Bone and Muscle Support - A Real Balancing Act
This article takes a look at nutrition and physical activity and discusses steps you can take for your bone health, muscle support and balance.‡
Running the Course
Whether you’re running errands or running for a touchdown, you may have experienced occasional physical discomfort or needed some muscle support. If so, this article may provide valuable information about supporting your muscle and bone health. No matter your age or level of activity, you can encounter muscle discomfort at any time.‡
I have wonderful memories of watching my cousin play college football when I was a kid. This young athlete enjoyed his glory days on the field leading his team to many victories. I can still recall the excitement of cheering him on during many of these games, but I also remember the times where he was being assisted by the team athletic trainer for some injuries. That young athlete is now a physician who has had his share of aches and pains. He may tell you that that if he knew then, what he knows now, supporting muscle health would have been a priority for him.
It’s not just the athlete that feels the jolts of pain from a high-impact sport, many of us experience our own discomfort just getting through our day-to-day routine. If you’re looking for some ways to continue to develop good daily habits for optimal muscle support, then read on!‡
Muscle Support-Let’s Make it Simple
I’m sure you remember learning about the ten major systems of the body, noting that the musculoskeletal system is one of them. This system includes muscles, bones, joints and other connective tissues like cartilage, ligaments and tendons. As you know, our muscles help us to walk, run, lift things and so much more.
In addition to providing stability, flexibility and movement, we have muscles like our diaphragm responsible for our breathing. There’s a lot of work our muscles do to keep things going.
And did you know that your heart (cardiac muscle) is one of the most important types of muscles in your body?
So, what can you do to keep your muscles strong and continue to ensure optimal muscle support? ‡
Well, let’s take a peek at your dietary intake and see what important nutrients you should be serious about getting into your daily diet!
I bet the first thing you thought of was protein! Most people associate protein with muscle growth, development and a way to promote muscle support.
- Adequate protein and its building blocks (amino acids) are important for building muscle, especially branched chained amino acids (BCAA).‡
- BCAA are amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) that are utilized directly by skeletal muscle for protein synthesis and repair.1‡
- Complete proteins, such as those found in animal products, contain all 3 BCAAs and all 9 essential amino acids.
- If you lean more toward plant proteins, keep in mind that it is essential to combine to the right protein sources to get all 9 essential amino acids.
And if you are looking for a complete protein supplement, WheyBasics naturally contains high levels of branched-chain amino acids, as well as immunoglobulins which may help to maintain immune system function.2,3‡
Let’s keep in mind that protein isn’t the only macronutrient that plays a role in muscle support.‡
As you know, your body needs energy to move and function. Complex carbohydrates (like legumes, whole grains and whole fruits and vegetables) provide the energy we need for not only the long distance, but for our daily activities.
- A mixed meal (also including carbohydrates and healthy fats) supports your body’s energy needs. Though your body does prefer to use carbohydrates (broken down to glucose) for its main source of energy4. This preference for glucose allows the body to spare protein to ensure it is not the first macronutrient called on for energy.
Other Key Nutrients:
Vitamin D plays an important role in supporting our immunity, musculoskeletal health and healthy bone composition.‡
- Vitamin D3 helps us to absorb calcium and phosphorous in our intestines, while helping to decrease the loss of calcium from being washed out of our body. This nutrient really works hard to help us to maintain proper calcium levels in the body for muscle support and healthy bone composition.5‡
Did you know that magnesium, in conjunction with calcium, is important for bone and muscle support?‡
Magnesium helps the muscles to contract and relax and a varied diet rich in magnesium is essential for supporting overall wellness.‡
- Foods rich in magnesium include a variety of seeds, legumes, fiber rich grains, dairy, soy milk, and fruits like bananas and blackberries. Check out more magnesium rich foods6
If you’re really starting to work on building a robust and varied diet, but still looking to supplement your intake, you will see that magnesium supplements come in a variety of forms such as magnesium (citrate), magnesium (citrate/malate) and magnesium (glycinate) to name a few. For those with a sensitive GI magnesium (glycinate) may be less likely to cause loose stools than other forms of magnesium.7‡
- Magnesium activates the enzymes necessary for several functions in your body including neuromuscular contractions, cardiac function and assists with regulating acid-base balance in the body.8-11‡
- It’s also necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and fats, as well as energy production and helps the body to use calcium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium.12-18‡
Certainly, most of us are aware of the need to become more physically active. We know we need to get in more steps or get to the gym again and have good intentions. But for some reason, today rolls into tomorrow and well, we may have not moved very much.
