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Strength & Longevity with Muscle Mass

When optimizing our health and longevity, prioritizing muscle mass and muscle strength are critically important considerations.  Our muscle mass, and strength decline with age. The changes that occur to our muscles as we age can be profound.  These changes, as we will discuss, can have dramatic effects on our health.  Muscle mass starts to diminish as early as our 40’s.  That’s not old! 

Muscle mass loss and the corresponding decreases in muscle strength ramp up dramatically as we enter our 60’s.  If we do not prioritize our muscle strength and muscle mass when we are younger, then the risks of muscle loss multiply and are harder to overcome as we age. This post is going to cover how muscle mass affects our overall health, why we lose muscle as we age, and how we can fight back against these changes. 

Muscle mass and protein synthesis are in a constant state of flux.  Our body is continually breaking down muscle protein (MPB), and rebuilding or synthesizing muscle protein (MPS).  When MPB exceeds MPS, we start to lose muscle mass. This occurs on a micro-level (daily shifts) and a macro level (long term shifts).   Every night, our MPB exceeds our MPS.  That’s how rapidly this system changes.  Achieving a situation where muscle protein synthesis exceeds muscle protein breakdown is essential to combat the changes that occur with aging and inactivity.  

Building muscle mass is a very complex topic, but can be simplified for this discussion and format.  The three areas that we are going to focus on are: 

  1. Diet and appropriate protein intake. 
  2. Resistance exercise
  3. Dietary supplements to enhance muscle mass and muscle protein synthesis.