test-Starting at Age 40, Protein Becomes a More Important Part of Your Diet
Food & Nutrition
Starting at Age 40, Protein Becomes a More Important Part of Your Diet
Lee Swanson • April 16, 2014

Dear Friends,

I'm back this week with another video from my friend, Dr. Joel Baumgartner, M.D. In this short installment, Dr. Baumgartner talks about protein and how important it is as we age. Now, I know a lot of younger people stock up on protein powders, protein bars and other protein supplements to have on hand to use before, during and after their workouts in the gym. But I'm concerned that us older generations are not paying as much attention to our protein intake (and source of protein intake) as we should. I encourage you to watch this short video to hear what Dr. Baumgartner recommends...



Video Transcript:


I'd like to talk a little bit about protein. I mean I love protein. I eat a lot of protein. But I eat the amount of protein that my body needs to function maximally. So I want to get a little bit into that at the end of this but what I really want to talk about, too, is as we're aging, is protein more important or is it less important?

If you look at the studies it really does show that as we age as a population our protein consumptions are decreasing. A lot of it is because oh, you know, I don't want to put the weight on. Or you know, I don't like the taste of protein. It doesn't taste good in my mouth anymore. So people are making more choices with the breads and the pastas and the other stuff.

But unfortunately the studies are showing that as we age, every decade as we age we're losing up to 10% of our muscle strength. So that starts at about age 40 going on. So if you do the math, by the time you're 60, 70, you could have lost 30 to 40% of your muscle mass. It's getting converted over to fat or something else. So what's important is that as we age we realize that our protein sources are very, very important. So number 1, you want to get a good protein source.

I recommend for most aging males is a whey protein. A whey protein is a very great source of protein. It's milk derived, it takes out all the lactose and all the stuff that people could have allergies to and it's just a pure protein source that's very high in essential amino acids. You need essential amino acids for your body to make more hormones like testosterone and growth hormone. You also need those essential acids for your body to heal and repair. That's the whole thing about decreasing the aging process is to do things to your body that decrease the breakdown increasing the repair.

So getting a good whey protein is a great thing to do. The other thing that's essential for us, starting from age 30 on up or even younger, is that we start putting some resistance type exercises into our program. The more you do resistance training, which can be as simple as some wall squats or some pushups, is it causes muscle to breakdown. But when muscle breaks down, you give it that good protein as a supplement, your body's going to actually repair itself to become stronger.

So I do it again the next day. I break myself down, I work out a little bit, the body repairs itself with good protein supplementation to a stronger point. So again you have to look at the numbers. So when the numbers come down to it, as a young person and even into the elderly, I'm recommending about .8 to 1 gram per pound of body weight.

So say I come in, I'm the average guy, I weigh 170 to 190 pounds. I should be getting somewhere between 140 to 170 grams of protein a day for my body to maintain that muscle balance. Anybody that's getting less than that, less than a hundred, especially for a male, is actually going to become what's called sarcopenic. That means your body's going to be breaking down your muscle, which leads to more frailty, more injuries and just less vitality. So make sure you're getting your amount of protein and just keep your body young and strong by working out as well.