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One Minor Tweak To Your Diet Can Make A Major Difference To Your Bones

bone-health-protein-time

Sometimes, little things can make a big difference. Today’s topic is a perfect example.

Savers know that strong muscles are crucial for healthy bones, and that muscle tissue is made of protein. So what else is new? A breakthrough study has shown that the timing of protein consumption matters tremendously in order to reap its maximum muscle-building benefits to increase bone density (and it’s not about a post-workout protein shake).
 
Today you’ll get all the details including how to apply this scientifically proven timing strategy within the parameters of the 80/20 pH-balanced diet. In addition, I’m sure you’ll love my handy pH-balanced recipe for a versatile, protein-rich spread that’s delicious any time of the day.

So let’s take a closer look at the fascinating topic of how muscles, bones, and protein all work together to defeat osteoporosis.

Brand New Study Proves Timing Is Everything When It Comes To Protein And Muscle Health

If you’re on the Save Our Bones Program, you are familiar with Wolff’s Law and how it factors into building bone density through muscle-strengthening exercise. The basic tenet is, the force of gravity and muscle on bone stimulates bone growth.

Clearly, for this strategy to be effective, you need to build strong muscles. What researchers at the University of Texas discovered is that the typical American diet, which emphasizes carbohydrates at breakfast and heavy protein at dinner, is not optimal for promoting muscle growth.

According to study leader Doug Paddon-Jones, “You don’t have to eat massive amounts of protein to maximize muscle synthesis, you just have to be a little more thoughtful with how you apportion it.”1 Study participants were given 90 grams of protein as part of their daily diet. One group ate approximately 30 grams for each meal; the other group consumed 10 grams of protein at breakfast, 15 at lunch, and 65 at dinner.

Participants who ate the same amount of protein at each meal showed a 25% greater protein synthesis over a 24-hour period than those who ate the majority of their protein at dinner. In other words, when protein intake was spread evenly through the day, more of the protein went to making muscle.1

This is vital information for improving bone density, because…

Strong Muscles Build Strong Bones

According to a recent study, “…muscle function is critical for the successful development of the skeleton and is likely to play an important role in mediating bone health through life.”2 This brings up an important point: the role of aging in muscle and bone deterioration.

As we age, our muscle mass decreases by about 10 percent between the ages of 25 and 50. After that, muscles shrink even more – by 45% between the age of 50 and 80. That begs the question,

Are Shrinking Muscles An Inevitable Part Of Aging?

To answer this question, we need to look at why, exactly, muscles deteriorate with age.

According to innovative new research from Sweden, after the age of 50 (when the most dramatic muscle loss occurs), motor nerve cells in the spinal cord begin to deteriorate. These nerve cells are responsible for signaling muscle fibers to contract when you’re engaging in physical activity, so when the nerves degenerate, so does the connection between them and your muscles.3

Without this connection to the motor nerve cells, the muscle cells begin to die off.3 The good news is, this degenerative process can be stopped and even reversed through simple changes in diet and lifestyle.

What You Can Do To Halt Muscle Deterioration

A study from the East Tennessee State University has shown that aerobic exercise combined with strength training is superior to aerobic exercise alone for increasing bone density.4 Half of the 43 participants – all of whom were aged 55 or older – exercised 3 times a week for 30 minutes. One group did aerobics only for the whole 30 minutes, while the other group did 15 minutes of aerobics and 15 minutes of strength training (using weights).

After 4 months, the participants who engaged in strength training as part of their routine experienced an increase in both bone density and lean muscle mass.4

So the answer to the above question – are shrinking muscles an inevitable part of aging – is a definite “no.” This is wonderful news!

Putting It All Together – Exercise And Protein Intake For Proper Muscle Synthesis

Proteins are made of a combination of amino acids. There are only 20 amino acids available, but they can be combined in a nearly infinite number of sequences…that is, if your body has access to them. Additionally, for your body to make use of the protein to build muscle, it needs to be bioavailable. This is where variety of diet, type of protein, and timing of protein intake come into play.

