As we become older, it becomes more difficult to create and maintain muscle. In reality, most of us begin to lose muscle mass around the age of 30. Physically inactive people are more vulnerable, losing between 3 and 8% of their lean muscle mass every decade after that.
This is owing to decreased testosterone levels in men and estrogen levels in women, both of which aid in muscle development. Other aspects include changes in nerve and blood cells, as well as how the body transforms proteins into muscle tissue. Muscular loss does not have to be unavoidable: adult men and women can increase and maintain muscle mass through regular resistance training exercises.
Benefits of Muscle-Strengthening Activities
At least twice a week, men and women should engage in muscular strengthening activities that target the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms). Lifting weights, using resistance bands, and practicing push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and some types of yoga are all examples of muscle building activities. Muscles can be strengthened by everyday activities such as carrying groceries, playing with your children, and gardening.
Good nutrition is a key part of supporting strength development. Protein, carbohydrate, and fat-rich foods, as well as getting adequate calories throughout the day, are important. Continue reading to learn how each macronutrient might benefit you, as well as an estimate of how much to eat each day.
Protein and Muscle-Building
Isn't it true that the more protein you consume, the better? Certainly not. Adults should consume 10 to 35 percent of their total calories from protein. Your demands may be on the higher end of this range if you're trying to gain muscle through physical activity. Maintaining muscle mass, on the other hand, necessitates less protein than muscular growth.
To help you attain that target, aim for three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy and three ounce-equivalents of protein items (such as fish, beans, chicken, or lean meat) every day. Grains, particularly whole grains, supply some protein, but not enough to meet protein requirements on their own.
Carbohydrates and Muscle-Building
Carbohydrates are yet another key source of energy for your muscles. Because carbohydrates are partially converted to glycogen, a type of energy stored in muscles, this is the case. This energy aids in the performance of your workouts. Carbohydrates account for around half of the calories consumed by men and women each day. Focus on high-quality carbs with dietary fiber, such as whole-grain breads and cereals. Many dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, contain carbs as well. To limit saturated fat sources, use low-fat or fat-free dairy meals and beverages. Fruits and vegetables are also excellent choices. You may want to avoid eating high-fiber foods right before or during physical exercise when planning your meals and snacks.
Fat and Muscle-Building
During various forms of activities, your body relies on fat to provide energy to your muscles. The amount of fat a person requires varies. Fat should make up 20 to 35 percent of your total calories as a general rule.
Focus on sources of heart-healthy fats, such as vegetable oils like olive and canola oil, and avocados, for overall health and muscle power. Nuts and fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and trout, all of which are high in protein, also include healthy fats.
You can meet your nutrient demands by eating a variety of healthy foods every day. Consult a licensed dietitian nutritionist in your region for a personalized dietary plan.