Does metabolism slow down with age?

You have probably heard that you can’t eat everything once you reach a certain age. This is so because your metabolism tends to decrease. As you grow older, you become less active and it gets difficult to lose that extra pound.


What is metabolism?

Metabolism is a process that involves a series of chemical reactions necessary to keep our bodies alive. Our metabolism slows down as we age. Also, the number of calories we burn on daily basis decreases with the decrease in metabolism.


Factors that affect the rate of metabolism

Several factors affect the rate of metabolism like
  • age, muscle mass, and hormonal changes
  • thermic effect of the food
  • exercise
“Metabolic rate is stable all through adult life, 20 to 60 years old,” said study author Herman Pontzer, an associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University and author of “Burn,” a new book about metabolism. Metabolism starts to slow down after the age of 60.


Research shows that both the sodium-potassium pump which helps to generate nerve impulses and mitochondrial reaction loses their efficiency with age. And these two components play an important role in metabolism.
On average an adult loses 3-8% of muscle mass every decade after the age of 30. As you age you naturally lose muscle mass which results in burning calories at a slow rate.


As you get older, you become less active. You get less involved in physical activities and lead to burning only fewer calories. Being less active can significantly slow down your metabolism. Also not getting enough exercise can lead to weight gain and cardiovascular disease. These two contribute to slow metabolism.


Few ways help you combat slow metabolism with age like

  • Exercising such as low to moderate intensity workout, strength training, jogging, brisk walking. 
  • Eating high protein foods like lean beef, eggs, fish, nuts, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Drinking enough water and getting enough sleep
  • Consuming green tea or oolong tea.

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