You or your elderly parents may have been paying attention and keeping your body fit, but there are times when you can get sick. Are you aware, when you experience pain that makes you unable to move actively, the amount of muscle mass can be lost quickly and interfere with your recovery period?
Muscle mass can be lost as a person gets older. After 40, the muscle mass decreases by 8% every decade (10 years). If you experience pain and cannot move actively or undergo bed rest, you can run a 5% risk of losing muscle mass in just ten days. The loss of muscle mass can increase by three times greater if you are admitted to the ICU.
Muscles play an important role in the body’s structural functions such as strength and power, mobility, posture, and balance. Muscles also function in metabolic processes such as regulating blood sugar, storing glutamine, protein, and glycogen as the body’s energy reserves.
Losing muscle mass will interfere with the body’s metabolism, lose strength, and affect mobility. If this happens in the elderly, there is a risk of increasing the risk of falls and fractures. This condition can reduce independence and quality of life, take longer health recovery, and increase care costs.
Proper nutrition, including adequate protein intake, is essential in preventing or restoring lost muscle mass. Protein is a macronutrient that is very important in maintaining endurance. Protein is also a building block for various tissues of the body’s organs, including muscles. When you or your parents recover, the need for protein increases. The number of sources of protein consumed also needs to be increased.
Choose protein sources that are good for consumption and vary between protein from animal sources. Sources of this protein can be obtained from eggs and fish, nuts, soy, and tofu.
Consumption of protein is also useful for preventing muscle mass loss, such as HMB. HMB (Hydroxymethylbutyrate) is a type of leucine metabolite and has been clinically proven to avoid the breakdown of proteins in the body and maintain muscle mass.
HMB is found naturally in avocado, grapefruit, and catfish, but it is difficult to get enough HMB from food sources alone. Therefore, it is beneficial to get nutritional supplements containing HMB.
The choice can be milk because milk is rich in nutrients that can support recovery, and will also be easier to consume, especially for older people who have difficulty eating and sick parents.