Home » Blog » Healthy Aging » How To Build Muscle Over 40: Nutritional Strategies

How To Build Muscle Over 40: Nutritional Strategies

As we age, building and maintaining muscle mass becomes increasingly important for overall health, vitality, and functionality.

Contrary to popular belief, building muscle after 40 is not only achievable but also incredibly beneficial.

With the right approach, dedication, and knowledge, you can effectively build and maintain muscle strength well into your 40s, 50s, and beyond!

Defying Age; Shawn Taylor modeling a fitness pose that highlights muscle definition
Shawn Taylor (age 52)

Nutrition Strategies to Build Muscle Over 40

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in supporting muscle growth, particularly for individuals over 40.

While exercise is crucial, a strategic approach to nutrition can significantly impact muscle-building efforts, aiding in recovery, promoting strength, and optimizing overall health.

Building muscle over 40 requires a combination of adequate protein intake, balanced macronutrients, and proper hydration.

Below are essential nutritional strategies to support muscle growth.

1. Increase Your Protein Intake

Protein is the building block of muscle, so it is essential to consume enough protein to support muscle growth.

Aim to eat around 20-30 grams of high-quality protein per meal to optimize muscle-building potential.

Distributing protein intake throughout the day maximizes muscle protein synthesis.

Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, and beans.

Protein supplements can help you meet your protein needs.

Check out this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post – “Protein Bar vs. Shake: Which is Better for You?“.

2. Incorporate Healthy Fats

Healthy fats support hormone production, including testosterone, which is essential for muscle growth and maintenance.

Incorporate healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish like salmon, into your diet.

3. Enjoy Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates replenish glycogen stores in muscles, aiding in recovery after exercise.

Fuel your workouts and provide sustained energy by including complex carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes in your meals.

4. Hydrate

Stay adequately hydrated to support muscle building.

Water is essential for various bodily functions, including nutrient transport, joint lubrication, and muscle recovery.

8-10 glasses of water per day is a general recommendation. You can also monitor the color of your urine to ensure adequate hydration.

Your urine should be the color of a light-colored lemonade.

Source: US Army Public Health Command

Fruit-infused water is a nutritious way to meet your fluid needs. Check out this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post – “7 Benefits of Infused Water with Fruit“.

5. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Ensure sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals by incorporating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into your diet.

These nutrients support overall health and contribute to optimal muscle function and recovery.

6. Focus on Muscle Recovery Nutrition

Have a balanced snack containing protein and carbohydrates within an hour or two after your workout.

This combination aids muscle recovery and replenishes energy stores.

Check out these “50 Balanced Snacks To Satisfy and Energize You“. They have both carbohydrates and protein to support muscle recovery.

Balanced Snacks for Muscle recovery

6. Limit Processed Foods and Added Sugars

Minimize intake of processed foods, sugary snacks, and excessive amounts of added sugars.

These can contribute to inflammation and may hinder muscle-building efforts.

Download our Inflammatory Foods List PDF for a list of these inflammatory foods.

Additional Tips

Building muscle through nutrition is a gradual process that requires time and patience.

Be mindful of your choices, focus on a balanced intake of macronutrients, and combine it with a consistent exercise routine for optimal results.

Seek Out Expert Advice

Consult a registered dietitian or healthcare professional as needed for individual guidance and support.

They can assess your individual needs, provide personalized recommendations, and monitor your progress.

Before starting any fitness program, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional to evaluate your fitness level, discuss any underlying health concerns, and set realistic goals.

60 year old woman standing next to her trainer - how to build muscle over 40
An expert can make all the difference!

A convenient way to access expert support is health coaching. Check out this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post – “Digital Health Coaching: A New Approach to Wellness“.

Strength Training

Focus on a well-rounded workout routine that includes resistance or strength training exercises at least two to three times a week.

Use various equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises to target different muscle groups.

Consistency is Key

Building muscle takes time and consistency.

Stay committed to your workout routine and maintain a positive mindset, understanding that progress may be gradual.

Takeaways on How to Build Muscle Over 40

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in supporting muscle building for individuals over 40.

By prioritizing a balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and essential nutrients, you can effectively support muscle growth, aid recovery, and enhance overall well-being.

Embrace these nutritional strategies as part of your holistic approach to building strength and vitality as you age!

Lori doing a SUP yoga pose
Build strength and vitality as you age!

Creatine may also support muscle growth in aging adults. Check out our post on Foods High In Creatine.

Hungry for More?

Are you interested in more information on nutrition for healthy aging?

Check out the Age-Defying Dietitian’s Blog for more healthy aging content!

Get our latest content delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for our Nutrition for Healthy Aging Newsletter.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top