Most people, when they hit 50, and definitely when they hit 60 or 70, start to lose muscle mass and strength. And most of them think this is just a matter of aging.
But, while aging is definitely a factor here, there is much more going on that is speeding up this process.
I’m 74 years old and I still run in Ironman Triathlons.
I’m strong, I’m lean, and I have more energy than many people half my age. And I’m not alone in this.
So, obviously, age isn’t quite the factor most people think.
But there are key differences between those of us who still keep our muscle and strength, and those of us who don’t. And they’re not genetic.
They’re points that anyone can apply to themselves to start increasing strength and muscle mass again, no matter how old they are.
We can still live the lives we want and do the activities we want to do.
So let’s dive in and see what’s happening here and what we can do about it.
THE KEY FACTORS OF BUILDING MUSCLE AT ANY AGE
When we look at preventing muscle loss as we age, we need to look at three main areas:
What are the key things needed to build muscle.
What are the factors preventing us from building muscle.
And what is breaking down the muscle we already have.
Each of these points play a large role and must be addressed to prevent muscle loss in our 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond.
And each is interdependent with the rest. So we don’t just address one aspect — we address them all.
First, let’s look at the basics of building muscle. And from there we’ll see what then prevents this or makes us go backwards in our gains.
THE BASICS OF BUILDING LEAN MUSCLE
We know that growth in any muscle is triggered by exercise of that muscle. If the body has no reason to add muscle tissue there, it won’t.
So if we want to build our biceps, we need to do exercises like dumbbell curls or chin-ups which target those specific muscles.
This does two things.
First, it damages the muscle tissue we do have, triggering the release of growth hormone and testosterone.
These hormones then direct the use of essential amino acids, fatty acids, and various minerals and vitamins to help repair damaged cells, or to give our stem cells what they need in order to divide and form new muscle cells.
This means we also need amino acids, healthy fatty acids and vitamins in our blood stream in the quantity necessary to fully repair and grow new muscle tissue.
Secondly, this exercise tells our body that we don’t have enough muscle tissue to keep up with the strain we’re putting on it, and so more must be added.
So we workout, we eat our protein and healthy fats, take our vitamins, get good sleep for recovery (sleep is when growth hormone is released the most, and when most muscle growth occurs), and so we build lots of muscle, right?
Mmm… If that were true, you wouldn’t have bothered to read this.
It is true when we’re younger. But things change as we get older, and it can become much harder or almost impossible.
To see what’s happening here we need to back up a step.
POOR DIGESTION, PROTEINS & BUILDING MUSCLE
Proteins are the building blocks of our muscle. They form the entire structure.
They’re also needed for our body to make growth hormone, testosterone and any of the other hormones necessary in our body.
But just eating more protein won’t help us. This is because of how protein digestion works.
Proteins are just long chains of amino acids all hooked together. They’re nothing else.
But when you eat protein, your stomach doesn’t break it down into “protein amino acid chains” and use these in the body. It breaks these chains apart, until there is nothing left but individual amino acids.
So if you had a long chain of beads on a string, every bead would have to be cut.
The body then takes the essential amino acids from these aminos and, with them, connects them together into new proteins in the forms our body needs.
But they have to be broken down fully first. If the proteins aren’t broken down into individual amino acids, even if they’re just two amino acids stuck together still, mostly broken down but not quite… your body can’t use them — at all.
In this case, these partial amino acid chains enter the bloodstream and cause trouble in the body, or leave our body through our waste.
And that’s the key problem here. As we age, one of the first things that can stop working properly is our digestive system.
Your stomach is supposed to be very acidic. Very. When it is, these proteins are fully broken down into individual amino acids. Or, at least, enough of them are. And your body can use them to build new proteins for muscle.
But when our stomach isn’t acidic enough, the proteins aren’t fully broken down into a usable state and we don’t get the amino acids we need from them.
We could eat twice as much protein as we used to, but our body is still not receiving what it needs to make new proteins in the body.
So we have trouble building muscle or repairing damage to tissue from workouts or through injury.
