Tips for Maintaining Muscle

Sep 14, 2023 Lifestyle Tips 5 MIN

Tips for Maintaining Muscle

Quick Scoop

  • Developing healthy habits can help maintain muscle mass as you age.
  • A combination of aerobic and strength training exercises will keep muscles strong.
  • Increasing your daily protein intake can help rebuild muscles.
  • Consuming the essential nutrients your body needs every day is also important.
  • Vitamin C and Vitamin E are antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals in the body.†
  • The B vitamins are also important to help with cellular energy production to fuel our muscles.†
  • Vitamin D and Magnesium help support muscle health.†

Did you know that muscle mass peaks at age 30 and then naturally declines?[1] One way to combat that process is to maintain those muscles through diet and exercise!

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “use it or lose it.” Well, this is true about our muscles! Seniors, especially, tend to naturally lose muscle mass over the years. By continually performing exercises or activities that challenge the muscles to stay strong, older adults can maintain fitness and independence.

We’ve got some tips on how to maintain your muscle mass as you age so you can use it and not lose it!


We all know that daily exercise is important, but it is especially important for older adults. Exercise helps keep your muscles strong. Aerobic activity (also called endurance activity) increases your heart rate and helps improve your endurance and overall fitness.[2] Think of activities like brisk walking, swimming, biking, even yard work!

In addition to aerobic activity, you should add some strength training exercises targeting specific muscle groups at least twice a week.[2] Strength training (also called resistance training) can be lifting weights, using resistance bands, and even yoga. It’s important to vary your exercises so you hit all your main muscle groups in your legs, arms and core.

No matter what exercises you opt for, staying active is key. Just a 10-miute walk break every day will help increase your mobility and get your blood pumping to your muscles. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise regimen and start slowly until you build your endurance to avoid stressing your muscles.


When you ingest protein, your body breaks it down into amino acids that are then used to keep the size and shape of your muscles and may even help build muscle when paired with strength training exercises.[3]

The current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight for adults over the age of 19.[1] However, some studies suggest that older adults should have between 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.[4] How does the math work out? Let’s take a 150-pound adult. Since 1 kg is approximately 2.2 pounds, that equates to about 68 kilograms of body weight. The recommended protein intake would be 54 g per day (0.8 x 68) for adults up to about 81 g – 130 g per day (1.6 x 68) for older adults.

That may seem like a lot, but luckily there are many food sources for protein, such as low-fat dairy, lean meat, fish, nuts and legumes. Before you run out and eat a large steak, consider that these amounts are for your total food intake for the day. In fact, most adults, especially men, meet or exceed their daily protein needs.[5] Excessive protein is considered amounts above 2 grams per kilogram of body weight.

While eating protein is important, a well-balanced diet is key to maintaining good nutrition. This includes carbohydrates in the form of vegetables, fruits and whole grains vs. processed foods. Eating whole foods will also provide your body with essential nutrients. More on that next.

Essential Nutrients

As we said, daily exercise will help you maintain your muscles as you age, but a well-balanced diet is also important. Besides protein, you’ll want to make sure you’re consuming a variety of foods to help get the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs every day. Below are some of the key nutrients that will help support your overall health as well as some that will support your muscle health.†

  • Vitamin C and Vitamin E are antioxidants that help to fight free radicals and protect our cells. Vitamin C is commonly found in citrus fruits, and Vitamin E is found in nuts and vegetable oils. Since many adults are not getting enough of Vitamins C and E in their diet, you can supplement these nutrients to help meet your needs, like with Nature Made® Multi for Him and Multi for Her Gummies providing key nutrients or Nature Made® Super C with Vitamins A, D3, E and Zinc to support your immune health.[6]†
  • The B vitamins help convert the food you eat into cellular energy used by your body, including your muscles. The Vitamin B family includes 8 nutrients: Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), B6 (Pyridoxine), Biotin (B7), Folic Acid (B9), and B12 (Cobalamin). You can get the B vitamins from a variety of whole grains, dark, leafy vegetables, meat, eggs, legumes, seeds and nuts. To help supplement the diet, you can get all 8 B vitamins in Nature Made® Super B Energy‡ Complex Softgels.†
  • Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that supports bone, teeth, muscle and immune health. With direct sun exposure, without sunscreen, the body is able to produce Vitamin D from the skin. However, most people do not produce enough due to many factors. Nature Made® provides supplements with Vitamin D3, the preferred form of Vitamin D.†
  • Magnesium is an essential mineral that assists in more than 300 metabolic reactions in the body, one of which is regulating muscle function. It also helps support muscle relaxation. You can get Magnesium from legumes, nuts, seeds and yogurt. To help supplement the diet, you can try Nature Made® High Absorption Magnesium Citrate Gummies, which provide a highly bioavailable form of Magnesium.†

The Bottom Line

Maintaining muscle mass is important as you age. You can do this by adopting some healthy habits, such as regular exercise, both aerobic and strength training, as well as eating protein and a variety of whole foods (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and low-fat dairy) so that you can get essential nutrients vital to your overall health and wellness. If eating a balanced diet is difficult, you may consider supplementing with some essential nutrients, such as Vitamins C, E, D3, B vitamins and Magnesium. As always, you’ll want to first consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any new supplement routine.

‡Energy metabolism support

★Helps convert food into cellular energy.†

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


  1. JafariNasabian P, Inglis JE, Reilly W, Kelly, OJ, Ilich, JZ. Aging human body: changes in bone, muscle and body fat with consequent changes in nutrient intake. Journal of Endocrinology, 234(1), R37-R51. Published 2017 Jul.
  2. National Institute on Aging. Four Types of Exercise can Improve Your Health and Physical Ability. National Institutes of Health. January 29, 2021. Accessed on July 19, 2023:
  3. Carbone JW, Pasiakos SM. Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit. Nutrients. 2019;11(5):1136. Published 2019 May 22. doi:10.3390/nu11051136.
  4. Baum JI, Kim IY, Wolfe RR. Protein Consumption and the Elderly: What Is the Optimal Level of Intake?. Nutrients. 2016;8(6):359. Published 2016 Jun 8. doi:10.3390/nu8060359.
  5. S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at
  6. Reider CA, Chung RY, Devarshi PP, Grant RW, Hazels Mitmesser S. Inadequacy of Immune Health Nutrients: Intakes in US Adults, the 2005-2016 NHANES. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1735. Published 2020 Jun 10. doi:10.3390/nu120617354.


Graham Morris

NatureMade Copywriter

Graham has a degree in film with a focus on screenwriting from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He enjoys learning new things and finding the best, most engaging way to communicate them to a wide audience. Graham appreciates simplicity in life and nutrition, and wants to find the easiest, no-stress ways to stay healthy.

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Sandra Zagorin, MS, RD

Science and Health Educator

As a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Sandra educates healthcare professionals and consumers on nutrition, supplements, and related health concerns. Prior to joining Pharmavite, Sandra worked as a clinical dietitian at University of Chicago Medicine in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Sandra received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, with minors in Spanish and Chemistry from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. She earned her Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from RUSH University in Chicago, IL. As part of her Master’s program, Sandra performed research on physical activity participation and correlates in urban Hispanic women.

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