Consuming more than one type of protein is important for providing your body with enough amino acids. Choosing proteins that are digestible and bioavailable is equally important to prevent inflammation caused by proteins that are not digestible.

Inflammation happens because some proteins – particularly those found in soy, corn, wheat, and dairy – consist of long chains of tightly folded amino acids, making them nearly impossible for the body to break down completely. Therefore, these incompletely digested proteins don’t get utilized by the body for important tasks like building muscle tissue.

But Isn’t Protein Acidifying?

Animal protein is indeed acidifying. But there are many vegetarian options that are alkalizing, and of course, no foods are off-limits on the Save Our Bones Program. And remember that it’s not just the type of protein that’s important, but spreading it out through the day as well.

The following is a list of meatless protein options, many of which are Foundation Foods in the Save Our Bones Program.

Bioavailable Vegetarian Sources High In Protein

With this list, you can now easily consume vegetarian and animal protein with your meals throughout the day, and easily maintain the pH balance!

And below’s a handy recipe that provides yet another option for incorporating protein into your daily diet. It’s a pH-balanced, whey-based protein spread that is perfect for “spreading” your protein intake through the day. It’s delicious on apples, bananas, and any food that’s good with nut butter. And because it’s whey-based, it’s the most bioavailable protein your body can use to build strong muscles and increase your bone density.

This takes just minutes to prepare, and there are two delicious varieties.

Whey Better Than Any Butter

Makes 1 Serving

(You can make more and store it in a container in the refrigerator. Check the yogurt expiration date to know how long it will keep.)

Chocolate Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1-3 tablespoons of any milk substitute such as almond milk (adjust to achieve desired consistency)
  • 2 teaspoons slivered almonds

Vanilla Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 1-3 tablespoons of any milk substitute such as almond milk (adjust to achieve desired consistency)
  • 1 teaspoon of mini dark chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds (you can substitute with your favorite alkalizing seeds)

Directions for both:

  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients except almonds, sunflower seeds and chocolate chips, until it forms a paste of desired consistency.
  2. Add the nuts, seeds, or chips and mix well. Sweeten with stevia to taste if necessary.

Stay strong!

References

1 Mamerow, Madonna M., et al. “Dietary Protein Distribution Positively Influences 24-h Muscle Protein Synthesis in Healthy Adults.” The Journal of Nutrition. January 29, 2014, doi: 10.3945/jn.113.185280. Web. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/early/2014/01/28/jn.113.185280.abstract
2 Gross, T.S., et al. “The effect of muscle dysfuntion on bone mass and morphology.” Journal of Muculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions. 2010 march; 10(1):25-34. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20190377
3 “Ageing and Human Muscle: Observations from Sweden.” Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology. Vol. 18(1),pp2-18, 1993).
4 Keene, Shane. “Studying the Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training in Patients with Obstructive Lung Diseases.” The Internet Journal of Pulmonary Medicine. 2007; Volume 7, Number 2. Pdf.

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39 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. felix kilonzo July 9, 2014, 11:17 am

    Hi Vivian thanks for your continued update.

  2. Barb June 13, 2014, 2:44 pm

    What about a cup a day of kefir, if it is unsweetened and home made with whole organic milk? PS, thank-you for your excellent work

  3. Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel) June 3, 2014, 9:54 pm

    Good Evening Vivian,

    For Those Who Are Allergic To Cow’s Milk – Could They Use Almond Milk Instead?

    Thank You Very Much For All The Research Work You Do For All Of Us, To Help Us Keep Our Bones Healthy.

    Until Next Time – Take Care And Stay Well.

    LOVE, LESLIE (MS. L. CARMEL)

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 5, 2014, 8:15 am

      Yes, Leslie! I do recommend unsweetened almond milk as a tasty, bone-healthy alternative to cow’s milk. :) Thanks for your kind words!

