscle is vital for healthy aging.”

To comprehend why whey protein can be beneficial, you need to have knowledge of something about cheese making.

Curds And Whey Relationship

When milk is acidified, some of the proteins, or casein, clomp in a viscous mass called curds. The white liquid created surrounding the curds is called whey. When the curds are pressed and sieved, the solid then turns into cheese. In past, whey was thrown away. But now, as a constituent of milk, the great nutritional value of whey is being generally acknowledged.

Muscle Loss / Muscle Wasting

The loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of ageing is called as “Sarcopenia” in medical terms. In past the folks accepted it as an inevitable phenomenon. But, the health professionals now comprehend the process of muscle loss much better. Whatever may be the age, muscles keep all the time breaking down as part of routine metabolism. However, in case of older people, muscle rebuilding, or anabolism, slackens.

To quote Christos Katsanos, Assistant Professor at the Center for Metabolic Biology: “Nutritional supplementation can be an important way of increasing muscle anabolism in the elderly.”

Muscle feebleness can have grave health implications. For example, elderly folks are much more likely to fall and suffer injury as the weak leg muscles make them unsteady. Thus, with recent progresses in knowledge and understanding of muscle-loss process, we should not accept “Sarcopenia” as an unavoidable outcome of aging.

Amino Acid Obtainability And Its Role In Building Muscles

When muscle protein is broken down to its component amino acids, they are emancipated into the blood. In elderly people they are not all captured again, thus gradual muscles loss ensues. On the other hand assimilation of a balanced amino acid mixture promotes muscle build-up by augmenting blood amino acid levels. Also essential amino acids that our body cannot formulate are even more critically needed.

To quote Dr. Elena Volpi, professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch: “Elderly people respond just as well as younger people to raised blood amino acid levels.”

Is Whey Protein Answer To Elderly Muscle Loss?

Whey contains a large spectrum of proteins, including beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, and immunoglobulin and also the proteins that are termed as disease resistance factors, reported the University of Illinois. These proteins, which are packed with essential amino acids, rally round in making whey protein which is very effective in maintaining lean muscles.

To quote Katsanos, Assistant Professor at the Center for Metabolic Biology: “Ingesting whey protein is much more effective than taking an equivalent amount of amino acids as a supplement.” This is believed to be so as whey also invigorates blood insulin levels. For example if you take as little as 15g of whey protein post exercise, you will recuperate lean muscle build-up more efficiently as compared to that by taking a supplement containing the same amount of amino acids.

Read here to learn how an elderly person can increase his or her protein intake

Exercise And Diet Go Hand In Hand

You need to remember always that just supplementing your diet with protein will not stop muscle loss / muscle wasting and make your body lean muscular. In the words of Dr. Alan Hayes, resistance training or physical exercise also can play an important role in delaying “Sarcopenia”. Whey protein gives much-much better results if taken with in an hour after exercise. Amino acid levels in the blood are boosted at a time when your muscle tissues are in best capacity to use them most effectively.  It’s the best way to delay muscle wasting.

Do you take Whey Protein? If yes, please do share your experience with us.

Should You Workout In Old Age?

3 COMMENTS

  1. For the past 8 months I have been adding whey protein and a teaspoon of creatine to my post workout (breakfast) shake. Alternating running/home workout days with gym days with 1 or 2 rest days during a typical week. My core is now like a grid of steel and I have gained more lean muscle this year than in in my 30’s (I am 64). In addition to building strength, I have been correcting muscle imbalances acquired by years of mindless gym visits without a proper plan. Don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t possible to gain muscle after 50.

    • @ William:

      Thanks for your input and totally agree with you. It’s more important to workout in old age to build and maintain muscles. And as our normal foods don’t meet our bodies’ protein requirement, so one should consider seriously taking whey protein.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here