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Another "How much protein?" thread

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Another "How much protein?" thread

Old 10-18-21, 09:41 PM
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Another "How much protein?" thread

OK, so I'm 76 and still trying to do what I like to do and having some success. I also have one of those bathroom scales which uses impedance to give you numbers for percentages of fat, water, muscle, and weight of bone. I've been frustrated for years by my inability to increase my muscle percentage by more than one or two tenths of a percent. My tape measurements confirm this. I refuse to cut down on my real sports: cycling, hiking, and skiing. The gym is not my real sport. What to do?

I ran across this CTS blog post which got me interested in trying a much higher protein diet: https://trainright.com/masters-and-g...ning-mistakes/

My wife and I eat a modified Med diet, the modification being that we can't afford to eat that much wild caught fish. I weigh 70 kilos, so at 2g/kg/d that's 140g protein. I have no idea how much protein we get every day from our largely carb and veggie diet, but I have been supplementing with ~45g/day of whey protein for many years. The simplest thing was to increase that supplement to 120g/day of whey isolate with an extra 6g/day of leucine. I started doing that a little over a month ago, and with no change in my exercise program, I'm up 1.4% lean body mass and .67% body weight and don't have sore legs every day. The tape agrees. I'm like, "Really?? Decades of struggle and that's all it took?"

The issue and my issue seems to be that not everyone is equal in efficiency in moving protein into one's muscles, and aging considerably slows down that process. The data on this is confused because of a lack of folks like me for control and study groups. Here are some more links to protein studies:
https://examine.com/guides/protein-intake/
https://2doctricoaching.com/triathlo...sters-athletes
https://www.mysportscience.com/post/...older-athletes
https://trainright.com/protein-why-a...-right-amount/

If you're under 50, ignore. If you're over 50 and especially well over 50, it might be worth experimenting with. I'm using a chocolate flavored whey isolate which costs ~$5:50/lb. in 5 lb. containers.

As we can see by looking at our contemporaries who are not into our particular aging-bod experiment, sarcopenia is a real thing.
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Old 10-19-21, 03:32 AM
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My data is not as good as yours but it supports what you are saying. My scale is not the greatest. I rely on skin fold calipers.

When I am training seriously, I have a whey smoothie with milk and two range free eggs daily. Good fish has gotten too expensive for me, too. It is $30-40 a pound at my grocery. It used to be 15-20 a pound.

In 2015, I was 182 lbs (6'4'') and 10% body fat. In 2016, I was 190 lbs and 10% BF in the summer. In 2019, I was 198 and 12% BF going into Paris Brest Paris. In terms of visual confirmation, I look a little more muscular. Somewhat surprisingly, my FTP has increased during that time, too. 275 w in 2015 to 286 w in 2016 to 301 w in 2019. As you may recall, I am recovering from some injuries involving lots of bones. It might have been a fluke but my FTP test before the injury was 323 w....I suspect the PM has a problem. Nonetheless, I have been especially aware of protein intake over the past 5 weeks. My comminuted (broken into several pieces) clavicle healed in 4 weeks. 4 of the ribs healed in 4 weeks but one is still giving me some difficulty at 5 weeks. Surgeon reviewed x-ray of humerus the other day and said I am cleared to do anything that I can do.....if it hurts, stop.......message received was the bone is sufficiently healed. I credit some of this to upping my protein intake and supplements (D3, C, minerals, K.....etc) and no alcohol or nicotine and being relatively healthy for my age and taking an afternoon nap every day (growth hormone is only released during sleep).

N = 1.......TMI.....but, I agree.
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Old 10-19-21, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
The tape agrees. I'm like, "Really?? Decades of struggle and that's all it took?"
very cool. do any weight training?
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Old 10-19-21, 06:59 AM
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I added wild caught Sardines in olive oil to Kale salads for the protein and Omega 3's as an economical source of protein.
Found I like the taste just fine as other sources of protein prices are inflated. Mercury toxicity is not an issue with Sardines.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...0?ie=UTF8&th=1

"My wife and I eat a modified Med diet, the modification being that we can't afford to eat that much wild caught fish."

