10 Studies: Protein Intake and Strength Training After 50

Protein intake and strength training together are your dynamic duo for aging and loving it. 

1) Protein was the determining factor when high or low carbohydrate intake did n’t have an impact on successful aging. “Successful” was determined by an integrated rating of social, physical, and mental performance.

2) In a 2018 review of literature of protein intake influence on aging researchers reported: “Currently recommended protein intake for aging adults may not be sufficient for muscle mass and strength maintenance.

To minimize the adverse health and environmental effects of excess animal protein consumption, incorporation of sustainably sourced plant proteins may be a promising strategy.”

I’ll link to previous conversations about the animal and plant protein dilemma.

3) Very high protein intake (≥1.2 g/kg/day) and high protein intake (≥1.0 g/kg/day) groups showed better lower limb physical functioning and walking speed (WS) performance in comparison to individuals who present relative low protein (<0.80 g/kg/day) intake.

4) Women below the higher RDA protein threshold had a significantly (p < 0.05) higher likelihood of having physical limitations (compared to higher RDA threshold). Additionally, they had significant differences in muscle mass.

In conclusion, the present study supports the RDA threshold of 0.8 g·kg-1 BW of proteins to prevent the loss of muscle mass and emphasizes the importance of the higher RDA threshold of at least 1.1 g·kg-1 BW to infer additional benefits on constructs of physical function.

This study also supports the role of protein intake for healthy aging, even in older adults meeting guidelines for physical activity. (Several studies point to protein needs increasing for sedentary and frail older adults).

5) Physical inactivity and inadequate nutrition (undereating or overeating the wrong things) accelerate age-related decrease in muscle mass and strength. The good news is that this status is subject to modification.

Physical activity/exercise guidelines need to make specific reference to resistance exercise and highlight the benefits of higher-intensity aerobic exercise training, alongside advocating older adults perform aerobic-based physical activity and household tasks (e.g., carrying groceries).

In terms of dietary recommendations, greater emphasis should be placed on optimal rather than minimum protein intake for older adults.

Guidelines that endorse a daily protein intake of 1.2-1.5 g/kg BM/day, which are levels 50-90% greater than the current protein Recommendation Dietary Allowance (0.8 g/kg BM/day), are likely to help preserve muscle mass and strength and are safe for healthy older adults.

Increasing the proportion of leucine contained in a given dose of protein, co-ingesting other nutrients (e.g., carbohydrate and fat or supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids) or being physically active prior to protein intake. These things are known to enhance muscle protein synthesis.

resource mentioned: The Protein Report

Increase Muscle Protein Synthesis:

  • Exercise before protein
  • Add carbohydrate and fat with protein (support absorption)
  • Increase amount of leucine to about 2.3 mcg per serving of protein

What does 1.5 g/kg equal?

1.5 g/kg

125 lbs = 57 kg

85 gm protein

28.5 gm protein

 

150 lbs = 68 kg

102 gm protein

34 grams per meal

This episode is sponsored by the 28 Day Kickstart

6) Minerals may be important nutrients to prevent and/or treat sarcopenia (significant muscle loss). Particularly, magnesium, selenium, and calcium seem to be most promising.

7) An increasing body of experimental studies on skeletal muscle protein metabolism as well as epidemiological data suggest that protein requirements with aging might be greater than many current dietary recommendations. 

Studies that compared muscle protein synthetic (MPS) responses to protein ingestion in young and old adults suggest that a higher relative protein intake is required to maximally stimulate skeletal muscle MPS in the aged oldest old (85+).

Regular physical activity may preserve and even enhance the responsiveness of aging skeletal muscle to protein intake, until very advanced age. Message? Keep exercising in order to keep protein synthesis optimal and stay youthful.

8) Studies investigated a total of 50,284 older adults from three different continents between 2006 and 2018. Four cross-sectional studies were included in the meta-analyses. The results demonstrated that a high protein intake was negatively associated with frailty status in older adults.

A distribution of protein intake spread evening over the main meals is better associated with gait speed than relative protein intake  – aka it is NOT about how much per day but how much at every meal.

The study found frequent consumption of meals containing at least 30 g of protein was associated with greater lean mass and lower-limb muscle strength in middle-aged and older adults. Read: greater lean mass = lower body fat.

9) Another study found that more frequent consumption of meals containing between 30 and 45 g protein/meal produced the greatest association with leg lean mass and strength. Thus, the consumption of 1-2 daily meals with protein content from 30 to 45 g may be an important strategy for increasing and/or maintaining lean body mass and muscle strength with aging.

10) Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) and frequency of protein consumption of ⩾30 g of protein per meal were independently associated with lower extremity lean mass and strength.

Study subjects had protein intake of at least 2 meals a day of 30 + grams of protein.

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29687264

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/3/360/htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30235845

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30149519

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26878863

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28711425

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30037048

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30235893

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27086196/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28656974

If you’re seeing this on iTunes or YouTube or where you get podcasts, visit the show notes at

Flippingfifty.com/proteinandstrength

Other resources: 

Why it’s so hard to choose protein

Is a Slow Metabolism Key to Longevity?

Join me as I read from the You Still Got It, Girl! The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women. From preface, to forward and introduction I share words of Dr. Pamela Peeke, PEW scholar and my own for you to enjoy, share, and get inspired about a new direction for yourself right now.

