Put on muscle for a better physique by making sure you get enough protein—the building block of muscle that keeps you lean. If you are over age 35, you must get adequate protein intake because your body won’t respond to training stimulus in the same way as when you were 20 unless you get enough protein.
A new study in the European Jouranl of Applied Physiology compared the effect of a 21-week training program on muscle gains in untrained young (age 26) and older (age 61) men. The training program was a typical periodized hypertrophy program, and food diaries were done in order to identify how protein intake affected muscle development.
Results showed that the younger men gained significantly more muscle than the older men, and they increased size in the type 2 fibers much more than the older men. The older men experienced a “trend toward statistical significance” for growth in the type 1 fibers, but not the type 2 fibers. A primary contributor to the older men’s inability to put on as much muscle as the younger men was a much lower daily protein intake.
The food diaries showed that the younger men ate more total calories and double the protein of the older men (1.6 g/kg/bw/day for younger men and 0.8 g/kg/bw/day protein for the older men), which is a principal reason they didn’t gain as much muscle. Previous studies have shown that in this older population, a greater protein intake is necessary (in the range of 1.5-2 g/kg/bw) to put on muscle. In addition, the older population needs to get extra intake of one essential amino acid—leucine.
This amino acid is necessary to activate the main protein synthesis pathway, called mTOR, and without enough leucine, you folks (ladies too!) over 35 won’t get all that you can out of your hard work. Consider taking leucine-enriched whey protein or branched-chain amino acids, which include leucine—to up your amino acid intake and be sure to eat high-quality protein at every meal.
For more nutrition tips to support muscle development, check out the tip New Tips for Post-Workout Nutrition Don’t Let Your Hard Work Go to Waste ( http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Blog/tabid/130/EntryId/1478/Tip-416-New-Tips-For-Post-Workout-Nutrition-Don-t-Let-Your-Hard-Work-Go-to-Waste.aspx )
Mero, A., Hulmi, J., t al. Resistance training Induced Increase in Muscle Fiber Size in young and Older Men. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2012. Published Ahead of Print.