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Old 10-19-21, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
very cool. do any weight training?
My wife and I joined a gym in 1979, the first year we went fishing in Bristol Bay, and have been working out in one gym or another twice a week fairly regularly. I used to quit the gym during the main cycling months here. That turned out to be old-think. The last few years I've decreased the number of exercises and reps and increased the weights during the season. We stayed away from the gym during the worst Covid times, but have been in there again even during the Delta surge, though well masked. Our gym workouts are in the 45'-60' range, after we spend 30'-60' on our rollers and trainer.
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Old 10-19-21, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
My wife and I joined a gym in 1979, the first year we went fishing in Bristol Bay, and have been working out in one gym or another twice a week fairly regularly. I used to quit the gym during the main cycling months here. That turned out to be old-think. The last few years I've decreased the number of exercises and reps and increased the weights during the season. We stayed away from the gym during the worst Covid times, but have been in there again even during the Delta surge, though well masked. Our gym workouts are in the 45'-60' range, after we spend 30'-60' on our rollers and trainer.
wow, impressive. I recently started going back to a gym at lunchtime. I stopped February 2020. there was enough hand writing on the wall to foresee where this was going. I'm fully vaxxed, go at lunchtime when there's no one at the gym, I do a machine circuit varying weights for lighter & heavier days. I'm in & out of the the circuit in 20 minutes cuz I need time to shower, change & drive back to the office. so 20 minutes a day. not ideal but it's something & I feel tons better. gotta control my eating better, but I'm getting there. it's been fun getting my muscle tone back & I can see/feel some muscle mass coming back. so much easier because I had done so much work over the years. I guess I started in middle school w/ the "universal" gym equipment that they set up in the cafe! late 60s early 70s ...?
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Old 10-19-21, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
wow, impressive. I recently started going back to a gym at lunchtime. I stopped February 2020. there was enough hand writing on the wall to foresee where this was going. I'm fully vaxxed, go at lunchtime when there's no one at the gym, I do a machine circuit varying weights for lighter & heavier days. I'm in & out of the the circuit in 20 minutes cuz I need time to shower, change & drive back to the office. so 20 minutes a day. not ideal but it's something & I feel tons better. gotta control my eating better, but I'm getting there. it's been fun getting my muscle tone back & I can see/feel some muscle mass coming back. so much easier because I had done so much work over the years. I guess I started in middle school w/ the "universal" gym equipment that they set up in the cafe! late 60s early 70s ...?
In some ways, it gets easier after you retire. That said, my mother warned me, "Do whatever projects you want to do while you're still working. You won't have time after you retire." She was correct. I started lifting a bit when I was a kid. Sort of. I was proud to be able to carry out 3 sacks of heavy groceries when I was a box boy. at 14. I really started in the gym in the Army, like a lot of guys, and then got into rock climbing. I had a long period of no sports at all during Career time, also like a lot of folks. I picked it back up at 50 when I stumbled one day on the way to the mailbox. I simply don't stumble! Fixed that.
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Old 10-19-21, 03:08 PM
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I find your question intriguing. I really don't have anything useful to add.

I never got into the resistance training or other gym work, though I wish I could find some way to get some of that desire. I think it will help keep my bones as strong as they can be. And keep my joints in overall good shape... unless it only work favorites.

The last 15 years of my working life was quite a bit of manual labor and a lot of heavy lifting. I noticed my muscles were much stronger but no more massive than before or now. I might have looked a little trimmer.

But for my main gist for being here. One of the guys I worked with went to the gym and bulked up quite a bit. Looked impressive and formidable when he came up to me or any other. However he could not lift any better than I could when I was in my best shape there at that job.

So I've been wondering if the excess protein and other stuff a lot of gym rats thrive on is just bulking them up with visceral fat. Which is actually a bad thing.

I've never looked into any studies or stuff that would give factual information about that. So do you or any other have anything knowledge-wise toward that?

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Old 10-19-21, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I find your question intriguing. I really don't have anything useful to add.

I never got into the resistance training or other gym work, though I wish I could find some way to get some of that desire. I think it will help keep my bones as strong as they can be. And keep my joints in overall good shape... unless it only work favorites.

The last 15 years of my working life was quite a bit of manual labor and a lot of heavy lifting. I noticed my muscles were much stronger but no more massive than before or now. I might have looked a little trimmer.