The book, and the course (which I shamelessly tease- and offer you special incentive to get in on using code: 50fitness) are both based on 7 key areas that integrated will get you optimal results in natural hormone balance and aging loving every step.

after 50 fitnessIn this episode you’ll get a glimpse of why I wrote this book, and how the research I’d done for decades then dove deep into for two years even became a book. You’ll hear how I had to rely on my own village to get through some tough times.

You’ll hear how I share science… with humor so it matters and you remember it. Science is oh, so important but without an emotional tie to it we just have more facts to stuff inside our overwhelmed minds.

After 50 fitness changes. Not because you’re delicate or broken. You won’t hear me say or get my support on taking it easy because you’re 50 or 60 or 70 or any number you choose.

Things do change. But your capacity for hard work or play does not. Unless you spend too much time telling yourself that as you rock in a chair I propose is best used for kindling.

After 50 fitness is exciting. You can be in charge of your future health and avoid disease with the use of fitness, and food, as medicine.

After 50 fitness is simply then, about getting the dose frequency and timing right. Some people are allergic to some medications. You aren’t allergic to exercise, but you may respond to some better than others.

Please share your personal experience with fitness after 50 in the comments. I love to hear from you!

For additional support, use code: 50fitness to enjoy my gift of 15% off the After 50 Fitness Formula for Women course.  

after 50 fitness[expires 11:59pm MST Feb 28, 2019] not combinable with other offers

Today’s show notes are available at https://www.flippingfifty.com/youstillgotitgirl

Testing to Reach Your Health Potential

When you were 20 you had your whole life in front of you. You were testing limits. All that really mattered was the weekend. The formal. Who to ask to the formal or who would ask you. The next exam or paper that was due. And you’re workouts were about running past the frats where the guys were throwing Frisbees. You had all the time in the world.

After 50, testing is about medical rights of passage when you get your bone scan, your colonoscopy, and marked by less frequent OBGYN tests. Except when you want to either solve a mystery or you want to nail this aging thing like a lady boss.

I’m of the former when it calls for it and the latter all the time.

This post is in response to the frequently asked questions our community is asking about what, why, and how testing is the way to answers.

First and foremost, there’s self-testing. I’m all for it and I’m for it no matter what else you do. Your body and how you feel never lies. So whether it’s how you exercise, how much sleep you need, or how you respond to different foods, testing your response is a must.

testingWhat other testing should you do?

There are three areas where I personally and as a coach recommend testing: micronutrients, hormones, and DNA. I’ll start in reverse order.

DNA Testing

This is from Jan, who recently had her DNA tested and spent time with me talking about what results could mean combined with her signs and symptoms (energy, sleep, results from exercise, past health “numbers”):

“I wanted to share with you what I got done and the results after we discussed my DNA report. 

I had my women’s yearly wellness exam – PAP smear- and it was negative. I was able to have my GYN order my lipid panel, Mammogram, Thyroid, Vitamin D and DexaScan. 

He called me back today and let me know that my Cholesterol was XXX and LDL was XXX- both have gone down since doing your program! yippee!! They aren’t perfect, still working on them.

My Thyroid is off and he suggested either further testing or seeing a Primary Care Provider- since he does not specialize in this area.

My Dexascan report said that both my hips were good – He asked if I exercised and I proudly said YES!!- and he said that was definitely why they were good!!

He also said the Dexascan showed I have slight osteopenia in my Lumbar area and recommended that I start taking Calcium with Vitamin D.

My mammogram also had negative findings!!  

So- I will be seeing another Physician to go over my lipid panel and my Thyroid to discuss where I need to go from here. I am so happy I got my DNA testing done to see what else I needed to do and what I should we looking at for my fitness and health journey!”

I share this with you so you can see some of the benefit of the DNA testing. Results are best used in combination with other pieces of information. DNA is not going to change, but the other things you’re doing can so you take advantage of the insight you gain, data from past results when you’ve exercised or altered your diet, to know what steps to take.

It can offer more insight when you next see your health care practitioner for annual check ups so you take full advantage of the opportunity to ask for tests in that short time you may have with your physician.

For other clients, DNA has been a way to gather details for how to optimize habits for aging better.

When I review DNA testing with someone I cover specific areas:

testingI have used my DNA results in two ways:

1) I’ve altered my workouts slightly and skewed them a little more toward endurance exercise again (not at the cost of bone and metabolism benefits of strength training). I integrate hormone balance exercise practices with the DNA info to arrive at the best weekly schedule for myself just as I would for any client.

2) I’ve reduced my fat intake in favor of a few more carbohydrates. Those two changes alone have resulted in a boost of energy during workouts and effortless loss of a few pounds and inches.

While DNA may seem like just nice-to-know information it actually points to small daily changes that make a big difference.

I also followed up with a micronutrients test and added a few lesser know supplements to reduce an inflammatory marker I’m predisposed for (thanks mom!). After a few months of consistently taking the right supplements, my homocysteine level is down.

Compliance

No one loves to take supplements. So it’s easy to skip, “forget,” or just not buy into the need. When you test, see levels of a micronutrient that are below optimal and you can tie them to a sign (of fatigue, or lack of sleep, slow metabolism, for instance) or to other numbers in my case like homocysteine (and hey, to a fitness professional that’s like an insult! How can I be at greater risk for heart disease!? Seeing it in the test results helps you help yourself.

