Sarcopenia, Protein and Ageing

As you get older, your body loses muscle mass, strength and tone. It's an inevitable part of the ageing process  and without intervention can result in frailty, falls and fractures in your senior years. 


In fact we lose around 10 per cent of our muscle mass every decade from our mid-thirties onwards. It’s due to things we can’t control like hormonal changes and reduced absorption of dietary protein, but we also eat less and exercise less, and that can put us at greater risk of age-related health conditions like obesity, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.

Age-related muscle loss, or sarcopenia, is defined as the loss of muscle mass, strength and functionality, and eventually impairs not only our health, but also our mobility and independence. However, with intervention, in the form of proper diet and exercise, muscle mass and strength can be maintained into old age. 

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Yet studies have shown that our body’s ability to absorb protein reduces as we age, so we need more protein to stimulate muscle growth. In fact, research suggests that the recommended daily intake for protein for the older age group be increased from 0.8-1.0g per kg body mass per day to at least 1.2g per kg per day. That’s around 90g for a typical 75kg adult. 

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But it turns out that your body can only metabolise around 30g at once; the rest is used as energy, stored as fat or processed as waste. So although you think you may be getting enough protein each day, most of that steak or fish or chicken for dinner is wasted. You’re better off spreading your protein intake throughout the day.

That’s why the 3x30g pattern has been recommended as a strategy to reduce muscle loss in older adults. Spreading the protein intake throughout the day, along with timing the consumption of protein within 90 minutes of exercise, "can maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis" resulting in muscle growth and recovery.

The reason is that it’s really the leucine - the amino acid building block of protein - that triggers muscle synthesis, and what’s more, as you age, you need more leucine - at least 3g per serve - for your body to start building and repairing muscle tissue.

Muscle Maintenance has been developed to support the maintenance of muscle mass as you age.

  1. The serve size is designed to give you 30g of protein, the optimum amount for your body's metabolism.

  2. The protein used, whey protein isolate, contains the highest proportion of leucine, which triggers muscle protein synthesis and contributes to muscle tissue growth and repair.

  3. The format is designed to make it easy to supplement your normal diet and spread your protein intake throughout the day.