Why is it important to have a lean physique and good muscle mass?
Well you might think we want to have a lean body, defined muscles or muscle mass because we simply want to look good for our partner or ourselves but this is only part of the equation, let me explain...
For our bones to be strong and supported, our body needs strong muscles and vice versa! Having muscle mass (no, you don't have to be a power-lifter or body-builder) and a lean physique can actually help our bones by protecting them from weakening or thinning out.
What puts older people at a higher risk for osteoporosis is obviously a lack of vitamin D and the mineral calcium but also optimising muscle mass to help increase bone strength and bone density.
So What Things Help Muscle Health and Muscle Mass?
Firstly, it's important to discuss what nutrients muscles need to function well and be healthy.
The first one is kind of obvious and if you guessed protein then you guessed right!
Protein is vital for healthy muscles because it helps to nourish the muscle tissue and contributes to its functioning on a cellular level.
In your muscle tissue, you'll find large amounts of protein. Your muscles go through a continual turnover - whereby the old muscle cells are always being replaced by new ones, how cool is that?
However, in order to generate new muscle you need to be consuming amino acids (certain amino acids that your body doesn't produce naturally), amino acids found in things like hydrolyzed collagen powder.
The key is to be consuming enough protein each day to meet the needs of your muscles (and other wellbeing needs). Too little protein equals muscles that can't meet their potential or your own personal body or wellness goals.
Your own requirements will be individual to you, your sex and activity level.
To calculate your own individual requirements, we recommend checking out this website. But be sure to finish this blog first!
Minerals for Muscles
Muscles need minerals for proper functioning and your nerves do as well. Nerves play a big role in muscle contraction, in fact, when a nerve cell is activated (your muscle fibres are connected to nerve cells) a muscle contraction is triggered.
The minerals that facilitate this incredible function are potassium, sodium and calcium. You can find these in foods listed below.
Please Note: with regards to sodium, the best sources are Himalayan and Celtic/Sea salt as these are virtually unprocessed and still contain other minerals. Try to avoid table salt or iodised table salt because it is manufactured salt that is devoid of nutrition (magnesium, calcium and potassium) and iodine can be found in eggs, seaweed (nori, kelp, kombu and wakame).
Iodine is crucial for thyroid health and can be taken in supplement form but always do this under the care and supervision of your trusted health practitioner as it can be easy to overdose, thus causing more harm than good (potentially).
Potassium & Calcium Source to Highlight
One thing I've discovered lately as a great calcium and potassium source (since it arrived into PSA HQ recently) is Baobab powder. I had never even heard of this fruit before that grows on the African bottle tree (known as the 'tree of life').
It's a fascinating thing as it is not like any regular fruit you'd find in the markets, but it's found inside of hard pods and the fruit dries out inside of the pod whilst on the tree before being harvested!
It's low in carbohydrates and sugar and high in essential gut-loving fibre but it's the nutrition that also excites me! It contains a good amount of potassium and also calcium, magnesium and vitamin c!
Click here to learn more but come right back because we still have more to share on muscles!
One of the Best Natural Potassium and calcium drinks you can make at home to help replenish your muscles is my natural sports drink - just take out the sodium if you're not training/sweating hard. You most likely get enough sodium from your daily diet.
Organic Baobab Powder - contains Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and More!
Muscle Function & the Skeleton
Last but not least in essential nutrition for muscles is vitamin D. This nutrient helps to promote muscle function by providing nourishment to your skeleton (bones) and when your skeleton (bones) are strong, the muscles surrounding can do their job.
Did you also know that vitamin D plays and important role in muscle strength? And that people who are vitamin D-deficient often have less strength and may see a decline in performance.
You can look up the study published in "Molecular Aspects of Medicine" from 2008.
I hope you enjoyed today's article and it added value to your life or taught your something. It is my absolute mission to help people become the healthiest versions of themselves and we can only do better when we know better.
I would also love it if you would share this with anyone you think might benefit, that would be incredible.
Until next time, take great care of yourself, because...
Your Health is your Wealth™
Disclaimer: the information in this article is intended purely as information and not health advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and one should always seek expert advice from their trusted health practitioner.