=>Homocysteine is tied to heart disease. So even with good health habits, exercise, having identified foods that make me thrive and what I need to feel great day and night, that genetic piece was there. You don’t know what you don’t know and so you can’t do something as easy as adding a digestive enzyme daily to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Just because you have a predisposition for something – cholesterol, heart disease, dementia, or Alzheimer’s (all things a DNA test can show) – does NOT mean you have to go down that path. If you, like me, want to do everything to avoid disease and optimize your health, DNA testing can definitely be a way to discover what else you want to learn.

Seeing this in February? Because it’s Heart Health month and my own DNA revealed heart disease risk, but also helped me get in better shape by suggesting the fitness activity my body responds to quickly, please enjoy 20% off – only through the end of February. Use: HEART20 when you choose your test.

How: DNA testing is done with a swab of your cheeks. You’ll get a kit of cotton swabs complete with simple instructions and just need to mail the samples in for results. It may take several weeks but it’s a one and done – your genetics don’t change!

testing

Micronutrient Testing

Let’s say you’re average. (You’re so NOT by the way!) Seventy percent of the population is Vitamin D deficient, 80% is deficient in Magnesium, and 90% are deficient in Omega 3.

If you have something skewed in your blood tests, like me with high homocysteine levels, it may indicate a need for a specific micronutrient. In my case, B12 supports optimal homocysteine levels. So does Choline. My guess is if you’re reading this you don’t immediately think of Choline supplementation! Only a test that’s interpreted with a health coach or practitioner can suggest to you – in combination potentially with DNA testing, how to improve your levels.

You want optimal Choline especially if you’re exercising. Sixty-five percent of exercisers are deficient in Choline, especially if they limit protein. Decreased B6 and decreased selenium (also tied to thyroid issues) effect GABA (an amino acid tied to anxiety and depression), serotonin, and dopamine – all your mood-related hormones.

Stress and exercise deplete Vitamin D. Are you a woman who negates stress with exercise? It creates a challenging situation for micronutrients – unless you look under the hood. If you’re depressed or anxious, or you participate in “heavy” exercise, your B12 level definitely something to check.

Zinc deficiency is tied to thyroid issues.

If your CRP comes back high from a routine annual blood test, CoQ10 and Vitamin D are often deficient.

Magnesium deficiencies are tied to increased cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation.

Stress depletes Vitamin C. Those levels often need a supplement boost if you’re under additional stress, have frequent illness, and you need C for adequate dopamine levels (feel good hormones).

The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women includes the right individual dose of:

Exercise + Micronutrients + Recovery + Sleep + Stress + Hormones + Whol-stic Integration = You Still Got It, Girl!

Since 2015 when that book was written based on observing thousands of women who were exercising and either getting results or not getting results, I can add one more piece, the DNA. The collective whole of your puzzle pieces will include your genetics. They don’t control your outcome but then hint, very bluntly, at how to change your daily habits for the long game of a healthy life you love today and in decades.

Providing information about common deficiencies is a step in the right direction. Yet, supplementing without knowing your status and testing the outcome of a certain protocol (or amount of supplement) is not the most direct method to improve your health. Too much Omega 3 for instance can result in Vitamin E deficiency.

“Your complex.” A girl doesn’t forget a comment like that coming from a boy she likes. And yet, it’s true for me and for you.

Your health is based on the integration of everything you do. Nothing is as closely tied to health as nutrition. You make multiple nutrition decisions every day.

Things are no longer “not good for you.” They’re detrimental if they don’t support your health. If you’re over 50 you were raised on a kind of negotiations formula: if you eat this, then you can have that. Unfortunately, women still operating that way are often THE most frustrated. A woman admitted the other day – just after lamenting that she’d only lost 3-4 pounds in the last month – that she “treats” herself to several foods that she’s likely to be sensitive to every week, regularly.

There are fewer true mysteries than you might like to believe.

I know we’d all love to think moderation is still the rule. It’s not. What you do is either on solution side or the problem side. It may be on the 40-yard line or the 10-yard line but it’s not “neutral.” You change your score every time you make a choice.

How: Micronutrient testing is done via blood draw. You’ll go to your local lab with the lab order and have it done. Fasting is not required.

Hormone Testing

“Testing” your hormones begins by assessing the signs and symptoms that your hormones aren’t balanced. Your digestion, elimination, skin, hair, joints, bones, muscle, response to exercise, feeling of fatigue or roller-coaster moods and energy, brain fog, lack of libido, all should be taken into consideration. There’s the more common signs too of sleep disruption, hot flashes, night sweats, and belly fat.

No one should tolerate any of the above. For goodness sake, run from those who define physical changes like “menopause belly.” That perpetuates your expectation and believe that its normal and just a part of the deal. Um, no. Only if you decide to follow the path of those who got it and kept it.

The After 50 Fitness Formula course and the You Still Got It, Girl book contain a signs and symptoms chart.  If you have three or more symptoms from any particular category there’s a strong chance that’s your imbalance. In fact, if you strongly connect with two in any category, I’d be willing to be your gut is already telling you where to focus. When you know the imbalance, you’re given the means to put balance back. Changes in type and timing of habits, some dumping of old habits in exchange for new ones is in order. But none of them are turn-your-world-upside-down habits. They’re “flips” – tweaks to your existing habits that make a big difference.

However, if I had to guess about you – not seeing you, not meeting you – I would guess you need to work on two hormones: cortisol and insulin.

