Ask Gerda: How Do You Support Your Metabolism as You Age?
Ask Gerda: How Do You Support Your
Metabolism as You Age?
Gerda Endemann, our senior director of science and research, has a BS in nutrition from UC Berkeley, a PhD in nutritional biochemistry from MIT, and a passion for cherry-picking from our wellness shop. She spends a lot of her time interpreting research—established and emerging. You’ll find some of her deep dives into health conditions in our growing library of articles called goop PhD. You can send your own questions for Gerda to [email protected].
Dear goop, I don’t know if everyone’s metabolism slows down in their thirties and forties, but mine has, and I’m curious about different ways to support it.
Hi, Chelsea. Metabolism does slow down as we get older. You can support your metabolism with specific nutrients and types of exercise. And by mixing our new Metabolism-Boosting Superpowder into your daily smoothie. More about that in a bit.
When you exercise, your metabolism speeds up to power your muscles. This increased metabolism persists even after you stop moving—for up to an hour. And because heat is generated as a by-product of metabolism, you feel warm not only during but also after working out. Try to avoid being sedentary for long periods of time. When you cool down, it’s time to move again.
Keep your muscles activated while standing at your desk with the GAIAM balance board. It’s super easy to use, and you just might love it.
One reason for slower metabolism as we age is decreasing muscle mass. Muscles have a faster metabolism (i.e., use up more energy) than fat tissue, even when they aren’t doing anything. So a great way to increase metabolism is to build muscle. Without some effort to prevent muscle loss, our muscles tend to shrink with age.
Provide nutritional support for muscle maintenance and growth with high-quality protein, such as Four Sigmatic’s Superfood Protein Packets.
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Metabolism is a series of chemical reactions that digest food, convert food to energy, and use that energy to move and think. In the end, the fuels you’ve consumed have been used up and you’ve powered your body. How can you best support these chemical reactions? One simple way is to provide cofactors: vitamins and minerals that drive the chemical reactions. B vitamins and magnesium are the most obvious ones. They are cofactors needed every step of the way when carbs and fats are burned for energy.
Throughout evolution until a few hundred years ago, we ate primarily whole foods that provided not only fuels (carbs and fats) but also the vitamins and minerals needed to burn these fuels. However, much of what we eat now is concentrated fuel without the cofactors needed to metabolize the fuel. For example, magnesium and B vitamins are removed in the production of white flour and white sugar. This is one reason why many people choose to take supplements. High School Genes is an excellent source of B vitamins, and LivOn Labs makes liposomal magnesium in easy-to-gulp packets.*
You may have heard that as we age, we lose mitochondria. These are the compartments in cells where fats and carbs are burned and energy is generated. High School Genes includes ingredients to provide support for mitochondria: generous amounts of niacin and niacinamide, along with the mitochondrial cofactor alpha-lipoic acid.*
But together with nutrients and exercise, there’s something else worth trying: 7-Keto® DHEA. There’s evidence from clinical studies that when used together with a healthy diet and exercise, 7-Keto DHEA can help increase metabolic rate. 7-Keto DHEA is a natural metabolite of DHEA, a common steroid found in the body. But unlike DHEA, 7-Keto DHEA is not converted into sex hormones, so no worries about hormonal effects. goop’s Metabolism-Boosting Superpowder is formulated with a clinically studied dose of 7-Keto DHEA. It also contains a concentrated extract of cinnamon to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels when used as part of your diet, and holy basil, my favorite mellow botanical.*
To recap: The Metabolism-Boosting Superpowder and High School Genes multivitamin packets nicely complement each other. For fuel, try the smoothie recipe that our food director, Caitlin O’Malley, created for the superpowder. Or eat whatever delicious and nutrient-dense foods you enjoy—like the Curry Chicken Salad Summer Rolls with Mango Chutney from goop Kitchen, or this Greekish Wild Rice Bowl from Seamus Mullen. Then just add movement.
*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.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.
7-Keto® is a Lonza trademark.