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Bulletin #104 – Nutrition for Older Athletes

If you want to get better as time marches on, you may need to rethink and tweak your nutrition and training practices to postpone, or slow down, the effects of ag-ing. In this month’s column, I’ll provide advice and guidelines for the 50+ crowd so that you can ensure your health well into your gold years . Here goes:Watch your fat intake .Curtailing fat not only keeps body fat low, it also helps you reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. The Parrillo Nutrition Program keeps dietary fats as low as possible. You must, however, have some essential fatty acids in your diet.

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Each day, take one teaspoon to one table-spoon of an EFA source such as safflower, sunflower, linseed, or flaxseed oils, or sup-plement with Parrillo Evening Primrose Oil (which will help with joint movement and pain too). In addition, use CapTri, a special medium chain fatty acid that is less likely to convert to body fat. Use recovery nutrients.When you were younger, your body could bounce back from intense workouts in as little as six hours. But by the time you reach 50, it can take 48 hours to re-cover. That’s because aging makes your connective tissue tendons, ligaments, and joints stiffer and not as forgiving to the wear and tear of exercise. Following the Parrillo Nutrition Pro-gram will help accelerate the recovery process because it provides the energy, an-tioxidants, and other nutrients your body needs for growth and repair.

It’s also a good idea to drink ProCarb, Hi-Protein Powder, or one of our other beverages im-mediately following workouts.Scientific experiments demonstrate that this type of supplement (with the added protein) initiates the rapid uptake of carbs by your muscles faster than carbs alone. (1)In addition, a carbohydrate/protein supplement taken following a workout stimulates the release of two hormones (insulin and growth hormone), creating an environment favorable to muscle growth and recovery. (2)Increase your protein intake.Unless you’re exercising regularly, you could be losing lean muscle mass, another consequence of aging. On the Parrillo Nutrition Program, we recommend that you eat 1.25 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. At least one gram of protein per pound of your body weight should come from complete pro-tein sources such as lean white meat poul-try, fish, egg whites, or from one of your protein powders.

The remaining should come from starchy and fibrous carbohy-drates, which also contain protein.Increase dietary fiber.As an older athlete, your chances of de-veloping diverticulosis small pouches that project outward from the wall of the colon are on the rise. Should these pouches get irritated, the problem turns into diverticulitis. Its signs include cramps, fever, and nausea. You can prevent both situations by con-suming high-fiber diet, including legumes, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are emphasized on the Parrillo Nutrition ProgramEnsure an adequate intake of cal-cium.Older athletes are at an increased risk of bone fractures due to osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease in which vital min-erals like calcium leach from your bones as you age. Used to be, osteoporosis was thought of as a woman’s disease. But in the past few years, its incidence among men has been climbing. Among the 25 million sufferers in the United States, two million men have osteoporosis, and three million more are at risk.To maximize and preserve bone loss if you’re a woman, take in at least 1200 mil-ligrams if you’re 51 or older. Many physi-cians recommend 1500 milligrams daily . Similarly, men need a daily calcium intake of 1200 milligrams a day over age 51.

A good source of supplement calcium is Parrillo Mineral Electrolyte Formula.In addition, be sure to continue your regular weight-training program too. Weight-bearing and strength-developing exercise stimulates the formation of bone. It also improves strength and balance, thus reducing the risk of falls and frac-tures .Shun simple sugars and refined foods.As you get older, your body doesn’t process glucose as well, and higher lev-els of sugar tend to hang around in your blood. This is tough on the body and can lead to diabetes, a blood sugar metabo-lism disorder. If you follow the Parrillo Nutrition Program, you’ll automatically avoid refined, sugar-loaded foods in favor of complex carbohydrates, which actually help regulate blood sugar. Prevent age-related  nutrient deficiencies.Older adults are at great risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies because their bodies are less efficient at absorption. Further, studies show that as many as three in 10 people over the age of 65 may deficient in B vitamins, which are heart protective, as well as antioxidants, which preserve immunity and protect you from various disease. Supplementing with antioxidant vita-mins namely vitamins E and C has been found in studies to boost immunity, plus help muscles recover and regenerate more rapidly following exercise.

Both vitamin C and Vitamin E seem to prevent exercise-generated free radicals from de-stroying muscle cell membranes. (3) Most research points to a dosage of between 400 IU and 1,000 IUs of vitamin E daily and between 500 mg and 1000 mg daily of vitamin C to get the protec-tive effect.The Parrillo Essential Vitamin Formula and the Parrillo Mineral-Electrolyte For-mula both supply the antioxidants your body needs for recovery.In addition to eating properly and sup-plementing with antioxidants, there are other measures you can take to bolster im-munity so that you’re less like to get sick. One of these is using a whey-based sup-plement in your nutrition program. It also enhances recovery. We have two products containing whey: Optimized Whey For-mula (100% whey protein isolate) and our 50-50+ Formula (formulated with whey protein isolate, calcium casein, milk pro-tein isolates, and maltodextrin).


1. Zawadzki, K.M., Yaspelkis, BB., and J.L. Ivy. 1992. Carbohydrate-protein com-plex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology 72: 1854-1859.

2. Chandler, R.M., Byrne, H.K., Pat-terson, J.G., and J.L. Ivy. 1994. Dietary supplements affect the anabolic hormones after weight-training exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology 76: 839-845.

3. Alessio HM, et al. 1997. Exercise-induced oxidative stress before and after vitamin C supplementation. International Journal of Sport Nutrition. 7:1-9; Also: Jakeman, P., and S. Maxwell. Effect of antioxidant vitamin supplementation on muscle function after eccentric exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology 67: 426-430 .

2018-03-13T11:10:29-04:00 July 8th, 2009|Technical Supplement Bulletins|

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