No woman I work with loves to hear this: sugar is one of the major root causes of hormone disruption. (Chemical consumption and use is another). It affects testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. Wine and alcohol are sugar. You can’t out-fitness damage you do with your food choices.

testing

When do I recommend hormone testing?

There are two times I recommend it and it depends a little on who you are.

Here’s where I suggest you start though. Unless you refuse to comply with the suggestions that will come from your self-assessment of symptoms I’d save the lab tests for after you’ve made all the natural changes you can.

After all, medicine, pills, creams, and supplements are meant to help boost the things you have already put in place. Sometimes you can change your status enough all by positive life habits. Others will need some additional support. But bio-identical hormones aren’t meant to do ALL the heavy lifting.

Even if you’re feeling good, I often recommend a woman test. Get that baseline now. Then if things do go awry, you have a benchmark for you “normal” and feeling optimal energy and at your ideal weight. I take a snapshot every 6 months if I’m making big changes, or every 12 months if not. You can’t “feel” the ideal pathways of your estrogen taking place. Check in on what’s happening and you can reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.

How: Hormone testing is done via blood draws. You’ll go to a lab with your lab order and have the draw in minutes. Fasting is not required but it’s often recommended if you’re using hormone supplements you abstain for a period of time before testing.

Micronutrients – and specific types – may be recommended for you if your hormones are not optimal. Your DNA can tell you if you have the MTHFR gene mutation and methylated forms of folate will be absorbed better. Many conditions like migraines, depression, anxiety are impacted by hormone imbalance tied to micronutrient insufficiency that your genetics (DNA) can provide insight about.

A health coach can help you determine the questions to ask a practitioner, steps you can take yourself, potential other tests, and habits that you want to set for yourself to see positive changes or maintain a path already going in the right direction.

testingWhere should you start with testing?

A good start is assessing what you want right now. Are there things you’d like to change? Are you looking to optimize your future as well as the way you look at feel now? Then do a self-assessment of your hormones and jump to the habits that describe women who have achieved hormone balance. Then decide if Micronutrient, DNA, or Hormone Testing is your next step. If you have amazing insurance and a practitioner on board with optimal aging for you too, start there. If you want to take things into your own hands, order what you want when you want it, self-directed labs are a quick way to order, test conveniently, and get results that you choose what to do with.

Resources:

The After 50 Fitness Formula Course

You Still Got It, Girl! habits quiz

You Still Got It, Girl! book

Micronutrient Testing (use: Flipping50 for $ off)

Hormone Testing (use: Flipping50 for $ off)

DNA testing (use heart20 in February 2019 for a 20% savings!)

hormones and heart healthThe Connection: Your Hormones and Heart Health

During this Heart Health Month post, I look at the hormones and heart health connection. It’s no secret that you are an integrated being. The health of your bones is related to hormones. Your fat storage and fat burning ability are related to hormones. Your muscle definition is related to hormones.

Your heart health too is related to hormones.

There are over 70 hormones in the body. If any of them are too low or too high you have imbalance. It might seem logical we’re always in some kind of imbalance, right? How can 70 hormones always be well behaved?

But some have a bigger impact than others. The rate and speed of damage from hormone imbalance depends on which hormone and how much it’s out of balance.  Some matter more than others and some affect other hormones causing a cascade reaction.

High estrogen levels are most related to your risk of heart disease. 

Yet, it’s integrated. Every hormone is influenced or influenced by another. Just as exercise is influenced or influences hormones.

The After 50 Fitness Formula

Exercise for many of us is the catalyst for making other positive health-impacting changes. So in this post about heart health and hormones I address how the After 50 Fitness Formula (used in all my programs) is used in an If-This, Then-That approach.

You, of course, have to know two things:

1) What those positive changes are – you may need not more information, but more specific data about you. Whether you do this through a course, an elimination diet, a food sensitivity test, a stool test or a combination of these, (and I encourage more than one for many of the individuals who have “tried everything” but still don’t have answers), you have to define what “healthy” choices are for you in the right now of your life.

2) What exercise supports hormone balance based on your signs of imbalance- whether you’ve tested with lab work or not. I very recently was surprised to be asked whether “extensive lab testing” needed to be done to tell you the status of your hormones. The answer is no!

The fitness formula for women over 50Labs or Life Clues?

Your body doesn’t lie. If you’re not digesting well, you’re losing your hair, you’re tired all the time, you’re hungry right after meals, you’re craving sugar or salt, you can’t remove belly fat even with exercise and healthy eating… these are all signs and can all be usedto adjust your habits for more natural hormone balance.

Exercise more and harder is the intuitive response for both too many trainers, and women who aren’t getting results. That “do more of what’s not working” approach will make matters worse. From hormone imbalance you can go to adrenal fatigue and complicate matters with thyroid disruption, if you don’t listen and respond.

With a little understanding about your hormones, your hormones and heart health connection, and how to achieve a better natural balance, exercise can be an integral part of your overall health. Without it, you could be unintentionally be doing harm.

Hormones and Heart Health

Cardiovascular disease rates increase significantly after menopause and becomes the number one cause of death in women. The need to have adequate and balanced estrogen levels becomes especially important.

Some of the research does suggest negative effects of hormone therapy. You need the full story though. Non-oral estrogens don’t result in the pro-coagulant effect. Natural or bio-identical (not synthetic) progesterone doesn’t interfere with beneficial effect of estrogen in blood vessels. Estradiol and progesterone therapy can have beneficial effects on lipoprotein and cardiovascular health.

Cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are the most important pieces of heart health. Positive change in estrogen happens by improving cortisol and progesterone.

hormones and heart health The Integration

Progesterone is important for helping balance testosterone and estrogen, and it’s important in strengthening the heart. While getting breathless does help the cardiovascular system and heart muscle, so too do you need to think about what happens at the cellular and hormone level.

Food and exercise both affect your hormones. It’s pretty clear there’s no neutral: the right food helps the wrong food hurts. Consuming foods with hormones in them (whether added or the animals were fed them or not – since the animal itself has hormones) can negatively affect your levels. Gut health alone is not the only reason to reconsider your milk and dairy consumption.

Hormones and Heart Health: Progesterone

Optimal progesterone levels support optimal cortisol levels, which in turn support the body’s anti-inflammatory process. That is especially important in cardiovascular disease, which is initiated by inflammation. Your hormones and heart health are as intertwined as that yarn around your high school boyfriend’s class ring.

A “progesterone steal” occurs when stress levels elevate (your perceived level as well as too much exercise, too little sleep, or a poor diet). That depletes progesterone stores since progesterone can be used to make cortisol when it’s needed. If your stressors are chronic and continued for a long period of time (hello, overachieving woman of 2019) this has a good chance of happening.
That sets you up for a hormone imbalance (estrogen dominance) caused by that low level of progesterone.

Progesterone has been credited to opening up blood vessels (less resistance due to bigger pathways means less blood pressure), reducing cholesterol and triglycerides, and it regulates collagen. If your skin is just not the same in spite of adding collagen in bone broth or a collagen powder, low progesterone may be a part of it.

Progesterone then is clearly a player in the hormones and heart health game.

What’s the answer to better progesterone levels?

Everything that supports your optimal diet, your optimal sleep will help create the sweet spot of cortisol, and balance blood sugars. If your cortisol is at adequate levels progesterone levels are positively influenced. Start there.

What’s the wonder drug for that?

Exercise.

Exercise as Medicine

Not “more” exercise but the right kind, the right time, and the right dose. In fact, long endurance training tends to increase cortisol (anything in fact over 75 minutes is more associated with negative affect on cortisol than positive) and decrease progesterone.

Meditation* and relaxation techniques through exercise or breathing sans exercise depending on your status support optimal cortisol. Walking in nature as opposed to a treadmill offers more benefit to your hormones. Leaving the cell phone behind and just being quiet in what’s recently been coined “forest bathing” promotes stress reduction.

That’s not to say that if you’re an exercise enthusiast you have to completely stop. That too is likely to increase cortisol for you. Temporarily (a few weeks) create a new challenge for yourself (focus on yoga, acquire a new skill as opposed to slamming your body with long or hard or both bouts of exercise) in order to support balance without going crazy.

Intensity

Short high intensity bouts can be appropriate for you. Cortisol needs to be OPTIMAL, not non-existent. It’s supposed to be used for acute situations. We’ve just failed that in our always-connected, superwoman thinking lives. If you think you don’t need to rest, to recover, to take care of yourself… or that doing so is bad, you’re the girl-most-likely to… get dinged by fatigue and issues from real burnout.

That is, interval training for 10 or 15 minutes (plus warm up and cool down) and intense weight training (also short in duration with quality to-fatigue sets and repetitions).

The answer is not all yoga all the time. You are not a delicate flower or broken. It’s also not all intervals all the time. You need to assess several things. What have you been doing that’s not working? What are your signs and symptoms? Could you take a nap after you finish your cool down? Or do you have more energy all day naturally when you’ve exercised?

You have to know if your cortisol levels are too high (when they should be low) or too low (when they should be high) in order to navigate the appropriate exercise prescription. If you can’t get up in the morning (reduce your exercise intensity) or if you’re staring at the ceiling at 2am, or you’re unable to get to sleep and stop that monkey mind (try short bouts of high intensity) you have clues about the best exercise for you right now.

Realize that all humans get comfortable thinking about themselves in a certain way. You may identify with “I like to go hard” or “I’m competitive” or “I’m on the go all the time” and if you find yourself saying, “That’s who I am,” you’re attached to that. It’s defining you. What if you had a different definition? Would that be so bad?

To heal your hormone imbalance you may have to break ties to what you thought made you special.

Nutritional changes benefit cortisol too. Adaptogens, herbs that naturally offer hormone support, like Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, and maca can support optimal cortisol and progesterone levels. I use these, maca, most often in my daily smoothie.

hormones and heart healthHormone and Heart Health: Testosterone

You need testosterone for your heart too. Yes, your libido and romance are a part of that but low testosterone doesn’t just kill a romantic evening. It can increase cardiovascular disease and is closely connected to blood sugar issues (like insulin resistance, and diabetes).

For most women testosterone reduction is associated with inability to gain lean muscle, fatigue, and low libido.

Clinically, testosterone is given to female patients with chronic heart failure and shown to improve functional capacity, muscle strength, and improve insulin sensitivity without any negative side effects.

Vitamin D supports testosterone levels. Yet another reason to be sure you’ve tested and you’re supplementing appropriately for Vitamin D. I have clients who are in need of more than the daily-recommended doses for several reasons. If you’ve been insufficient for a long time or have other things going on – not limited to sun exposure, meet with a physician for recommendations. Taking doses of 5000 or 10,000IU a few times a week is not unusual. It’s important to be tested, have supervision getting a prescription level supplement if needed.