  4. Regina June 3, 2014, 11:08 am

    since brown rice is acidifying, will it help if we soak the rice for several hours before cooking. it is said to remove the phytic acid in it.

  5. L,D. May 30, 2014, 9:40 am

    Hello All, I’ve commented on this one already but forgot to ask if Brown Rice protein powder which has 6g per TBS. would be a good idea until I run out and go to the whey? Thanks very much!!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 30, 2014, 10:31 am

      L.D., just bear in mind that brown rice is acidifying, so if you use it, you can include more alkalizing foods in your meal to keep things balanced. :)

  6. Jan D May 29, 2014, 8:05 pm

    Thanks as ever for this information. I am vegetarian except for occasional fish. I’ve been wondering how to get more protein since most beans are acidifying so this will be good.
    Does it make any difference what sort of whey protein you buy? There seem to be various types, some have artificial sweeteners in them which I avoid, also the ones I’ve seen all have flavouring added.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 30, 2014, 10:25 am

      Jan, if you’ll click on the word “Whey” in the list of foods in the article, it will take you to an informative post on a whey protein that I recommend. :) You can also click here:

      http://saveourbones.com/the-whey-to-bone-health/

      And it’s quite savvy of you to check ingredients carefully! You are right – some whey products do have unhealthy ingredients. :)

      • Linda kc May 30, 2014, 10:32 am

        Jan,

        Lima beans are alkalizing. I put them in my salads and I have to admit if I have a can of them I like them cold and out of the can! Yes, there are strange people out there!
        Just wanted to let you know there is another protein source.
        Blessings!

  7. katie May 29, 2014, 5:11 pm

    Thanks for all the great info you give us, Vivian! However, I would love to try your wee recipe but as I get migraines if I so much as look at chocolate I’m afraid I’ll have to give this one a miss… Any non-chocolate alternatives please?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 29, 2014, 8:02 pm

      You could try carob powder, Katie. :)

      • Katie June 1, 2014, 6:03 pm

        Thanks for that Vivian! I hadn’t considered carob as I had written chocolate off completely and hence all substitutes! It’s certainly worth a try. I used to use it for my son when he was little and had an allergy to chocolate. I got quite adept at using it in cakes etc and enjoyed the taste!

  8. Gerri D. May 29, 2014, 4:17 pm

    Hi Vivian , I haven’t commented lately ,but I am here absorbing as much information as you provide,which I thank you for. Knowledge is wisdom.
    Thanks again.

  9. Verlene Scott May 29, 2014, 3:27 pm

    Actually I have a question. What are your feelings of taking:
    a, Probiotics
    b. Zocor

    I know you have probably answered these questions, but I am recently on board & missed it. thank you.

  10. shula May 29, 2014, 2:50 pm

    Why did the 2 groups in the above experiment consumed 90 grams of protein daily? To my understanding – too much protein harms the bones, and the average should be around 50 grams per day, depending on the size / weight of the person.

    Thanks

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 29, 2014, 3:01 pm

      Shula, the purpose of this study was simply to find clear evidence if spreading protein consumption throughout the day improves muscle health. So the researchers picked a certain protein dosage to be able to compare the results. And yes, you’re right, the ideal protein consumption varies with age, size, etc.

  11. Marlene Villar May 29, 2014, 11:54 am

    Dear Vivian,
    Thank you very much for always sharing with us an excellent info.
    regarding our bone health. The e-mails shared by other people
    were all encouraging and uplifting. Thank you.
    May GOD bless you . Marlene

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 29, 2014, 2:57 pm

      Thanking you and everyone in the community for the gratitude!!

  12. Ita May 29, 2014, 11:10 am

    Thank you,Ita.

