It's sad, but oh, so true! If you're over the age of 40, alcohol in any form, even wine, can affect your muscles, metabolism and weight.
Cue the sad music... #Truth. I don't have a lot of vices. I'm sadly squeaky clean about pretty much everything in my life. I play bunco, and I'm usually in bed by 10. Probably because I'm a total product of way too many years of Catholic school. Back when there were nuns who carried rulers. But, yes, I am guilty of enjoying my wine.
I don't ask for much, but I really, really enjoy a glass (or occasionally two) of wine in the evening as I’m making dinner, or when I’m out with friends. Unfortunately, a recent study about alcohol, menopause, and age-related muscle loss is making me think twice, and encouraging me to change my habits.
Not only does a glass of wine, or a mixed drink contribute extra calories (between 150 for a glass of wine to as many as 500 for a Margarita), but now researchers have linked higher amounts of alcohol to age-related muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia, in postmenopausal women.
[bctt tweet="Over 40? You might want to think twice about your nightly glass of #wine #Strongwomen" username="CraveSomeHealth"]
Muscle loss sucks for lots of reasons:
- As you lose muscle, you also lose your metabolism, which means you need fewer calories to maintain your same weight. That means unless you start slashing calories out of your day, you’re going to gain more and more weight each year
- Because muscle tissue takes up glucose, you’re more likely to develop glucose intolerance, prediabetes, or even full-blown diabetes as you lose muscle mass
- Lower muscle mass is also linked to lower bone density and an increased risk of breaking a bone when you’re in your 70s and beyond
- While it may not be noticeable if you’re still younger and active, loss of muscle mass inevitably leads to accelerating aging, a decline in physical ability, and more frailty as you age. Who needs that?
Wa wa wa... Here's what I recommend: You certainly don’t have to give up your glass of wine entirely, but if it’s a nightly habit, try to stick to just one glass, or limit it to weekends only. If you’re trying to lose a bit of weight, remember that wine has fewer calories than a sweet cocktail, and a wine spritzer – wine with some ice, and a splash of seltzer and lemon or lime, is the best choice of all. That's what I'm drinking right now.
And by all means, keep on moving! Everyone loses muscle as they age. It starts after 40, and by the time you’re in your 60s, you could be losing as much as 10% of your overall muscle mass each decade. The good news is, the more you use your muscles, the more you’ll maintain.
Have you noticed that you’ve lost muscle, or you’re not as strong as you used to be? Have you taken steps to slow that down? Let me know what you do!