Oxidative stress was one of the first things I had to get under control to start regaining my health. I was also a hardgainer for much of my life. The last couple of years and slowing metabolism due to age made it easier to put on muscle. The oxidative stress on the other hand made it take longer to recover and eventually was a strong sign of the chronic stress and inflammation my body was experiencing. So I looked puffy for more reasons than eating too much pizza!!
Why is it harder to build muscle as we age?
The first reason is the lower lever of testosterone and growth hormone which I do not think you needed me to tell you that since that is common knowledge!
Another part that no one ever discusses is how oxidative stress interferes with building muscle. As we get older and crustier or just sick in general the ROS (reactive oxygen species) level in our bodies increases and interferes with protein synthesis (creation of new muscle). The bodies inability to heal as we did when we were all in our prime is inhibited by our new normal built in karma score!
So How Do We Promote Building Muscle
So if we are older, recovering from sickness or just a plain party animal who does not eat the perfect diet or have the perfect habits and are in the midst of our prime, what can we do to naturally improve and promote muscle gain?
Reduce Oxidative Stress
Let’s start with the supplements!
Quercetin or Rutin, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Zinc and Selenium seems to be the magic mixture selected to reduce oxidative stress that interferes with muscle growth.
Quercetin seems to be a more stable alternative than Rutin and was one of the supplements I used to help eliminate my autoimmune disease.
Vitamin A is best to be supplemented with a fat soluble supplement to avoid toxicity issues. It’s also found in butter, cod liver oil, carrots, collard greens, broccoli leaves and liver.
Vitamin E can be found in turnips, collard greens, almonds and hazelnuts.
Selenium is found in Brazil nuts, kidney, tuna, crab, lobster, fish, sunflower seeds, caviar, bacon, pork and shrimp.
Zinc can be found in Oysters, Veal liver, low fat roast beef, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, dried watermelon seeds, dark chocolate, lamb (veal), peanuts and crab.
I prefer the natural sources versus popping a pill, plus I can’t stand having to swallow a handful of pills that seem to lodge in my throat!!
If you are looking to maximize muscle growth then the most important word in your vocabulary when talking about protein or amino acids is LEUCINE!
It is the amino acid responsible for kicking off the very thing you are even picking up the heavy weight for! It is the ANABOLIC AMINO ACID!!
So buy a bag of it in powder form to mix 5g of it into your protein drink from now on! And while you’re at it put some freaking Creatine in there too!!
J Nutr. 2012 Dec;142(12):2212S-9S. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.157370. Epub 2012 Oct 17. Knowledge gained from studies of leucine consumption in animals and humans. Millward DJ. Source Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK.
Eur J Biochem. 2002 Jun;269(12):3076-85. Cellular stresses profoundly inhibit protein synthesis and modulate the states of phosphorylation of multiple translation factors. Patel J, McLeod LE, Vries RG, Flynn A, Wang X, Proud CG. Source Department of Biosciences, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, UK.
J Nutr. 2008 Nov;138(11):2205-11. Antioxidant supplementation restores defective leucine stimulation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle from old rats. Marzani B, Balage M, Vénien A, Astruc T, Papet I, Dardevet D, Mosoni L. Source INRA, Centre de Clermont-Ferrand-Theix, UMR 1019, Unité Nutrition Humaine, Saint Genès Champanelle, F-63122 France.