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1: Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1344-52.

Inadequate Protein Intake Affects Skeletal Muscle Transcript Profiles In Older Humans.

Thalacker-Mercer AE, Fleet JC, Craig BA, Carnell NS, Campbell WW.
Department of Foods & Nutrition, Purdue University

Dr Levin's Comment:

The bottom line here is to insure that you are ingesting adequate protein and performing weight resistance exercise. This will help you stay fit and strong, as you get older. Too many of our older brethren are unable to enjoy activities such as golf, tennis, hiking or even playing with the grandchildren, because they are just too weak. This often happens because they simply have not protected their muscle tissue.

How do I protect my muscle tissue?

Protect your muscle tissue by eating every 3 hours. This is critical. It doesn't have to be much.

A handful of nuts and raisins might do it. Or try a salad with some chicken. An apple and some low fat cheese, or half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich might tickle your fancy (all natural peanut butter and whole grain bread please). Just try to get a bit of protein in the snack.

Why is this critical?

If you don't eat every 3 hours your body will enter into a state called gluconeogenisis. Your pituitary gland will send a message to your adrenal glands to secrete hormones which break down muscle tissue into glucose and amino acids. The glucose then provides fuel for your nervous system
and red bloods cells (fat can not be converted to glucose). This is a disaster, especially as one gets older, as we tend to lose muscle tissue as a natural part of aging. Every time your body enters into gluconeogenisis, the muscle wasting process is sped up.

If you're worried about gaining weight, eat less at your 3 large meals. You don't have to load up on food if you know a snack is on the way in 3 hours.

Skipping breakfast is an especially bad habit. Your body has no fuel to burn and breaks down muscle tissue to fuel its need for glucose.

Many people find the use of meal replacement shakes and bars to be helpful as their snacks. All of the bars and shakes on this site have the right mix of protein, complex carbs and good fats to protect muscle tissue and power you through your busy day.

Eat every 3 hours and perform weight resistance training at least 3 times a week!

Dr. Neil Levin
Chiropractor practicing in East Northport, NY
(631) 651-2929