  13. Diane May 29, 2014, 10:35 am

    Wish I could try your spread but I’m allergic to milk, but I was wondering about sprouted grains. You said the protein in grains is nearly impossible for the body to break down, would sprouted grains in Ezekiel bread be any better? I have trouble getting enough protein because of allergies to milk and eggs and I don’t eat beef or pork so any were I can add a little protein helps!

    Thanks,
    Diane

    • Suzy May 29, 2014, 11:01 am

      Hi, Vivian. I would also like to know about sprouted grains – especially Ezekiel Bread. And your thoughts on the Paleo Diet.
      Thanks for all the info you give us!!!
      Suzy

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 29, 2014, 11:00 am

      A variety of combined sprouted grains is a good source of protein, but remember, it’s acidifying. In view of your allergies, you might want to try pea protein. It’s made from yellow peas and it’s rich in branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) that support muscle health. Let us know how you do with it :)

  14. Pat Barmore May 29, 2014, 9:33 am

    Vivian,

    I’m a little confused. If milk is not easily utilized as a protein, why is whey protein powder considered one of the best sources of protein for the body?

    Thanks so much for your help!
    Pat

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 29, 2014, 10:31 am

      Besides the fact that whey protein is alkalizing and milk is acidifying, whey protein is absorbed fast and therefore it’s bioavailability is unmatched. Remember that both whey protein concentrate and isolate are very different from milk. In fact, the whey isolate practically contains no lactose! Keep asking questions :)

      • Betty May 29, 2014, 10:53 am

        That is good news about whey because I avoid dairy and therefore whey protein. I will try it and see if it has any affect on my congestion other dairy products do.

  15. Betty May 29, 2014, 9:17 am

    Thanks again Vivian for so many interesting and bone building articles. It really is a great resource you give us on a regular basis. I find them all very helpful and try to incorporate what I can of dietary, exercise. The information on osteoporosis drugs would be impossible to know without your research articles. Look forward to more!

  16. job May 29, 2014, 8:14 am

    What are your thoughts about a vegan diet?

  17. nancy May 29, 2014, 8:12 am

    Hi Vivian,
    Thanks for all your wisdom and caring to help us all. Can you address specific things we can do for spinal compression? It seems a common problem as we get older. Thank you again for all you do!

  18. L.D. May 29, 2014, 7:56 am

    What a great addition. This could be a wonderful asset to my arsenal. I’ve been having severe problems with my spine compressing and it seems I’m not doing enough. Have just created a new menu plan to incorporate with the exercises and praying I can get back on track sooner rather than later.. Thanks so much Vivian!!!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 29, 2014, 10:23 am

      You’re very welcome!

  19. Linda b horn May 29, 2014, 7:00 am

    What about juicing
    And getting a large amount of vegetable nutrients?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 29, 2014, 10:23 am

      Juicing is a good way to alkalize the pH and consume fruits and veggies that you would otherwise not eat (at least not in those quantities). They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. However, juicing is not the most efficient way of getting protein.

  20. Annabelle May 29, 2014, 4:49 am

    I also take whey powder occasionally, but thanks to you Vivienne will take it more regularly.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 29, 2014, 7:55 am

      Let us know if you try the spread, Annabelle!

  21. Nancy Hughes May 29, 2014, 4:40 am

    Thanks for all the valid info you give us Vivian to help us to build strong bones.I am trying to convince a friend to stop taking Actonel but she keeps arguing that my taking yogurt is dairy and it’s stupid to say that milk is the bone thief as yogurt is made from milk.
    Could you give me an explanation on this as she is quite convinced she is doing the right thing taking Actonel once a week and the Osteoporosis Society have told her she should continue.She has read your book “Save our bones” but sadly not convinced.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 29, 2014, 10:19 am

      Nancy, let’s embrace the freedom we have to make our own choices about our bone health!

  22. ROWENA May 29, 2014, 3:12 am

    thanks once again Vivian for this wonderful information
    I do take whey powder most days but only once a day and after exercise but i will now take it through out the day
    instead

    I hope this works better
    cheers Rowena

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