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According to the Mayo Clinic, men and women lose between 3% and 8% of their muscle mass per decade after age 30 in a process called sarcopenia. Without a proper exercise and diet to counteract this decline, most people will experience a drastic reduction in function, overall strength and muscle mass that compounds year after year. When muscle mass declines, body fat percentage typically rises and with that, a host of other problems, including weaker bones, joints stiffness and even shrinking height.

 

The number one way to stave off these aging effects as long as you can is to start a strength training program and to support it with a diet full of healthy proteins and muscle building supplements. Here are 3 muscle-building supplements you should consider taking today.

 

Plant Protein Powder

 

While whey protein powder is often considered the gold standard of protein supplements, it is derived from the cheese-making process and is considered a dairy product. Dairy contains lactose and for many people that leads to bloating, irritation and stomach problems. With that in mind, we recommend a high quality plant-protein-based powder. Protein supplementation is important because it can help you build muscle, produce enzymes and hormones, repair muscle tissue and can act as a meal replacement to curb overeating.

Plant-based protein powders are made from a wide variety of vegan sources: peas, pumpkins, sunflower seeds, quinoa, chia, flax seeds and many more.

What you want to look for in a plant-based protein powder is a mix that is low carb (under 1 gram per serving), around 100 calories per serving and at least 20 grams of protein per scoop.

 

Creatine

 

You’ve likely heard about athletes from the high school to the professional level supplementing with Creatine – and for good reason. Creatine is the energy supplier to your muscles and is vital to your muscles’ performance and strength. And there are at least four potential benefits to taking Creatine:

 

1)   Increases energy during workouts which may improve performance

2)   May aid in recovery after high-level exercise routines

3)   Allows athletes to train with heavier weights

4)   May increase in the building of muscle mass after workouts

 

There are a number of ways you can ingest Creatine. You can consume it as part of your diet, as Creatine is present in lean meats, seafood and even milk if you choose to drink it. Your body can also make it naturally in your kidneys and liver, before it is distributed to the rest of your body.

 

The final way that you can ingest Creatine is through supplementation. Most Creatine supplements are in the form of Creatine monohydrate. An average supplement will offer 1 teaspoon per serving of 5mg of Creatine. There are no carbohydrates, fats or protein involved.

 

Some Creatine supplements will include BCAA (branched chain amino acids) or glutamine and other supplements, but for staving off muscle loss, basic Creatine should be fine. You can drink it with plain water or mix a scoop into your favorite healthy drink or smoothie.

*Provider Tip: While supplementing with creatine, you should always make sure to drink plenty of water to avoid side effects, which could include muscle discomfort, diarrhea, weight gain, hypertension, liver and kidney problems as well as dizziness. Some individuals taking creatine may experience weight gain due to water retention. It is recommended that you should only take dietary supplements or herbs under the supervision of a healthcare provider to make sure a supplement is safe for you.  

 

Urolithin-A

 

A supplement that you may not have heard of, but that has shown some promise in extending muscle endurance in aging adults is Urolithin-A. UA is a natural gut microbiome-derived food metabolite, that works to improve mitochondrial health and bolster skeleton strength.

 

One specific study in the Journal of American Medicine showed that, “1,000mg of urolithin A had a significant improvement in muscle endurance (number of muscle contractions until fatigue) for both hand and leg skeletal muscles compared with those who used placebo.”

 

Urolithin-A is often sold in simple capsule form and can be taken with other vitamins with food.

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