Renewed push for protein in middle aged men and women
An absence of protein in daily meal consumption is responsible for several health problems showing up earlier in life, which can be obviated by making appropriate changes in the diet and allowing for an increase in our protein uptake.
One goes through a lot of phases with growing age, which further demands enough heed to be given to physiological changes and degenerative processes. It has been commonly seen that hormonal changes are quite normal in an individual’s body with passing age, and it holds a lot of significance for our health and well being.
Generally, in a male body, after the age of 35, the testosterone amount in the blood begins to fall. Whereas it has been found that in females, after menopause, the estrogen and progesterone levels start going down.
This reduction in hormones further leads to several problems such as dry skin, hair loss, brittle nails, fatigue, lethargy, lowering of mood, decreased libido, lowered muscle mass, slower metabolism, weaker bones and ligaments and susceptibility to fractures. Nevertheless, effective measures can be taken to cope with these symptoms and manage them well.
Essentially, an absence of protein in daily consumption is responsible for some of these problems. The two factors such as the ability to burn calories and produce energy hold a lot of relevance for controlling the metabolic rate of the body. Some of the most common symptoms arising out of a lack of sufficient protein consumption are a decrease in hormones such as thyroid hormone cortisol and epinephrine and the early onset of thin muscle mass or fat-free muscle.
In order to reverse the symptoms mentioned above, it is crucial that we make some of the changes in our diet. These could be in the form of:
• Intake of total protein
• Upsurge muscle activation
• Initiate the release of human growth
• Prevent early cell degeneration through antioxidants It is essential to track the stages and symptoms mentioned earlier, which will help in the prevention of muscle loss, metabolic drop and early aging. The complete protein intake for a middle-aged man or woman should be 1-1.2 gm of protein/kg of body weight. For example, females with a weight of 60 kg should have at least 60 gm protein. However, a man lifting weights four times a week should consume 90 gm of protein daily.
The usual protein sources are meat, eggs and fish for non-vegetarians and soya & oil seeds, nuts, cottage cheese and pulses for vegetarians. When it comes to the question of the correct time to consume, it is an established fact that each meal of the day should comprise a good amount of protein. However, early morning consumption of protein is good for health due to the presence of the amino
acid pool in the gut. Post workout, in order to keep the energy flow going, intake of protein is important. It strengthens the bio-availability and absorption of protein from the gut and helps in the development of hormones in the body.
Protein in every meal
In order to reduce blood sugar levels, consuming protein in each meal is vital as it leads to an upsurge in satiety and induces a persistent flow of amino acid. One thing to be noticed is that a deterioration in appetite has a very strong relationship with advancing age. People in middle age years are generally more prone to nutritional insufficiencies due to lesser intake of food, which further results in slowing down the metabolism. They should ideally increase their exercise activities along with an increase in the amount of food intake.
Another option is to go for powder-based protein, preferably supplements that eventually help in achieving the protein goals of the day. Supplements like whey protein, pea protein, casein protein, and collagen protein are available in milk/ water resolvable powders and play an important role in terms of protein unit consumption. They also complement our zinc, iron, magnesium and vitamin B consumption.
In addition, to avoid atrophy of muscles in the body, one should necessarily exercise. It is advisable to indulge in 45 minutes of exercise at least four times a week and also allow for an increased consumption of protein in the diet.
In middle-aged females, post-menopausal exposure to ligament tears, fractures and osteopenia increases. It is critical that they raise their collagen intake besides also carrying out strength building exercises. Ideally, to ensure an upsurge in protein consumption, each meal should encompass a protein source.
Significantly, in India, people are more prone to an excess of carbs in their meals. For instance, they generally tend to eat more of parantha, poha, rice and upma. It is suggested that they go for a little addition of protein intake such as cottage cheese and egg whites, which will make for a more healthy meal. Consumption of a good amount of protein enhances the skin of an individual noticeably. Interestingly, the other parts of the body such as nails and hair also start glowing and become less dry and relatively healthier. Protein consumption triggers sebum production in the body, which acts as a natural moisturizer for the skin. Managing the aging process also becomes easier and smoother.
One of the common misconceptions people have is that a rise in the consumption of protein has a negative impact on the kidney. However, research done in this regard has helped to debunk such fallacies while building the case for higher protein intake amongst the elderly.
As a medical practitioner, I need to recommend that protein intake is inadvisable for people with chronic renal problem. Nonetheless, for healthy grownups, the addition of protein in their meals will lead to a healthy and more effective functioning of the body.
Significantly, in India, people are more prone to an excess of carbs in their meals. For instance, they generally tend to eat more of parantha, poha, rice and upma. It is suggested that they go for a little addition of protein intake such as cottage cheese and egg whites, which will make for a more healthy meal.
The writer is Co-founder, Fitness & Nutritional Scientist – Food Darzee, a health and nutrition company that provides a unique customer experience combining nutrition, food, fitness, and impeccable customer service to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.