From a health perspective, an underappreciated consequence of the normal aging process is the impacts that the gradual loss of skeletal muscle mass, termed sarcopenia, has on health beyond an effect on locomotion. Sarcopenia, refers to the loss of muscle mass, and associated muscle weakness, which occurs in aging and is thought to proceed at a rate of approximately 1% loss per year. However, periods of inactivity due to illness or recovery from orthopedic procedures such as hip or knee replacement are times of accelerated sarcopenic muscle loss from which it may be more difficult for older persons to recover. Some of the consequences of age-related sarcopenia are easy to appreciate such as weakness and, eventually, reduced mobility; however, other lesser recognized consequences include, due to the metabolic role the skeletal muscle plays, an increased risk for poor glucose control and a predisposition toward weight gain. What we currently know is that two stimuli can counter this age related muscle loss and these are physical activity, specifically resistance exercise (weightlifting), and nutrition. The focus of this paper is on the types of dietary protein that people might reasonably consume to offset sarcopenic muscle loss.
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