But did you know that physical activity is just getting your body moving, working your muscles and expending some energy? It’s making that move to walk to the bus stop with your kids, walking to get the mail, gardening or even walking and talking with your neighbors.
Becoming active will also help you to maintain your muscles, stay fit and certainly promote that general feeling of well-being. Look at your daily routine-what are you doing now and where can you make small incremental changes? Identify any challenges or barriers. Ask yourself, what are the benefits for you personally and what do you enjoy?
There are many activities that you can engage in that will give your muscles a good workout and promote healthy bone and muscle support.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) provides guidance on the importance of being physically active. Let’s look here at some key guidelines for adults:19
- Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits.
- For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes to 300 minutes or 75-150 minutes per week of vigorous intensity spread out throughout the week.
- Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week.
- Speak to your healthcare provider to determine what would work best for you and he or she will make the modifications that allow you to work at your best and at your safety level.
It’s a Balancing Act:
- Small steps lead to great successes! Taking those first steps and making that commitment to start and then building over time will help you meet your goals.
- Keep in mind that the increase in weight bearing activity supports bone health.
- Keeping your muscles active, supports your body’s frame and balance.
- Rounding out your diet with a variety of bone and muscle supporting foods in a mixed meal, featuring adequate protein, can help with muscle support and may help halt further loss of lean body mass.
- Incorporate foods rich in antioxidants like cranberries and grapes which are particularly generous sources of proanthocyanidins and polyphenols and support heart health and cardiovascular function too. They can also be found in Nitric Oxide Ultra.‡
- Know your limits and don’t push too hard.
- Embrace balance. Developing a healthy lifestyle requires balance, both physically and mentally.
Take Away: Still need some time to sort out the best supplement for your bone and muscle support? If you are still looking for a little more guidance, then you will love our Vitamin Quiz, designed with you in mind.
With great intentions, Purely for You!
- Liska DJ. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Jun;3(3):187-98.Clegg DO, et. al. N Engl J Med. 2006 Feb 23;354(8):795-808.
- Belobrajdic DP, et al. J Nutr. 2004;134(6);1454- 58.
- Wong CW, et al. J Dairy Res. 1995 May;62(2):359-68.
- Elia M, Folmer P, Schlatmann A, Goren A, Austin S. Carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism in muscle and in the whole body after mixed meal ingestion. Metabolism. 1988;37(6):542-551. doi:10.1016/0026-0495(88)90169-2
- Dawson-Hughes B, et al. N Engl J Med. 1997 Sep 4;337(10):670-6.
- Magnesium - Health Professional Fact Sheet (nih.gov).
- Hans CP, et al. Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Nov;40(11):1275-9.
- Orchard TS, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr; 99(4): 926–933.
- Dahle LO, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Jul;173(1):175-80.
- Fuentes JC, et al. 2006 JanFeb;12(1):9- 13.
- Minich DM, et al. Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Jul-Aug;13(4):62-5.
- Rodríguez-Morán M, et al. Diabetes Care. 2003 Apr;26(4):1147-52.
- Brilla LR, et al. J Am Coll Nutr. 1992 Jun;11(3):326-9.
- Galland L , et al. Magnesium. 1985;4(5-6):333- 8.
- Heaton RW.. Clin. Sci. 27: 31, 1964.
- Hiroshi M, et al. Jpn J Nutr Diet. 2005. 63(1); 27- 31.
- Dørup I, et al. J Intern Med. 1993 Feb;233(2):117- 23.
- Hamill-Ruth RJ, et al. Crit Care Med. 1996 Jan;24(1):38-45.
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition (health.gov)