But for my main gist for being here. One of the guys I worked with went to the gym and bulked up quite a bit. Looked impressive and formidable when he came up to me or any other. However he could not lift any better than I could when I was in my best shape there at that job.

So I've been wondering if the excess protein and other stuff a lot of gym rats thrive on is just bulking them up with visceral fat. Which is actually a bad thing.

I've never looked into any studies or stuff that would give factual information about that. So do you or any other have anything knowledge-wise toward that?
Nothing factual, really. Top bodybuilders are insanely strong. There are however 2 types of strength determinants: muscle cross section area and fiber recruitment. What you had when you got strong was better fiber recruitment. All those top climbers, cycle and rock, have fabulous fiber recruitment. Muscles are really smart and only do what they're forced to do. DNA, evolution, etc. That's the reason that one must do exercises at levels which induce muscles to use every available fiber. When newbies go to the gym, they get amazing increases in the weights they can use, very quickly, long before there's a prayer of size increase, solely because of fiber activation.

I don't know anything about it, but I suppose it might be possible to get big without the work by using steroids. There are many studies on the web about these effects, but they're not interesting enough to me to read and comment on them.
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Old 10-19-21, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Top bodybuilders are insanely strong.
They are only strong inside their gyms and strong at performing various gym exercises....Give them a sledge hammer and a shovel and put them at a physical labor job and they wouldn't last for 15 minutes.
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Old 10-19-21, 07:02 PM
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Meat, eggs and fermented dairy is where I get my protein from. No need for supplements.
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Old 10-19-21, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
They are only strong inside their gyms and strong at performing various gym exercises....Give them a sledge hammer and a shovel and put them at a physical labor job and they wouldn't last for 15 minutes.
Wow is that wrong. Every see a top track sprinter? They're weight lifters who occasionally ride bikes. I worked around big guys and they're pretty amazing. There was a Samoan at our last gym (since closed) who was huge and also rode. Maybe you know the phenotype of Samoans? They were warriors. He was really fast. You're talking about an unfortunate stereotype laid on big folks who worked very hard to get strong. I heard that kind of thing bandied about in HS.
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Old 10-19-21, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
They are only strong inside their gyms and strong at performing various gym exercises....Give them a sledge hammer and a shovel and put them at a physical labor job and they wouldn't last for 15 minutes.
I remember watching "Naked and Afraid" and in a few cases the guys that were looking like Fabio on steroids, flashy, self-absorbed and continuously bragging, were eventually complaining about everything and rather quickly dying on the vine. The ones that actually survived were lean, laid back, soft spoken and with a plan.
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Old 10-19-21, 10:27 PM
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back to the OP's topic...I've been very on both sides of the fence for this. In many ways most of us 'seem' to have adequate protein, not only to sustain health, but allow for high energy work and build important tissue. So, as a thing of moral consideration, I've been trying to reduce animal products consumption and become more vegetarian - which has mostly been a successful move. Plus side of this is also becoming leaner, greatly reducing risk of related heart/circulatory diseases, cancer (well... I guess that was too late or maybe just too inclined for this issue... LOL!)
But then I'm also concerned about not losing important tissue strength/mass - muscle, connective tissue, bone, etc.; so I'm reluctant to go much further in this migration to veggie...
As a summary of some of what I found - and hold reasonably accurate - in my laymen's mentality.
An article in KHN.org (Kaiser Health) - Why Older Adults Should Eat More Protein (And Not Overdo Protein Shakes) covers a lot of what I found and which seems corroborated by quite a few other seemingly reliable sources.
A quick quote from same article: “The total dose that you eat may not matter as much as the dose you eat at a given meal,” said Dr. Elena Volpi, a professor of geriatrics and cell biology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. “If I eat too little protein during a meal, I may not adequately stimulate the uptake of amino acids into skeletal muscle. If I eat too much, say from a large T-bone steak, I won’t be able to store all of it away.”
I fairly certain I'm getting more than enough protein - now paying attention to spreading it more evenly through the day...
I had done the protein shake thing for many years - with very little apparent changes/improvements - but maybe it also helped stem 'loss' - I don;t know.
Now being 5' 9" and 150 lbs - I'm concerned I'm not getting into 'aging' with enough muscle mass. I've always been 'thin' with a very healthy layer of fat... LOL!. The Fat layer has gotten thinner, revealing less muscle than I thought I had... LOL!
Seriously though, my muscle tends to be tough, long and stringy - very difficult to become feeling 'supple' - it's always been very firm, even 'hard' , since being young. Not sure if that's a good thing or not...
and I seriously dislike sweaty smelly interiors - like gyms... Trying to get 'weight' workout with stuff I have, and coming up with exercises which I can do in the yard...
Then there's this: How do You Know if you're Eating too Much Protein?
Interesting that quite a few sources mention osteoporosis and osteopenia from chronic over-consumption...
... I'm going with the 'balance intake' and 'moderation' method my grandfather taught and illustrated every day, for me... Seemed to work well for him, and he seemed to enjoy every thing he ate and drank, whenever he did so - because he only had 'some', never too much... He did hard physical (but skilled) work every day from 5:30 until 'Feierabend' - the end of the work day - literally "evening celebration"...
Ride On
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Old 10-19-21, 10:42 PM
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Absolutely right about the dose/meal. For sure 40g is the limit, a little less is probably better. I want to see the studies that MedicalNewsToday based their recs on. There about only about a zillion confounders in there.

