Discover the Top Health and Fitness News from December 2019
The Wellness Report breaks down the top health and fitness news of the month! Read on to learn about the top stories from December 2019! Also, for expert analysis, read “our take” after each section for an expert-guided breakdown of each topic.
Extra Protein Consumption Only Benefits Certain People
Only some people may benefit from consuming more daily protein than recommended. A recent study done by Purdue University found that consuming more protein than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) only benefited those who were actively dieting to lose weight or training to build lean body mass. Those who were not weight training or dieting didn’t experience any changes in lean body mass when they consumed more than the recommended amount of protein.
The RDA for protein is set to adequately fulfill the physiological needs of healthy individuals. But certain people with specific goals may have greater needs, including weight lifters, those trying to lose weight and those recovering from injury or illness. Work with a registered dietitian to determine what your personal protein needs should be based on your goals and lifestyle.
Consistent Exercise May Reduce Age-Related Muscle Inflammation
A recent study suggests lifelong exercise can help prevent age-related inflammation in skeletal muscle. The study examined exercise-induced inflammation of young exercisers, older healthy non-exercisers and older lifelong exercisers. Researchers found that lifelong exercisers had similar muscle cells to young exercisers. However, the muscles of older non-exercisers showed greater age-related inflammatory damage. The results suggest that exercising throughout life may help keep aging muscles healthy and prevent age-related inflammation.
This was a small study and more research would need to be done to determine anything concrete. Additionally, it only tracked post-exercise inflammation. That said, the benefits of exercising consistently are well established, and these findings further reinforce the pros of staying active!
Post-Exercise Ice Baths May Impair Muscle Recovery
A recent study examined the impact of ice baths on the synthesis of new protein in muscles. Ice baths are commonly used as a strategy to alleviate post-workout muscle soreness by reducing blood flow, swelling and inflammation in the muscles. This study aimed to further explore how ice baths impacted post-exercise muscle growth. Participants placed one leg in cold water (8°C) and the other leg in thermoneutral water (30°C) after exercising. Results showed a decrease in the amount of new protein generated in the leg placed in cold water.
The study’s findings suggest that ice baths may actually impair post-exercise muscle growth. It’s not the first study to question the use of ice baths for post-workout recovery either. However, it was a small study performed on a specific demographic (12 healthy, young males), and its results are by no means conclusive.
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