Curious to know about the best ways to build and maintain lean muscle mass after 40?
Then read our Guide to Building Lean Muscles over 40
We couldn’t agree more with the saying, “Age is just a number.”
As your age, your stamina, along with other physical performance parameters will most probably take a hit. As an example, if you could run two miles without breaking a sweat when you were in your 30s, running a mile can leave you breathless in your 40s.
You might have to work hard to gain muscle when you are nearing the 40s, but contrary to the popular belief, it’s far from impossible. Begin by taking care of the big three (training, diet, and recovery), and you’ll be on your way to nailing your goal of building muscle mass.
People Don’t Consume Enough Protein
The scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine and diet specialists from the University of Nottingham conducted studies to identify the role of protein in the diet of men and women. The objective was to identify how different diets helped each gender in building muscle mass. Here are the findings.
The body is like a powerhouse that consumes protein from different foods to build up muscles. Muscles contain 25% protein, and the remaining 75% is made up of glycol, water, and carbs. The study concluded that men’s muscles absorb greater protein as compared to women.
In the study, it was also found that women generally take fewer food supplements which are rich in protein as compared to their counterparts. Once women cross their 40s, their protein consumption gradually decreases which leaves them deficient of the essential macronutrient.
How Much Protein Can a Person Safely Consume?
According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), the average person should consume a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Remember, the RDA is the minimum amount of nutrients you need to meet your basic nutritional requirements. So, eating 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight will keep you from falling sick.
As per the US RDA, if you’re a woman in your 40s weighing around 55kgs, your daily protein intake goal should be 44 grams (55 X 0.8).
And if you’re looking to building lean muscles over 40, you should be consuming 1.5 grams of protein per kg of body weight. For men, the recommended amount is 2grams of protein per kg of body weight for building muscle.
When it comes to protein, sticking to the numbers mentioned above will get you the best results even when you cross 40.
A study found that a group of women consuming 1.5 grams of protein per kg of body weight were able to build muscles faster than those who were consuming protein based on the RDA recommendation.
It was found that consuming more protein than the RDA recommendation helped women with their muscle protein synthesis. Muscle protein synthesis is the process in which protein is produced to repair muscle damage caused by intense exercise which eventually leads to an increase in the size of the muscles.
Eating twice the RDI (approximately 100 grams of protein regularly) can also help in maintaining the net protein balance of the human body. The net protein balance is the ratio between protein broken down by exercise to protein you synthesize to build up your body muscle mass.
What Type of Protein Will Help me Build my Muscle Mass?
What happens when you don’t meet your daily calorie goal, you ask? Your body breaks down muscles and feeds on the protein to supply your body with the required energy.
For a person in their 40s and interested in building lean muscle mass, you should maintain a balance between your carbs and protein while keeping your fat intake low.
Now here’s the fun part, things get a little tricky if you’re a vegan. Because if you’re a vegan you’ll not be going anywhere near animal products. According to most people, meat is one of the major sources of protein.
Best Whey Protein
If you’re a vegan and are looking for food rich in protein, here are a few of them:
- Almonds and pistachios – 13% protein = 6 grams per ounce of nuts
- Oats – 15% protein = 13 grams of protein in 1/2 cup of raw oats
- Broccoli – 20% protein = 1 cup has 3 grams of protein but only 31 calories
- Soybeans and lentils – 33% protein = 18 to 20 grams of protein in 1 cup
You should always keep a Calorie Calculator by your side as it can help you track your calorie intake. A calorie calculator can also help in planning your meals which can help you in staying on track with your goals.
Best Vegan Protein
What is a good workout to Build Muscles?
Now that you know the basics of a muscle-building diet, let’s talk about working on your body like it’s a piece of art. A workout program for a 20-something and someone in their 40s will be completely different. If you have pre-existing problems, you should design your training program around them.
You should also choose exercises that don’t put unnecessary tension on your joints. When it comes to the weights you’ll be lifting, you should go for quality over quantity. Focus on performing the exercises with the correct form and contracting your muscles with every rep.
Remember – you break down muscles while you’re training. Your muscles grow back bigger and stronger when you’re feeding them right and are giving them enough time to rest, repair and recuperate.
Working out, following a nutrient-rich diet, and a recovery plan can improve your metabolism. Good metabolism can help your body stay in shape. It also helps in fighting various diseases and health problems.
As you grow older, you need to make sure you’re training your body efficiently and not vigorously. As you follow the fit lifestyle, you’ll see a major improvement in your physical and psychological health.
Workout for two days a week in the beginning to get your body used to the stress. You can then create a structured exercise program where you should focus on cardio and basic compound lifts. As your body gets used to your new lifestyle, you can progress onto the intermediate training level.
Gradually move from two-days to three then four and eventually to five days a week workout plan.
We hope this article “Building Lean Muscles over 40” was informative and would love to see you coming back for more.