6 Eating Habits for Muscle Gain as You Age

There are more important reasons to retain muscle as you age than looking good in a T-shirt and avoiding "bat wings." Loss of metabolically active muscle tissue over decades is linked to chronic health conditions like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, frailty, fatigue, and falls.

Vitamin up.

Vitamin-rich foods help build and regain muscle as you age. If you can't get these vitamins from food, ask your doctor about supplements.

2. Eat enough macros.

Dieters restrict their calorie intake. However, you need fuel to power resistance exercise and build muscle, so this can backfire. Don't skip any of the three macronutrients.

3. Always eat protein.

Daily protein intake of 1.2–1.6 grammes per kilogramme. 88–117 grammes of protein for a 160-pound person. Need ideas for adding this nutrient to your favourite meals? High-protein recipes can boost metabolism.

Complete proteins.

"They contain all the amino acids needed to build muscle. Eggs, lean beef, poultry, seafood, cottage cheese, milk, and Greek yoghurt are good sources of complete protein. Animal foods contain leucine, which stimulates muscle cell production."

5. Eat good carbs.

Whole grains, legumes, dairy, fruits, and vegetables help build muscle. Carbs, the body's preferred energy source, provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre. Carbs also rescue protein.

6. Prepare to grow.

"Ideally, you have a whey protein shake or equivalent source of protein 15–30 minutes after your workout,  "Post-workout chocolate milk has the right balance of carbs, fats, and proteins for muscle recovery."

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