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Leucine, leucine, leucine

As you age, there is an associated progressive loss of muscle mass also know as Sarcopenia which will not only make you look progressively smaller but also increases the risks of injury and disability. 


Age, alterations in muscles anabolic response to nutrition and a decline in protein all contribute. The good news is older muscle can still respond to amino acids, more specifically leucine which helps overcome age related protein resistance, so if you are an aging male as I am, excess leucine will not go astray.

Sprightly 50 year old

As a sprightly fifty something, I don't want to age, don't want to deteriorate and have this misguided view that I can stay strong, retain my muscle mass and keep up with the youngsters. My athletic efforts against younger athletes constantly prove this wrong, not to mention the impact a couple of drinks can have. Trying to retain and even sometimes regain my youth. Easier said than done.

But one thing I do try and do is "hack" the muscle protein recovery" system. 

Hacking muscle protein

What do I mean by all this?

  • I know as I age I'm am prone to reduced muscle mass
  • I know that my protein intake needs to increase to balance this
  • I know that protein absorption can be affected for a number of reasons
  • I know that protein powder can maximise absorption outside meal times
  • I know that especially after exercise, my muscles need protein

So ensuring that I get enough protein firstly and secondly that I get a protein with an amino acid profile optimised for the aging male, i.e. high in leucine is important for me to try and retain as much of my youth as I can.

Backed by research

So why believe me?

  • Studies have shown protein uptake decreases in frail elders and that healthy older (55 +) adults may need more protein than is recommended. (Morley JE. Aneorexia of aging: Physiologic and pathologic)
  • Additional protein helps +ve nitrogen balance and muscle maintenance. In a study of 12 men and women aged 56-80 years old, they randomly consumed .8g or 1.62g protein per kg body weight. Net nitrogen balance was -ve for lower intake and +ve for the higher intake. -ve nitrogen balance suggests a loss of nitrogen which is associated with loss of muscle protein and associated loss of muscle. (Campbell WW, Crim MC, Dallal GE, Young VR, Evans WJ. Increased protein requirements in elderly people: new data and retrospective reassessments)
  • Good supply of amino acids (protein) improves metabolic effect of exercise on muscle protein. (Biolo G, Tipton KD, Klein S, Wolfe RR. An abundant supply of amino acids enhances the metabolic effect of exercise on muscle protein.)
  • Absorption of protein or amino acids requires passing through Splanchnic tissues, which is proven that first pass extraction of leucine increases with age, meaning these splanchnic tissues utilised more amino acids in the elderly and the availability thus to peripheral muscle would be reduced. (Young VR. Amino acids and proteins in relation to the nutrition of elderly people. Age Ageing.)
Be your best self

So, there is a lot of research and a lot of heavy reading and you can spend your time reading through these, or read my perspective below, which is:

  1. Your body needs protein - tick
  2. Your muscles deteriorate as you age - understand
  3. Competition for protein absorption increases as you age - understand
  4. Protein as a supplement rather than a meal to maximise absorption - tick
  5. I want to live longer and retain some muscle mass to enjoy life - Absolutely

Thus we founded Old Bull Health, to find a protein we could use and which maxed out on what a fifty plus male body need without the BS.

We use it because we don't want to lose it!


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