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Can You Stop or Slow Down Sarcopenia?

Aging can be a bittersweet process, one in which a person experiences gains and losses that contribute to both contentment and pain. While there’s often little that can be done about the more negative aspects of getting older, there are instances in which a person can actually take steps to fight some of the more serious problems that come with aging; one example of this is sarcopenia, a condition in which a person loses muscle mass, and with it, strength. If you or someone you know has reached their golden years and has found that they struggle with this problem, you might be wondering, “Can you stop or slow down sarcopenia?” To find out, keep reading as the experts at ENU – makers of protein shakes for seniors – provide some answers.

How to Tell If You Have Sarcopenia

Because it’s a natural part of aging, sarcopenia is a condition affecting millions of Americans, with some estimates placing the percentage of seniors with the condition at more than 50% for certain age groups. This means there’s a fair chance that you or someone you know could be facing the effects of sarcopenia, if not now, then sometime soon. So, how can you tell if you have this condition?

The most important thing to look for – which can be tough to spot, unfortunately – is a loss of muscle mass and strength over time, which incidentally causes direct weight loss from sarcopenia. This process begins at a relatively young age for many people, often around age 30 or so, but it begins slowly; an average person might only lose about half a pound of muscle each year for several decades. Once sarcopenia kicks in around age 60 or so, this rate can increase significantly; those over age 70 might expect to lose as much as 15% of their muscle mass over the course of a decade. However, because this change is one that takes place over time, noticing it requires keeping track of muscle mass and physical strength over a period of years. Ultimately, you might not notice the change until its effects become apparent in your day-to-day life, at which point stopping or slowing down sarcopenia can be more difficult.

That said, the secondary effects of sarcopenia can provide some obvious clues that the condition is progressing. Many people experience trouble maintaining their balance, changes in the way they walk, and difficulties performing everyday tasks, such as carrying groceries or even simply moving around the house. In addition, those with sarcopenia tend to be at a much higher risk for falls, which can cause serious injuries to older adults. It’s for these reasons that implementing methods to stop or slow down sarcopenia should be a top priority for those with the condition. Luckily, these methods are both readily accessible and quite affordable; we’ll take a closer look in the next section.

How to Slow Down, Stop, or Reverse Sarcopenia

How can sarcopenia be prevented in adults? Regardless of the reason, a loss of muscle mass can almost always be treated with a combination of two factors: adequate protein intake and resistance exercise. While this may sound overly simplistic, many seniors have had great success slowing down, stopping, or even reversing the effects of sarcopenia by integrating these simple changes into their lives, and considering the fact that there is not yet an FDA-approved medication for the treatment of sarcopenia, diet and exercise also happen to be the only options available.


In essence, the use of diet and exercise to stop or slow down sarcopenia works on the same principles as those employed by bodybuilders and professional athletes. When we force our muscles to strain against resistance, we damage them, which signals to the body that stronger muscles are needed. As a result, the body both repairs and reinforces muscle tissue as part of the recovery process, slowing building up the person’s muscle mass over weeks, months, or years. In fact, the type of routine used by bodybuilders is almost identical to that used to fight sarcopenia: progressive resistance training. When employing this technique, a person will start their workout regimen at whatever level they’re comfortable with – for someone with sarcopenia, this may involve nothing more than bodyweight exercises – then gradually ramp up the intensity of the workout as the person gets stronger.


However, even the most well-coordinated workout routine won’t stop or slow down sarcopenia if the person engaged in exercise is lacking in protein – the resource required by the body to create new muscle tissue. For many seniors, this need for protein will mean an adjusted diet, as a large portion of older adults don’t meet the recommended levels for daily protein intake. In general, experts suggest that older adults get about half a gram of protein per pound of body weight; this means that a person who weighs 160 pounds will need 80 grams of protein each day to ensure that their body is ready to make muscle fibers. Because many seniors don’t have much of an appetite, this addition of protein may be tough, but products like high-protein meal replacement shakes and nutritional powders can make the process easier.

Try an ENU Protein Shake for Older Adults to Help Stop or Slow Down Sarcopenia

It’s true that simply drinking a shake or eating a steak isn’t enough to fight sarcopenia, but when used in combination with a safe, effective exercise regimen, the results can be considerable. If you or someone you know suffers from sarcopenia, talk to a healthcare professional about starting a workout routine that fits your needs and circumstances, and make sure your diet has plenty of protein. To learn more about the benefits of ENU products for seniors, visit us online or call (855) 266-6733 today.

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