How Exercise Helps:

If you display symptoms of low testosterone levels you want to dump long slow endurance exercise in favor of short high intensity intervals. Limit that to a few times a week. Strength training should be based not on the time you spend doing it but that your workouts have adequate intensity. Hour-or more-long sessions are overkill for you. If you have intensity you can do more good in a half hour or less a couple times a week. The majority of my personal strength training workouts are 10-to-20 minutes. But I don’t put the weight down after a set until I’ve reached muscular fatigue.

Eat and Drink Well

Reduce your stress level to support testosterone levels. Eat the highest quality of calories. Dump or significantly reduce sugar and alcohol while you’re struggling with testosterone levels.

Your cardiovascular health is dependent on your hormone balance and exercise plays a key role in that. The balance of estrogen, cortisol, progesterone, and testosterone are important in heart health. The integrated nature of hormones means that targeting the right one or two hormones with exercise and lifestyle habits can create a positive affect on the overall system.

Overcoming Society

Exercise for hormones and heart health is more thoughtful and less intuitive for women over 50. The culture of work harder, do more, pain is weakness leaving your body, doesn’t align with hormone balance. It’s often a relief to discover less exercise is more rewarding.

What have you identified as your hormones to target with exercise changes? I’d love to hear from you!

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21156341

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21156341

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16371658

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11933751

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20888520

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21154195

Additional Resources:

Exercise and Progesterone podcast

Flipping 50 TV episode 3

The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women course

Are You Ready to Reset Your Hormones Naturally Using Essential Oils? 
Gimmicky diets, dangerous supplements, juice fasts, extreme boot camps… are you done, yet?

How do other women seemingly have energy, and the body, while you struggle?

My guest on this episode has some natural – not crazy – solutions you can pair with your Flipping 50 foundation of “eat more, exercise less” that will help. While some of those options I mentioned stink! Her solutions are sweet and you’ll love them!

Dr. Mariza Snyder is a functional practitioner, the author of six books including the bestselling The Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oilsand The DASH Diet Cookbook.Dr. Mariza’s newest book focuses on balancing hormones with the power of essential oils, it’s called: The Essential Oils Hormone Solution.

For the past ten years, she has lectured at wellness centers, conferences, and corporations on hormone health, essential oils, nutrition, and detoxification. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, Fox News Health, MindBodyGreen and many publications. Dr. Mariza is also the host of the Essentially You Podcast, designed to empower women to become the CEO of their health. Her website, drmariza.com, is a go-to resource for women’s hormone tips, including essential oils recipes and remedies.

Questions we cover in this episode:

  • What is the most typical hormonal imbalance that causes us to hold onto stubborn weight, or have weight resistance?
  • What other hormones play a role in stubborn weight issues?
  • How do you “reset” your hormones, or jump-start your metabolism? And how do essential oils play a role? (And who doesn’t love the fact there are no burpees involved!)

“We forget the power of food”

  • How do we get those misfiring hormones back on track?
  • What is your favorite go-to essential oils recipe for sugar cravings often triggered by fatigue and stress?

“It’s not life’s circumstances that throw you into a tailspin. It’s how you respond.”

Learn to rewire your reactions in seconds during this episode!! Get in rest and digest mode instead of stranger danger! 

“Can you be running late, have an assignment due, or get feisty text message and remain calm.” 

Learn a blend for relaxing as well as an essential oil blend to kill cravings by listening! Get your pen ready!

or skip the pen and… GET THE BRAND NEW BOOK!  It’s your ultimate essential oils recipe book!

essential oils

If you love essential oils as much as other Flipping 50 community members you’re going to love this resource! (such a great gift too!)

Connect:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/drmarizasnyder/

Twitter: drmariza

Insta: drmariza

Protein Recommendations After 50 Confusing You?

One of the most commonly overlooked parts of fitness after 50 is protein. Strength training is crucial, yet misunderstanding protein recommendations after 50 can sabotage strength training results. Why is it so very confusing to find and follow protein recommendations after 50?

I crack open this question in this post. I leave you with the research I’ve done since 2013 focused on protein recommendations after 50. In spite of good persuasive arguments in several directions I’ve chosen one.

Both in primary research and personal research [I’ve tested the results of different diets with a stable set of activity and lifestyle habits on myself], and the observations I’ve made over 35 years of working with older adults, I’ve witnessed a similar outcomes. That is, some groups will continue to follow and believe one method, others follow other diets, the real outcome will be best visible in body composition and signs of aging in the 8th or 9th decade of life. There is either more disease, more vibrancy, or more frailty present. Usually the signs of optimal metabolism, body composition, and hormone balance during the 6th and 7th decades indicate a right personal path.

protein recommendations after 50 The Purpose of this post and of protein

This post is meant to proved a method for you to identify your protein needs and ways those are established, as well as evidence you can use to know if you’re meeting those or not. Clearly, we’ve witness endurance athletes and strength-trained athletes who thrive on plant-based diets. We do need to look at over 50 athletes to be relative in comparison at least of age-related changes (protein synthesis, muscle loss without the presence of strength training). There are some, but fewer. One thing to consider is the switch to a vegan or plant-based diet is often from that of a high sugar, high processed food diet. Can we say that shifting to a mediterranean diet (inclusive of animal protein) wouldn’t produce similar results? Not without testing.

