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Good news for beef-loving male boomers

Good news for middle-aged male beef eaters — you may be able to double your serving of beef — to six ounces, that is. And you should probably be lifting weights first.

The Exercise Metabolism Research Group at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. conducted a study on ways to counteract age-related muscle loss.

Thirty-five middle-aged men averaging 59 years old participated in a study that found that eating a six-ounce serving of 85 per cent lean ground beef resulted in significant improvements in the rate of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) following exercise. The investigators measured MPS, which is essential to the body’s ongoing growth, repair and maintenance of skeletal muscle, in men who did and did not lift weights. They determined that the quantity of beef needed for optimal MPS for this age group is double the current recommended serving size of meat.

“Canada’s Food Guide now suggests that consuming about three ounces of meat per serving is adequate to provide protein at the recommended level,” senior author Dr. Stuart Phillips said in a release. “However, our work shows that the quantity of beef needed to maximize the renewal of new muscle proteins was at least six ounces in middle-aged men. Our findings have clear ramifications for the current recommendations regarding protein to prevent muscle loss in aging.”

The research was published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

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