The interesting thing in this protein daily dose business is that only protein has a prescribed dietary upper limit. Not carbs, not fat. Yet no one can point to a single study that shows that folks who consistently ate more than that dose had bad effects from it, that is from that protein dose. I'm discounting those with liver disease of course and hoping that folks know enough to distinguish between a cow-meat protein dose and other dose sources which don't contain all those chemicals, hormones, and fat.
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Old 10-19-21, 11:39 PM
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Cancer is more of a concern for me and so I avoid animal protein as it feeds cancer cells. The lab studies they did with mice were using whey protein by the way. It started with a doctor in India observing that the children of more affluent parents were more likely to die from liver cancer which was prevalent. He wondered why with their "better" diet their bodies were having less success in fighting the cancer.

Body builders believed that they needed 1 gram of protein intake each day for every pound of body weight. Turns out they were wrong.
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Old 10-20-21, 02:25 AM
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Low protein intake is associated with poor bone strength. Break a hip in the golden years and the chance of death over the next 12 months is 1 in 3. It took me 2 years to reverse osteoporosis and protein intake was one factor.

Body builders eat 6 small meals per day with protein at each meal. The morning meal should always be protein focused.

I wonder what the relationship is to loss of oxygen utilization loss (VO2 max, FTP, etc) and muscle loss as we age. Which muscle fibres do we lose? Fast twitch? If so, the lactate that FT provides as fuel for slowtwitch fibres is lowered. What is clear is a gradual loss in both muscle mass and VO2 max from approx. age 35 until 60 or 65 and then both take a sharper decline. Coincidence?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6610901/
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Old 10-20-21, 08:46 AM
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A few months ago I removed red meat (and some other heart-unhealthy things) from my diet. I'm a believer in real foods as opposed to supplements, so I replaced it with canned sardines and (more) nuts. The great thing about sardines is you a can keep an unlimited supply around due to the shelf life. Also they can be added to many dishes and often improve the flavor. I am also eating lots of pistachios, almonds, and walnuts.

Interestingly I lost about 10 lbs with this new diet, I am at 150lbs which is my high school weight. Also more power on the bike.
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Old 10-20-21, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I don't know anything about it, but I suppose it might be possible to get big without the work by using steroids. There are many studies on the web about these effects, but they're not interesting enough to me to read and comment on them.
Even I have forgotten about steroids and their use by some body builders. Yes, that was also one of my suspicions about my co-worker. To see the before and after image of him was quite a difference for the short time span. He was one I could believe would use steroids.
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Old 10-20-21, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Low protein intake is associated with poor bone strength. Break a hip in the golden years and the chance of death over the next 12 months is 1 in 3. It took me 2 years to reverse osteoporosis and protein intake was one factor.

Body builders eat 6 small meals per day with protein at each meal. The morning meal should always be protein focused.