I’ve found that most people look for something to follow. A lifestyle change is hard without a map. It’s easier to eliminate entire food groups and be left with I can eat this and not that, than to make illusive “healthy choices.” Because for  you, and I, and even others around your table, our gut health, our activity needs, our hormone balance, and goals all change “healthy.” Why are protein recommendations after 50 so confusing?

Here are five reasons.

protein recommendations after 50

1 Advocates of plant-based diets claim

… there’s no scientific proof that protein needs hover at 30 grams of protein per meal, and that this prevents muscle wasting and frailty later in life. That is baffling when leading authority’s say it, yet there definitely are studies- supported by leading protein researchers, registered dietitians, and presented at leading fitness association by other authorities listing evidence-based recommendations inclusive of 25-30 grams (or more) protein per meal.

It’s also hard to get 30 grams of protein per meal from an all plant diet without getting full as all plant-based protein sources include high fiber. That’s not claim, it’s just fact.

Plant-based diets repeat the same foods over and over in order to include adequate amounts of protein – which can quickly get stale and also is more likely to cause food sensitivity.

2 Soy is questionable

… given it’s status as an obesogenic (just as it sounds: causing obesity by increasing fat storage), a goitrogenic (interfering with thyroid function), and an estrogenic (confusing your endocrine system by mimicking estrogen).

Soy is either recommended or discouraged. I’m of the latter thinking having witnessed many private clients with diets high in soy (I come a midwestern state where soybeans are harvested). They had increased hot flashes and night sweats that all but disappeared with the removal of soy. This includes a client who at the time we worked together was stationed in Okinawa – where you would suspect that GMOs where not a part of the problem.

If you’re plant-based and relying on soy for protein I recommend that you:

A) Test for yourself by eliminating it 100% for at least a week then reintroducing it by eating it 2-3 times a day for at least three days.

B) Start with – or reintroduce first- fermented soy products like tempeh and miso which are often tolerated better.

3 A Growing body of research

…supports 20*- 30 grams protein per meal, specifically for older adults. It’s not just more for athletes which is very unintuitive. Actually, there’s more of a bell curve in that very active athletes do need more protein, while sedentary older adults on the frail side also need more protein. Muscle breakdown or wasting occurs as a result of age, exercise, and or too little calorie intake especially on a diet of low protein intake. Advanced age coupled with inactivity increases muscle wasting accompanied by weakness and spirals downward to falls and fractures as a result. The discussion about protein need becomes one about cost of health care services that could be prevented as well as one about quality of life.

“High quality” protein mentions these sources in order of highest to lowest concentration of essential amino acids and branch chain amino acids (for more detail see resources below).

A) lean meat (it runs)

B) chicken/turkey (it flies)

C) fish (it swims)

D) plant based sources** (usually don’t appear on “high quality” protein source lists)

Dairy products like yogurt, cottage cheese do also appear below fish, yet many elimination diets and the doctors fully supportive of them find that women in peri-menopause and beyond feel better off dairy products and eliminate many of the frustrating symptoms they experience with hormone changes.

*20 grams for those most active “athletic” older adults who synthesize protein better than those less active, whose protein recommendations after 50 are closer to 30 grams. This is not intuitive. Most adults believe the opposite is true.

**I won’t go into the existing controversy about amino acids and their prevalence or absence in plant based foods. Yet, this is a source of continued controversy. There is a full essential amino acid (EAA) profile available in plant foods but the key EAAs in muscle metabolism are lacking. That’s an important distinction to make.

Flip: Test dairy consumption against your own digestion, elimination, bloating, gas, and skin clarity. No problems when you reintroduce it after leaving it out for at least a week? Rotate it into your diet every 2-3 days if you want to include it. Focus on lactose-free items.

4 You resist change

Everyone does! Even if you don’t like your current results, change is hard. It is specifically hard due to socialization you may have had your entire life. Born before the mid sixties, you grew up encouraged to eat in a specific way. Dairy was likely a big part of your life growing up. You may still feel strongly about it. (It’s easy to get emotionally attached to a way of eating, in fact defensive. )“I like milk.” Yet, that’s not what’s being challenged. It’s not about keeping or eliminating what you like or don’t like. It’s about finding a way to test the results you’re having right now, and determining why you may not be at the weight, energy level or mood you want to be regularly.

Notoriously, in the sixties, seventies and eighties diets that cut out fat and meat – even before bread became the villain were common. Those absurdities that you may laugh about still shaped early thoughts. It’s hard to lose them. Protein was among the first things to go in favor of “rabbit food” and lettuce salads back in the day.

As women of all ages embrace weight training and strength, it’s important to realize muscle is protein. Without adequate amounts of:

  1. Quality Calories
  2. Protein
  3. Recovery time between workouts
  4. Strength training that adequately overloads muscle

… you slow or completely halt results. It’s as if you put your foot on the gas, and then on the break, making it impossible to get anywhere by exercising but without the adequate detail to fulfill the results you want.

protein recommendations after 50 5 Protein recommendations after 50 increase

Your need isn’t static. Even advocates of plant-based diets often recognize that after 60 or 65 it does become important to get animal protein back into the diet.

