Strength and Power: How to Support and Repair Your Metabolism

by Deedra Mason, Director of Clinical Education & Research

Repairing metabolism is an important focus for rebuilding our core health and can improve our level of fitness in later decades of life. Through years of poor dietary choices, sedentary lifestyles or lack of targeted exercise, we lose muscle. Non-modifiable risk factor for loss muscle mass include: our advancing years, infirmity or disability and by some measure our gender due to menopause and/or andropause (decline of reproductive hormones associated with, but not limited to, age, stress, surgery and medications). A low ratio of muscle to fat may put you at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes and other health problems. Even if you don’t have frank muscle mass loss, called Sarcopenia, you may have loss if POWER.  This is called dynapenia and it’s a major concern through all decades of life.

Your focus, is to overcome these health and fitness challenges by rebuilding lost muscle mass, and youthful vitality or power via healthy protein and fat choices. When we support our body’ healthy aging, we improve our metabolism and support the elimination of toxins from our system. One of the side benefits of course is weight loss.

Your first step is to commit to choosing your food based on color and nutrient density. Choose plenty of protein and fat in its natural state to repair metabolism and support healthy hormones like glucose, insulin and leptin along with gender related hormones like Progesterone and Testosterone.

What about exercise? While many tend to look at health clubs and exercise programs as a luxury available to few, physical exercise is a necessity for all. Focus on “Inches loss” not “pounds lost”. A pound of muscle is about half as bulky as the same pound of fat. They are pound for pound the same weight, but muscle takes up less space ( inches) and is a tissue that can support: balance, strength, flexibility, a quick reaction time. If you have tried losing weight by cutting calories or participating in “diets” that do not include exercise, you have likely decreased lean muscle mass.

HOT TIP: Something you may want to add to your fitness and health regimen.

As aging occurs, the body’s ability to build and retain muscle tissue or size is reduced, which can result in weakness and frailty. With the addition of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) via supplementation Research has shown promotion of muscle retention in older adults. Additionally, BCAA’s during exercise, regardless of age, support muscle protein synthesis and inhibits protein catabolism (breakdown) and muscle fatigue, therefore fighting concerns of dynapenia.

Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are essential aminos, as they cannot be synthesized by the human body and, therefore, must be consumed orally. Unlike other amino acids, BCAA are used primarily by skeletal muscle, and make up 30-35 percent of the muscle tissue itself. By rebuilding our muscle mass through exercise and a healthy lifestyle, including BCAA’s-we can optimize our health and our longevity.

There is no one trigger for disease; therefore your approach to well-being should be diverse.