How Muscle Mass is the Key to Longevity

How Muscle Mass is the Key to Longevity
Next Health Staff
March 11, 2024

Muscle = Longevity

One of the most impactful strategies to safeguard yourself from the effects of aging is to prioritize the health and maintenance of your skeletal muscles. These muscles not only support mobility but also play a crucial role in overall health and longevity.

Commencing muscle health efforts sooner rather than later is highly beneficial. As you age, preserving and building skeletal muscle becomes increasingly important.

Your survivability against various challenges is influenced by the health of your skeletal muscle.

When you're born, your body possesses a predetermined number of muscle fibers that can be developed and strengthened throughout your life. Strengthening these muscles serves as a reserve, potentially aiding in faster recovery in case of injury or illness, significantly enhancing your recuperative abilities.

The more muscle mass you possess, the lower your risk of all-cause mortality.

The profound impact of engaging in resistance and strength training as you age cannot be overstated. It brings about transformative changes in your life, not just physically but also in terms of overall well-being. These exercises offer a plethora of benefits that contribute to a healthier and more fulfilling life, enhancing vitality and resilience against the challenges of aging. By prioritizing the maintenance and strengthening of your skeletal muscles, you're not only investing in your present but also in a more resilient and robust future self.

Building Muscle: The Vital Role of Protein

A critical aspect of nurturing healthy muscle tissue lies in the consumption of protein. Protein stands as a fundamental requirement for nearly every bodily function and structure. The body relies on 20 different amino acids, of which nine are considered essential—histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These essential amino acids play multifaceted roles, acting as metabolic signals and serving as indispensable building blocks for numerous bodily processes.

However, not all proteins are created equal. The distinction between high-quality and lower-quality proteins based on their essential amino acid profiles. According to the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, proteins sourced from animals such as eggs, milk, meat, fish, and poultry boast the highest quality ratings among food sources. This superior quality is attributed to their completeness in providing essential amino acids.

But what does this mean for individuals following a plant-based diet? Is it feasible to obtain all the essential amino acids necessary for building and maintaining skeletal muscle solely through plant-based sources? While it is possible, it isn't necessarily straightforward.

Despite the presence of protein in plant-based diets, meeting the necessary amino acid requirements may prove more challenging and calorically demanding. Attention to crafting a well-balanced diet becomes imperative. For instance, ensuring sufficient intake of Leucine, which can be relatively scarce without animal protein, may pose a challenge. Nonetheless, the availability of high-quality vegan protein powders offers a viable solution to bridge this nutritional gap.

In summary, while building muscle and maintaining optimal health through a plant-based diet is achievable, it requires careful planning and attention to ensure adequate consumption of essential amino acids, or the supplementation through vegan protein alternatives to support muscle health and overall well-being.

How much protein do you need?

Next Health CEO & Founder, Dr. Darshan Shah recommends one gram of protein per bound of body weight. Therefore, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be eating 150 grams of protein on a daily basis.

More Ways to Support Muscle Mass and Aging Well

Below are some of the top ways to support muscle health and muscle recovery:

Infrared LED Therapy: When your cells absorb infrared, it makes them more active and functional, which increases the blood flow to muscles and tissues that need regrowth and regeneration. This can reduce inflammation and decrease your recovery time.

Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy helped reduce muscle pain in 80% of observed studies and improved athletic performance in 71% of studies sampled by the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: By creating an oxygen-rich environment, your cells gain the nutrients to improve efficacy, therefore, increasing blood flow to swollen and inflamed areas. This increase in blood flow delivers more healing and reparative cells to inflamed tissues, accelerating the rate at which inflammation can be reduced.

Muscle IV: The Muscle IV contains over a dozen key vitamins and minerals for muscle health, but most importantly it contains L-Carnitine for the growth of lean muscle, increased strength, and better performance in workouts.

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