You don’t synthesize protein as well as you age. If you’re 55 and eat the same amount of protein at a meal as your 35 year old self, your body isn’t able to use all of it for the benefit of muscle repair and rebuilding or to benefit your immune system. To experience continued benefits you’ll need to increase protein.

One study of older adult males (average age 70) compared to young adult males (average age early 20s) found that on similar intensity exercise programs, the older adults experienced comparable results only if they consumed 40 grams of protein in post-workout meals compared to half that protein (20 grams) consumption in younger males.

End of life frailty and sarcopenia – significant muscle loss that occurs with aging IF weight training and diet are not adequate stimulus for maintaining or increasing it- are preventable. The side effects of doing now what will keep you on track for a longer healthspan later are increased metabolism, energy, and vitality.

An increase of protein should not be at the expense of plants or the beneficial components of a plant-based diet but can co-exist. You can get the amazing antioxidants as a result of a variety of plants in the diet daily as well as spare muscle loss with high-quality protein sources.

Common questions about protein recommendations after 50

What does 30 grams of protein look like? 

What can I eat for breakfast?

What if I get too full to eat that much?

It’s definitely possible! (on the other hand if you’re “hungry all the time” your probably not eating enough at meals and certainly not enough protein, fat, and carbs (plus fiber) in the right amounts. Protein offers satiety- fills you up and keeps you comfortable for hours. But getting more may take some getting used to, so let your body get used to “more” instead of going right for a quota.

Little amounts throughout the day are not beneficial in the way a bigger amount at each of three meals is unless you’re ill or old and frail and can’t tolerate. Your body has a sweet spot for simulating protein that is right at 28-30 grams per eating. Too little or too much doesn’t have the same effect. Stop grazing to develop a better appetite at your eating events and fat burning will increase as your hormone balance improves. Protein recommendations after 50 include when you get that protein. Like a dose of medicine, it’s key.

protein recommendations after 50 Additional Resources:

Are You Getting Enough Protein podcast

Breakfast Bowls Powered with Protein

Debating Real Food vs. Smoothies 

You Still Got It, Girl! 

Hot, Not Bothered

The Protein Report

The Ultimate Smoothie Guide After 50 blog

Do you have New Year’s Goals?

New Year’s best intentions have already fallen by the wayside for 80% of people by Feb 7.

Part of that is the myth that a habit takes 3 weeks and you’re home free. New Year’s goals set with high hopes and low commitment make it hard to succeed! This post makes it easier to understand how environment is everything.

I’m not sure if many of the 21-Day challenges tease you based on that premise or not.

I’ve been writing about this myth of the 3-week habit change since 1987. It’s a lie. Like rumors that flew around in junior high and high school and did their damage, true or not, there’s no scientific proof anywhere it takes 21 days to change a habit.

A habit is documented in science as requiring an average of 66 days to change. That’s whether your making one or breaking one, and so often what you want to do requires both, doesn’t it?

In order to be at your optimal weight and energy, you have to start eating more vegetables and stop eating bars, and processed foods.

In order to get toned and complete your first 5k, you have to start walking and lifting weights when you ordinarily watch TV.

Do you believe it takes 3 weeks – even when you’ve learned that’s a myth?

Have you noticed this phenomenon? If you have a memory and it’s sketchy, your mind will fill in the blanks. A false truth can become something you adamantly defend. You believe it like it was the truth.

If you thought something, especially if you were upset, even if your perception was wrong, you will be certain that the belief, even if false, is true. You will continue to believe it and unless you’ve trained your mind to release negative thoughts you will hold it against anyone who challenges it.

Perception is everything.

Take a look at where your goals may have gone wrong. Because in spite of the failure rate, goals, even resolutions, are good to set. They indicate hope. Without that, life is fairly dismal, isn’t it?

New Year’s goals still get made by the optimistic among us. Hope-driven individuals will always see setting goals as a necessary thing even if they don’t necessarily always reach them.

State those goals again – in the positive.

Not lose 10 pounds. It’s negative. There’s a focus on why you’re not perfect and there is truth to the woo-woo law of attraction: you get what you focus on. If you are focusing on weight you want to lose, you get to keep it.

What’s in your way?

Do you say these things or similar to yourself?

“I’m so busy. I’m always doing so much”. “My husband just doesn’t understand me.”

Do you want those things to be true? You perpetuate that situation by repeating them rather than finding a way to think about them in the past. Focus on how you can stop being part of the problem. Shed that skin of being static. That’s just the way you are, love me anyway… is great. If you love you that way. But if you don’t, you’re going to need to change the way you think. Catching yourself saying things you don’t want to be true is a part of them.

The question I have for you is are you getting some juice or energy from those statements? Do you prefer to keep them? Or do you want to change?

We usually do get some juice from those negative habits we have. Much like a drug, a pattern of thinking is hard to change. You’ll have to decide however.

STRONGER is the acronym I used on this episode to remind you with what’s important as you set or reset New Year’s Goals.

S-

T-

R-

O-

N-

G-

E-

R-

If this was helpful, share it! And then, please leave a rating in iTunes, it really helps!

  1. Visit the podcast
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  4. Leave your 5-star rating and a comment
  5. Know you’re very appreciated!

Recent & Related Flipping 50 Episodes for you:

Listen to the recent Flipping 50 podcast with “Dr.C”

How to Start Strength Training – Part I

 

new year's goals

Limited time offer- FREE 7 day challenge with Dr. Alan Christianson

 

 

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