As we age, the loss of strength and muscle is common…so identifying these essential vitamins for aging muscles is important!
In fact, after the age of 50, it is estimated that adults lose an average of 1-2% of their muscle mass each year.
This is only accelerated after the age of 60.
If you suffer from cardiovascular disease or diabetes, you may notice a pronounced depletion of muscle and strength even sooner.
This is an ever-increasing public health concern due to the enhanced risks of injury, falls, and the decline in quality of life.
As a result, there has been much research into the best nutrients to support aging muscles.
With this in mind, this article is going to explore the top 10 most important vitamins (see also ‘What Vitamins Should Men Take Daily At Different Ages?‘) for aging muscles.
Essential Vitamins for Aging Muscles
Vitamin D has long been nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin” since we can get it straight from sunlight.
Although, getting the required dosage can sometimes be difficult if you’re working indoors or living in a cloudy climate.
Therefore, these vitamins help to support protein synthesis and maintain healthy bones – which you need to stay strong and healthy.
Likewise, vitamin D also helps to promote mood balance, insulin, and nutrient absorption – an important vitamin to consume as you get older.
Vitamin D supplements are a great way to incorporate them into your diet.
Although, you can also get enough vitamin D from soy milk, eating plenty of fish (such as salmon, thick tuna, and mackerel), egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver – these all help to keep your levels high.
Moreover, you may also want to include vitamin D3 and K2 into your diet.
While vitamin D aids in calcium absorption, vitamin K then directs this appropriately to keep your bones strong.
Without enough vitamin K, your body will start to build up calcium in your arteries, rather than your bones, which could lead to heart disease.
Vitamin B12 is needed to help your body produce red blood cells. These are responsible for dispensing oxygen to your muscle.
Therefore, B12 is a key component in muscle growth and aging muscles. B12 can be found in most foods including poultry, fish, and dairy.
Although, if you’re vegan or vegetarian you are more susceptible to developing B12 deficiency.
Therefore, make sure to eat plenty of fortified cereals, plant-based milk, soya beans, and soy.
Alternatively, you may want to consider taking vitamin B12 supplements (see also ‘Is Creatine Safe For Older Adults?‘).
Vitamin B3, otherwise known as Niacin, is needed for muscle growth support, providing you with enhanced pumps.
As a result, you’ll see many fitness models and bodybuilding loading up on this nutrient before events and photoshoots.
Additionally, it can also help support an increase of good cholesterol (by reducing bad cholesterol), supports healthy hormone production, and promotes the metabolism of glucose.
This is found in a range of different foods including seeds, eggs, meats, fish, and bananas.
Beginning to notice a trend on the list?
Members of the B vitamin family are known as power players when it comes to muscle repair and bodybuilding.
Vitamin B6 is necessary to include in your diet for healthy quantities of nitric oxide (which is naturally generated in the body and supports endurance and performance) and the production of red blood cells.
This is found naturally in foods such as bananas, chickpeas, and fish (especially fatty fish like salmon and albacore).
For instance, one can of chickpeas provides you with over 55% of the recommended amount of B6.
Most people know vitamin E for its skin-living properties, although it can also aid in slowing down the aging process and forages free radicals (these are toxins or substances in the environment that put a risk to our health, they could even contribute to chronic illnesses) while flushing out any metabolic waste.
As we exercise, we are creating oxidative stress (free radicals) in the body.
Luckily, vitamin E helps to undo some of the damage caused by free radicals. You can find vitamin E in nuts.
Vitamin A is among one of the most unparalleled antioxidants.
Not only does it support protein synthesis but also the creation of glycogen – helping fight free radicals, supporting strong, healthy bones, and improving our eyes.
Although, the only issue with vitamin A is that it is easily susceptible to deficiency caused by many environmental factors including low-fat diets, alcohol, and illnesses (such as diabetes).
There are many easy ways to get vitamin A in your diet, for instance, eating fatty fish, carrots, and eggs.
Vitamin C is among one of the most commonly known vitamins – you’ve probably had your fair share of vitamin C gummies as a child!
Typically, most people embrace vitamin C for its immune-boosting capabilities, as well as a way to improve their antioxidant status.
Although, something that many people don’t realize is that it can also help in repairing damaged tissues – which is important for hitting the gym!
Vitamin C can be found in plenty of delicious foods, including leafy greens (such as kale), tomatoes, and citrus fruits (such as oranges).
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
According to research, omega-3 fatty acids can help influence the nutritional and exercise response of skeletal muscle, as well as reduce any post-exercise soreness in your muscles.
Not only does it speed up recovery time but it also helps to boost muscle growth, all while supporting and maintaining our eyes, brain, skin health, joints, and cardiovascular.
You can receive omega-3 fatty acids from foods including fish (such as sardines and mackerels), walnuts, avocados, and eggs.
To boost your omega-3, you can also take a daily fish oil supplement.
This vitamin is also great for supporting energy production, if you’re looking to gain muscle, then this vitamin will help you do so.
In addition, it can also help post-workout by reducing any soreness you may experience – helping you get back into the gym sooner, without having to wait to recover.
B2 can be found in a range of animal products such as lamb, beef, dairy, and trout. If you’re vegan, you may want to consider supplements.
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid Or Folate)
Vitamin B9 is essential for the growth of muscle.
Although, it’s important to understand that folic acid is the synthetic (or artificial; manufactured by chemical biosynthesis) variation of vitamin B9.
On the other hand, Folate is vitamin B9 that naturally occurs in food. It is also available in supplement form.
The combination of folate and vitamin B12 is required for the repairing and rebuilding of muscle tissue and energy production through physical activity.
The benefits of this vitamin include the repair of damaged tissue and cells, as well as the synthesis of new cells.
You get vitamin B9 from a range of foods including spinach and avocado.
Although, it is important to supplement folate into your regular, daily diet.
At the end of the day, exercise and good nutrition go hand-in-hand to support a healthy and long life. Especially as you get older.
As you age, your muscles and strength begin to wear down; therefore, regular exercise and vitamin in-tact couldn’t be more important.
Hopefully, this guide has informed you of the top 10 most important vitamins for aging muscles.