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Nutrition & Dieting/Amount of time it takes for muscles to heal after workout.

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Hi Laura,

I`m a male and am about to turn 67 years old.  I lifted weights and jogged off and on throughout my young life.  I stopped lifting about 10 years ago because it took so long for my muscles to heal that it just didn`t seem worth the trouble.  I now have an over weight 17 yr. old Grandson.  I`ve tried working out with him and he just eats it up.  He`s a born work out warrior.  I can`t keep up with him.  He`s recovered by the second day and I`m just not.  It seems to take me 3 days just to get to the sorest point and then another 2 or 3 days to recover.  I`ve tried just supervising him working out and it just doesn`t work.  We both love the competition of doing it together.  Mostly it`s me that looses interest, because I really want to be doing it, but just can`t.  Is there some kind of protein supplement that could help my recovery time, hopefully a lot?  Are there pros and cons involved?

Answer
Hi!

First of all, you're awesome! You are beginning a good program for you and helping your grandson.

After not working out for 10 years, it's no surprise that your muscles need time to gain some momentum. However, I know that you realize that the recovery time for a 17 year old will certainly be different from that of a 67 year old or even that of a 35 year old. There are no protein supplements that truly work to speed recovery time. That is primarily just not how the body works. There are advertisements that say so, but they do not replace good nutrition. Here are some brief tips for your that will help to increase recovery time gradually while at the same time build lean muscle and muscle efficiency:

1.  Ensure adequate hydration. Make sure that you are drinking enough water for both regular activities and your work out. Even a 1-2% degree of dehydration will limit the recovery time. Your hydration should be good, clean water throughout the day; not just work out time.
2. The muscles need glucose to create glycogen, which is the fuel for anaerobic respiration while strength training. Ensure that you are getting carbohydrate calories equal to 50-60% of your calorie intake. Carb sources should be high fiber carbohydrates such as vegetables.
3. Don't over do the protein. Protein needs are approximately 1 gram for every 2 pounds of body weight. Even professional athletes only need slightly more at about 1.4 grams per 2 pounds of body weight. If you increase above your protein needs, the ammonia and urea creation will actually hurt your ability to recover on different levels. In addition, higher protein increases dehydration; see #1.
4. Do basic sets and reps with 90 second rests between sets for the first six weeks. If at the point you want to move to super sets, then do so. However, your body and muscles need time to build momentum.
5. Both him and you should rest one day, at a minimum, between work outs.
6. Spend time stretching and warming those muscles very well before training. If you are able, heat the muscles that you are training with a heating pad before stretching. You can even use a heating cream prior to the stretch, such as Tiger Balm, on the muscles that you are working.
7. Spend a small amount of time between sets stretching the muscles that you just worked.
8. Split your work out between body areas. Front upper one day, skip a day, legs another, skip a day, then back upper the last day. There is no reason to work all parts at once or even several days a week. This means that your body parts will have as much recovery as they need and none of the muscles will be overworked.
9. Cut yourself some slack and let your body work up to the levels you want.

I hope that I have helped you! I am so happy for you that you are beginning again!  

Nutrition & Dieting

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Laura Ray, BS Nutrition, Certified Wellness Coach

Expertise

Please only individuals over the age of 18 years. I have no expertise in adolescent nutrition. Also, this is not a forum in which I am able to create an individual or general diet plan. I will answer general questions. I can answer directly to questions regarding the use of nutrition and exercise to weight loss in women particularly as it relates to the following: yo-yo dieting, lifestyle change, hormonal changes, menopause, perimenopause, metabolic disorders, age related fat accumulation, HCG dieting, Dr. Simeon, nutritional changes geared toward health, coaching as it relates to weight loss, finding affordable nutrition plans, why diets do not work, and complete wellness programs.

Experience

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, am certified in Wellness Coaching by Wellcoaches, and live what I teach.

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Bachelor of Science Nutrition, Certified in Wellness Coaching

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