How do we know if our stomach isn’t up to par? One key way is whether or not we get heartburn or indigestion.
ACID REFLUX & HEARTBURN DON’T COME FROM TOO MUCH STOMACH ACID
Most people think that acid reflux and heartburn come from too much stomach acid and this isn’t the case. It comes from too little stomach acid.
If the stomach isn’t acidic enough, the food stays in it longer and goes rancid. Then it bubbles up, burning our esophagus.
Many people take acid neutralizers or acid blockers for this, to make their stomach less acidic and so calm the heartburn. But this has an opposite effect. Because, over time, we’re making our stomach less and less acidic, causing food to stay in it longer and keeping the acid reflux going.
And we’re also ensuring we don’t get the amino acids we need from the proteins we eat.
So that’s one point, and it’s quite key. For many people, just getting off the acid blockers and fixing our digestion can lead to a significant increase in muscle and strength. Because the body is now getting what it needs to build new muscle.
But there’s more.
Because, while digestion can affect our ability to break down proteins into amino acids so they can be used, there’s another factor that can prevent their use entirely.
CORTISOL BREAKS DOWN MUSCLE TISSUE & PREVENTS PROTEIN SYNTHESIS
While growth hormone and testosterone tell your cells and stem cells to take in amino acids so they have what they need to either repair themselves or create new cells, there’s another hormone that does the exact opposite.
Where GH and testosterone work to repair and build, cortisol works to break down and stop the building of.
These hormones act on a sort of seesaw. When GH and testosterone are high, cortisol is low. When cortisol raises, GH and testosterone decrease.
Cortisol is the “stress” hormone. It wakes you up in the morning or, if still in your blood stream, keeps you up at night. It gives you adrenaline to get through emergencies and works to conserve and build up energy sources like sugar and body fat.
It does this so much that, when cortisol levels are high in our body, it directs that we do not use our stored sugar or body fat for energy, but that we break back down the proteins in our muscle into the amino acids that make them up, and convert them into energy, thus causing our muscle to decrease in size and strength.
And it prevents the forming of new proteins.
What causes high levels of cortisol?
Keys things are processed sugars, processed, packaged foods that are high in omega 6 fatty acids, toxins in our foods and water, bacterial infections or harmful bacteria in our gut and lack of sleep.
HOW DO WE REVERSE MUSCLE LOSS
When we get off the processed sugars and foods, take omega 3 fatty acids which help to lower cortisol levels, and stop the toxins from coming in, then the harmful bacteria in our gut don’t have the food they need and are easy to kill off.
Also, when our stomach is very acidic, it kills off these harmful bacteria as they come in.
So the first thing we need to do is come off any acid blockers or acid neutralizers. We can’t build back muscle when those are there preventing the proper break down of proteins into amino acids our body can use.
We need to take Digestive Enzymes with our meals to ensure the proteins and minerals we consume are fully broken down so they can be used, and so harmful bacteria are killed off before they can make it into our intestines.
We need to come off any processed sugars and foods and start eating real foods — organic and grass-fed.
We need to start working out, even if on a mild basis. This tells our body it needs to start adding muscle.
We need to take 4 servings per day of PerfectAmino, 2 in the morning and 2 before our workout or a few hours before bed. These are amino acids in an exact form that is fully utilized by the body no matter the state of our digestive system.
So we’re getting the protein we need while we heal our digestive tract.
We need to get enough Sleep for recovery. It’s during our sleep that growth hormone and testosterone are released the most, and when most of our muscle repair and muscle building occurs.
We need to take Omega 3 Fatty Acids to help lower the cortisol levels.
We need to make sure we’re eating organic and that our water is fully filtered to remove toxins. Metal Free & Chemical Cleanse then help to remove the toxins that have build up inside of us.
And we need to kill off the harmful bacteria that have made their home in our intestine. Bio Clear was created specifically for this and does a fantastic job of it.
If you do this, I guarantee that in as little as a few weeks you will start noticing increases in energy, strength and muscle.
And it will keep increasing.
Try it. You’ll be amazed how you feel.
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