Chances are, if you've been taking reasonably good care of yourself up to now -- eating clean, keeping your exercise regimen on point -- you don't feel particularly old at age 40. You've kept the belly at bay; you still recover sufficiently from exercise; your appetite, sex drive, and mental acuity are all present and accounted for.
Good for you! Unfortunately, changes are coming. Even now, though you aren't aware of it, your hormone levels are declining, your digestion is working less efficiently, you're losing a slim percentage of muscle mass each year. And that, of course, is just the beginning.
It wasn't so long ago that few people hoped to feel youthful and vital in their 50's, never mind their 60's or 70's. Now, however, we know that many of the symptoms of aging are just that -- symptoms that can be treated and alleviated with the best medicine of all, proper nutrition. The key is to lay a solid nutritional foundation for extended and lasting youthfulness and vitality NOW, so that when crunch time arrives in your 50s and 60s, your body has the health reserves to draw on to successfully combat the ravages to come.
With that philosophy in mind, let's take a look at some key nutritional supplements worth adding to your regimen as you near and pass age 40.
Omega-3 Fish Oils
Is there anything Omega-3 fish oils can't do? The question might seem a little grandiose, but in truth, Omega-3s have been linked to a wide variety of beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, joint mobility and even healthy cholesterol levels. Now comes evidence that elevated levels of serial circulating Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the bloodstream has been associated with a higher likelihood of healthy aging. In a prospective cohort study published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) in September 2018, researchers studied a group of 2622 adults with a mean age of 74.4 and a successful healthy aging baseline (defined as free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, lung disease, and severe chronic kidney disease as well as the absence of cognitive and physical dysfunction).
The results were highly encouraging. Higher levels of circulating Omega-3s were associated with an 18% lower risk (95% confidence interval 7% to 28%) of unhealthy aging. The researchers concluded, "In older adults, a higher cumulative level of serially measured circulating Omega-3s ... was associated with a higher likelihood of healthy aging. These findings support guidelines for increased dietary consumption of Omega-3s in older adults."
Omega-3 supplementation, then, comes highly recommended for older, fitness-conscious people. But quality, as always, is key. Many low-grade versions from unscrupulous manufacturers can contain alarming levels of contamination. ProSource’s Omega-1250 is derived from pure deep-sea, cold-water sources that are molecularly distilled and highly purified. Each softgel capsule contains an ultra-potent 750 mg of the highest quality Omega-3 fatty acids, including high amounts of EPA (450 mg) and DHA (300 mg). ProSource has long recognized the critical health and exercise advantages provided by Omega-3’s, and its Omega-3 product is the industry's gold standard.
Sleep. It's amazing how important it is to us and also amazing how little quality sleep we get each day. Physicians recommend seven hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep each night. Without it, every crucial bodily function is undermined, from cognition to immune function to muscle recovery and beyond. Doctors have also determined that sleep quality tends to decrease as we age. We sleep more fitfully, experience less deep REM sleep, and tend to get up more often in the night. Poor sleep and less healthy aging are directly correlated. To attain ideal sleep, you should turn your communications devices off, put the TV in another room, and make sure your sleeping area is cool and dark.
You should also consider a high-quality ZMA supplement. ZMA -- or a precise ratio of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B-6 -- has long been associated with quality sleep. Research suggests that magnesium may help support the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for helping your body feel calm and relaxed, while supplementing with zinc has been linked to improved sleep quality in both human and animal studies.
For the men out there, studies have shown that low zinc levels may correspond to low testosterone levels. Zinc is needed for the synthesis of testosterone, and zinc is the most important co-factor in ZMA. ZMA has also been associated with support of IGF-1, an important hormone needed for anabolic growth.
Once again, ProSource has you covered when it comes to the highest standards of ingredient sourcing. ProSource ZMA is 100% sourced by SNAC Systems, the pioneer and innovator in this field of supplementation. SNAC Systems uses only the best zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6 in the exact ratios shown to be effective in clinical trials. It's been the athlete's #1 choice for decades.
Protein, Protein, and More Protein
It's called sarcopenia. It's the gradual loss of muscle mass as we grow older. Researchers estimate that after the age of 30, we lose 3% to 5% of muscle mass per decade. There are a number of reasons for this. Some are hormonal; for men especially, decreases in testosterone are associated with decreases in muscle mass. The cellular-level processes that govern muscle protein synthesis become less efficient as we age. Finally, lack of exercise and dietary deficiencies play a big role, too.
Decreases in muscle mass directly correlate with increases in excess fat, as muscle tissue is the furnace that burns fat deposits. Without strength, our work output capacity decreases dramatically. Markers of optimal health, such as good posture, balance, and mood are adversely affected. Eventually bone density decreases, we become more prone to falls, and we recover more slowly from injury and more susceptible to disease.
Fortunately, much of this is, to a great extent, avoidable. The key is to stay active and address your nutritional needs. You have to stay active! That means 30 to 45 minutes per day of moderately high-intensity exercise. Cardio such as bike-riding, running or a sport like basketball is great for your cardiovascular health. Weight-training is even better for you. A targeted regimen of resistance training will help you maintain muscle mass, keep your strength, and improve bone density.
And then there's protein. Whole food sources of protein (beef, fish, chicken) are abundant sources of the aminos essential to protein synthesis in muscle tissue that is the engine for repair, recovery, and growth. Supplemental sources of protein, particularly whey isolate, will help you ensure that your muscles remain in an anabolic, growth-intensive state throughout the day. In fact, whey protein actually has a higher bioavailability than beef, chicken, fish or eggs, and will begin appearing in your bloodstream about 15 minutes after you consume it. Whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate contain more than 90% protein, virtually no lactose or fat, and are superior in generating increased protein synthesis and muscle recovery response.