I wonder what the relationship is to loss of oxygen utilization loss (VO2 max, FTP, etc) and muscle loss as we age. Which muscle fibres do we lose? Fast twitch? If so, the lactate that FT provides as fuel for slowtwitch fibres is lowered. What is clear is a gradual loss in both muscle mass and VO2 max from approx. age 35 until 60 or 65 and then both take a sharper decline. Coincidence?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6610901/
I am osteoporotic as diagnosed from a DEXA scan. My worst area is my femoral neck of all things. I've never broken a bone in my life. I'm also thinking that riding hard with a too-low protein intake for a couple decades might have something to do with that. I'm on alendronate and an every other year doctor visit and test. Yes, I know about the downside of alendronate, but my doc assures me she'll be careful. I've also started taking 1200mg of calcium an hour before every sweaty workout and 400 mg of magnesium after. Maybe that'll help, too. There are several studies out there which showed a positive effect, for instance:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3145631/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14735261/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4430171/
Unfortunately, too many of these similar studies provided a calcium supplement only 30' before exercise. IMO 60'-90' gives better results.

I don't think it's particularly fast twitch fiber loss. I've always been able to sprint.

Here's a wonderful paper on nutrient timing from the International Society of Sports Nutrition: https://academicworks.cuny.edu/cgi/v...ontext=le_pubs
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Old 10-20-21, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by rowerek View Post
I remember watching "Naked and Afraid" and in a few cases the guys that were looking like Fabio on steroids, flashy, self-absorbed and continuously bragging, were eventually complaining about everything and rather quickly dying on the vine. The ones that actually survived were lean, laid back, soft spoken and with a plan.
This is an entirely different subject. In a low-nutrient survival situation, a short, low-BMI person will have a much better chance of survival, simply because they require less food intake. See African Pygmies, who do well in the jungle. Suppose our light person finds and eats 5 large beetles for dinner. Our large person must find and eat 10 large beetles to get the same effect. The problem is that the larger person will have to search longer for more beetles, costing them additional calories. Not optimal. One of the stars of that show is the relative of a close friend of mine. You probably saw him. He's quit though. Too much physical strain to recuperate from between missions tears one down. Remember, it's only TV, not real life.

Real life, like a cycling buddy of mine, you get born and grow up in an igloo on the south slope of the Brooks Range, enjoy swimming under the break-up ice on the Kobuk River, come down here, become a university computer lab manager and ride 30,000 miles/year. Unfortunately, it's gotten too warm and that's not really an option anymore. That's really sad.
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Old 10-20-21, 11:27 AM
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When I started this high-protein diet, it rather didn't occur to me that 120 grams of protein is like 500 calories, which is a lot more calories every day. That has to be balanced with less of other foods or increased calorie burn. Fortunately, one of the effects my getting more protein is that I recover faster and have more endurance, so I can increase my burn. I also can cut back on the carbs a little. So far, so good. My quads are up 3/4" in a month, which is nuts and I'm starting to lose the little weight I'd gained. I don't want to gain any weight because that's probably not good for my watts/kg. I want to turn some fat into muscle, tighten that belt a little. I'll just have to see how it goes. Going out to do an hour on the rollers this morning, then go for a run in the afternoon if the rain lets up.

BTW, who runs in the rain and if so, what do you wear?
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Old 10-20-21, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Low protein intake is associated with poor bone strength. Break a hip in the golden years and the chance of death over the next 12 months is 1 in 3. It took me 2 years to reverse osteoporosis and protein intake was one factor.

Body builders eat 6 small meals per day with protein at each meal. The morning meal should always be protein focused.

I wonder what the relationship is to loss of oxygen utilization loss (VO2 max, FTP, etc) and muscle loss as we age. Which muscle fibres do we lose? Fast twitch? If so, the lactate that FT provides as fuel for slowtwitch fibres is lowered. What is clear is a gradual loss in both muscle mass and VO2 max from approx. age 35 until 60 or 65 and then both take a sharper decline. Coincidence?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6610901/
Your comment about getting your bone mineral density back keep nagging at me. So what else did you do besides increasing protein intake?
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Old 10-20-21, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
A few months ago I removed red meat (and some other heart-unhealthy things) from my diet.
Red meat isn't bad for your heart....if it was our ancestors would of all died of heart attack and none of us would be here today.
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Old 10-20-21, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Low protein intake is associated with poor bone strength.
Bones get stronger when they are put under stress, such as in doing weight bearing activities, it has nothing to do with protein intake.
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