News article

Building muscle could help increase longevity in older adults

Posted:  Monday, March 24, 2014

It’s time to bulk, hit the gym, researcher at UCLA say it will help you live longer. This study has further affirmed a study conducted by Dr. Preethi Srikanthan, an assistant clinical professor in the endocrinology division at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA which stated that building muscle mass helps reduce metabolic risk.

This was a follow up research to 2004 study that determined how many of them died of natural causes. The data analysed was from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III, which occurred between 1988 and 1994. Out of the 3659 candidates analysed were 55 men or older and women 65 and over.

“As there is no gold-standard measure of body composition, several studies have addressed this question using different measurement techniques and have obtained different results,” Srikanthan said. “So many studies on the mortality impact of obesity focus on Body Mass Index. Our study indicates that clinicians need to be focusing on ways to improve body composition, rather than on BMI alone, when counselling older adults on preventative health behaviours.”

Researchers were able to determine that an electrical current passes through muscle easier than fat as muscle has more water content. A process known as bioelectrical impedance (current runs through the body) was used to examine a subject’s body composition.

“The greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death,” said study co-author Dr. Arun Karlamangla, an associate professor in the geriatrics division at the Geffen School. “Thus, rather than worrying about weight or body mass index, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass.”

Each person’s body is different and the rate muscle gain takes place also differs. Certain methods can be used in order to build muscles.

Muscle Building:

Calories are key, but they aren’t the only thing to take into consideration. You should aim for more than 300-500 calories every day in order to replenish the calories that body burns through exercise and normal functioning, this is based on the calculations of 6 meals a day. Adding protein to your diet and staying hydrated before, during and after your workouts will help in muscle building. Make sure you eat after your workouts.


When muscle building it’s necessary, along with your daily diet to use supplements to aid in muscle building. Whey protein powder rules the roost when it comes to mass gain supplements. Whey digests the fastest and gets to your muscle rapidly along with this increases blood flow. Creatine is a naturally occurring substance within our cells it increases muscle volume, faster post workout recovery and promotion of lean muscles. Another supplement that is helpful is amino acid it dries nutrients to the muscle tissues.

So, the answer to living longer lies in your muscles. However, researchers found limitations in their study but are happy with the results.

“We conclude that measurement of muscle mass relative to body height should be added to the toolbox of clinicians caring for older adults.”