Why do you lose muscle mass and strength while aging?
Why do you lose muscle mass and strength? Activity and dietary patterns play important roles in muscle maintenance, but they don’t paint the whole picture. Natural physiological shifts take place during aging that correlate to declines in muscle health, including the following:
1. Loss of nerve cells that tell the brain to move your muscles. Fast-twitch muscle fibers, which give you strength and mass, become smaller and fat infiltrates into the muscle.
2. Hormonal changes associated with muscle loss. Men lose testosterone, women lose estrogen, and both lose growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor.
3. Vascular changes. Blood vessel function becomes impaired, affecting the delivery of blood and nutrients to the muscles.
4. The body becomes slightly more acidic as the kidneys age. Acidic environments trigger protein breakdown.
While you may not be able to prevent all muscle loss but you sure can slam on the breaks. Incorporating a balanced diet with adequate protein and strength training are the best and only tools we have to combat muscle mass and strength losses.