For proven muscle-building support, you would be well advised to consider ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite, a super-premium formula that combines the highest-quality whey protein isolate and hydrolyzed whey with other factors that promote muscle repair and recovery. It also contains an advanced leucine peptide technology which provides leucine in a highly bioavailable form ideal for unleashing protein synthesis and subsequent growth. When it comes to healthy aging, protein quantity is important; protein quality is indispensable.
A True Comprehensive Joint Support Compound
Joint injuries are very often the precipitating factor in a steep decline in overall wellbeing for older people. One tear or strain incurred from a fall or over-exertion can suspend your training regimen for months and open the door to a lengthy period of inactivity. Likewise, chronic joint pain can significantly reduce work output capacity over time.
Just as our bones grow more brittle, so too do our tendons, ligaments, and cartilage grow more tenuous and fragile. These narrow strands of dense fibrous tissue can tear in a moment and yet heal with agonizing slowness. Fortunately, you can feed and strengthen joint tissue just as you would muscle tissue.
ProSource has long been an industry leader in investigating promising new joint-support technologies and incorporating them into effective, bioavailable supplements. Our flagship joint-support technology, Extra Strength Joint Command, is the ultimate culmination of that research and formulation.
Extra Strength Joint Command features a synergistic matrix of cutting-edge joint-support factors designed to maximize joint stability, flexibility, and strength. One primary ingredient, ultra-potent HyaMax™, is a natural, standardized hyaluronic acid that possesses a unique water retaining action to help highly active joints stay healthy. Meriva® is an advanced phytosome technology that enhances the bioavailability and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, while 5-LOXIN® contains the most active of the 6 boswellic acids, AKBA, which helps inhibit 5-lipoxygenase, the compound responsible for the conversion of arachidonic acid into pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Additionally, Extra Strength Joint Command contains pure, stabilized, 98% absorbable glucosamine sulfate (at the clinically researched potency), paired in precise ratio with chondroitin sulfate, plus MSM and UC Type II collagen, compounds linked to anti-inflammatory action, flexibility support, and overall joint health. If you want to maximize wellness as you age, you have to stay active. To stay active you need to provide maximal support for your all-important connective tissue.
Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid. This means that the body can basically produce as much of it as it usually needs. In glutamine's case, the body can synthesize it from glutamic acid via the glutamine synthase enzyme. Glutamine provides important immune function support, has been linked to gastrointestinal health, and perhaps most importantly helps to combat muscle breakdown after high-intensity exercise by supporting protein synthesis and nitrogen retention. Glutamine also supports muscle hydration, which improves endurance.
So, okay, you're thinking, but if my body makes plenty of it, I'm fine. Right? Well, no. Glutamine is conditionally essential because there are times when it doesn't make enough of it to function properly. After intense exercise, levels of cellular glutamine can drop by 50% and plasma levels of glutamine can decline by 30%. This can result in your body breaking down muscle tissue for energy rather than utilizing carbohydrates. Also, your body's capacity to generate L-glutamine typically decreases as you age, and one of the consequences of this age-related loss of L-glutamine is a decrease in muscle strength.
Fortunately, supplementing with glutamine has never been easier. ProSource offers free form L-glutamine, tested and certified to be 100% pure by an independent analytical laboratory using the HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatography) method of analysis, in a convenient, easy-mixing powder that you can add to your protein shakes, pre-workout drinks or whatever's at hand.
True Clinical-Grade Male Hormone Support
Here's one for the men. Testosterone levels in men begin declining after age 30 and only accelerate as you reach 40 and beyond. Declines in this all-important male hormone can negatively impact many aspects of overall wellness including sex drive, stamina, sleep quality, focus, recovery, strength, muscle mass, and general vitality.
Now you may think that declines in testosterone levels are inevitable. Or you may think that you have to submit to expensive and artificial pharmaceutical treatments to support your T levels. But neither of these assumptions are necessarily true. In fact, researchers have been finding evidence that protodioscin-rich botanical extracts, derived from the herb Tribulus terrestris, may have positive effects on testosterone production in males.
Indeed, in a report published in Andrologia in 2016, 65 men (aged 18-65) with no hormonal issues took an herbal extract containing 112 mg of protodioscin daily for 12 weeks. Body fat percentage, lean muscle mass gain, steroid hormone levels and all semen quality parameters were analyzed during the period of treatment. It was concluded that taking the protodioscin-rich extract led to an increase in blood dihydrotestosterone levels, which coincided with decreased body fat percentage, and increases in lean mass. Along similar lines, in a pilot study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (2016), 30 male patients with clinical androgen deficiency were given 750 mg of a protodioscin-rich extract daily for 3 months. The research team found that this supplementation produced a 33% increase in total testosterone and 6% increase in free testosterone in this cohort.
Of all the T-boosters available, one that stands out in terms of research and potency is AndroTest by ProSource. To produce AndroTest, only the most potent raw Tribulus terrestris, harvested from southern Bulgaria, is used, which are then subjected to a highly advanced 4-phase multiple extraction method. AndroTest's full spectrum protodioscin-rich botanical compound has been validated in a product-specific clinical test in which test subjects experienced major increases in free testosterone, averaging 59.75% over baseline. Certainly, this is a field of science that bears watching for men over the age of 40 concerned about their T-levels.
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Salgado RM, Marques-Silva MH, Gonçalves E, Mathias AC, Aguiar JG, Wolff P. Effect of oral administration of Tribulus terrestris extract on semen quality and body fat index of infertile men. Andrologia. 2016 Jul 12. doi: 10.1111/and.12655. [Epub ahead of print]
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Use as directed with a sensible nutrition and exercise program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.