Foods That Fight Series-Muscle Wasting
Building my muscular frame was key to me defeating my insecurity of being skinny. The reality of muscle wasting away at 3 to 5 percent each decade as I get older is hard to digest.
My research on this topic gave me hope as studies show that our nutrition and activity can reduce the chances of muscle wasting as we get older. So, my goal is to stay active and eat in a way that allows me to move and keep my muscles at a nice size. It’s not a vanity thing as we need muscles to move us around and I hope to stay mobile if I’m blessed to be an old man.
There is another element to the equation and that is hormones, but that is another blog topic. But for now, lets define what muscle wasting is.
What is Muscle Wasting?
Muscle wasting, also known as muscle atrophy, is when muscle tissue is lost either by the lack of physical activity or as the result of a disease or injury. Usually the disease or injury causes one to not be able to perform any physical activity which, then, leads to the loss of muscle tissue. Muscles, because of muscle wasting, appear smaller or thinner.
Activity, whether exercising or being mobile, is the main key to reducing the loss of muscle but this blog is about food, so I have chosen three foods that I believe are more commonly acceptable by the mass majority, foods that I eat, and foods that research shows can have a positive effect on combating muscle wasting.
Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fats, vitamin D, vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), and creatine. Studies show that salmon contains between 1.4 to 2.3 grams of creatine per pound. Creatine is important to muscle protein synthesis, repair, and growth. Vitamin D has been shown through numerous studies to influence muscle metabolism and function while omega 3 produces anti-inflammation properties.
Research suggest that high-protein and amino acid diets are ideal for people wanting to prevent or slow the effects of muscle wasting. I chose eggs out of the list given for protein sources because they contain almost every nutrient we need. Eggs contain vitamins A, B2, B5, B6, B12, D, E, K, Phosphorus, Folate, Selenium, Calcium, and Zinc. On top of this, omega 3 rich eggs contain omega 3 fats which could improve muscle protein uptake and reduced inflammation.
Almonds are a good source of vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) and the perfect blend of protein, good fats, and fiber. Almonds, and most nuts, provide an ideal platform for muscle growth and protect against free radicals because of its healthy nutrients such as L-arginine, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidant vitamins.
What can you do with this great information I just gave you? Well, I’m so glad you asked. Provided you don’t have any allergies or health related issues with the three foods mentioned here and your doctor is okay with you eating these, your mission is to find exciting and healthy ways to eat these foods. Here are some of my favorite ways:
Salmon: I love my salmon grilled with garlic butter. Although the most common way I eat my salmon in support of my workout meal plan is Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon packs over brown rice with some olive oil drizzled over it. I dash it with a little salt and pepper and enjoy. For tuna, eat it mostly as tuna salad over brown rice also with olive oil drizzled over it
Eggs: I eat eggs every day, mostly for breakfast. I enjoy my eggs scrambled, boiled, and fried in avocado oil.
Almonds: Instead of chips, grab some almonds. I like to keep a bag of almonds around for snacking throughout the day.
Brian "B-Rob" Robinson is a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach, Certified Life Strategies Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Youtuber, and co-founder of LEANWellonline. His YouTube channel is called thisisb-rob.
Calvani, R., Miccheli, A., Landi, F., Bossola, M., Cesari, M., Leeuwenburgh, C., Sieber, C. C., Bernabei, R., & Marzetti, E. (2013). Current nutritional recommendations and novel dietary strategies to manage sarcopenia. The Journal of frailty & aging, 2(1), 38–53.
Publishing, H. (n.d.). Preserve your muscle mass. Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/preserve-your-muscle-mass
Bone, M. (2020, June 16). How Can You Avoid Muscle Loss as You Age? Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-can-you-avoid-muscle-loss-as-you-age/
Ros E. (2010). Health benefits of nut consumption. Nutrients, 2(7), 652–682. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu2070652
Réhault-Godbert S, Guyot N, Nys Y. The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health. Nutrients. 2019; 11(3):684.