As we age why do we need to take extra care of our nutritional intake?

by - October 07, 2021



A recent health scare that left me hospitalized a few months ago ended up having a side effect that I did not anticipate and ironically had even hoped for a very long time. Before you let your imaginations run wild, allow me to just lay it out on the table – I lost over six kilograms in just over a fortnight, a feat that I probably could not accomplish over the last six years.

Being slightly less obese than usual should have been a cause for celebration, right? It was not. There were days when I could feel my limbs trembling just doing basic household chores like lifting a bucket of water. Cooking a simple omelette would leave me exhausted and hunting for the bed to take a break and lie down.

Yes, other organs and even my immunity were affected by the disease but my muscle health took a major beating during that fortnight. There was visible loss of muscle mass as well as strength and the challenge for me now lay in not simply regaining my lost weight but instead strengthening myself both from within as well as outside. 

As we age, we need to take extra care of our nutrition



The reality is that our muscles are often older than we are, ageing more rapidly. Muscles account for 60 percent of our body’s protein stores and progressive loss of muscle mass and strength – medically termed sarcopenia – can result in increased likelihoods of adverse outcomes ranging from physical disabilities to poor quality of life. As you can imagine, this gets worse as one ages making it essential that one focuses more acutely on their nutritional intake with age in India. A health scare can compromise one’s immunity as well as weaken these muscles further.



There are multiple aspects to staying ahead of the ravages of ageing and muscle mass loss. In my case, the focus in the days following my discharge from the hospital were on maintaining an active lifestyle, doing quite a bit of resistance exercise and most importantly, altering my diet to include a better protein rich diet while also keeping in mind the need for other nutrients that aid in muscle and immunity building. For me as well as colleagues of mine who contracted the same illness, this involved adding supplements like Ensure to our daily diet, knowing that it provided over 32 nutrients including not just proteins but also calcium, Vitamins A,C,E & D, folic acid, selenium, iron and manganese.  

What was the end result of struggling so hard to ensure the right balanced diet and supplements were a part of my diet, you may ask?

Well, I joined back at work (yes, into the very same ICU where I got the dreaded disease from) a lot earlier than anyone expected me to, for starters. While I have not gained the lost weight, my muscle mass has increased and I feel healthier within too. More importantly, I do not feel exhausted even after a gruelling night shift and have not picked up secondary illnesses in the months since.

We can neither stop the ageing process nor completely avoid getting diseases in our lifetime. But what we can do is provide ourselves with the best fighting chance to not just survive but stay strong both mentally as well as physically as the years go by.     


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3 comments

  1. It was alarming to learn my Muscle age. Hence forth I am more careful on my habits and good protien intake. Now I can proudly say I #EnsureStrongerInsideOut

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  2. Glad to know, Doc that you recovered sooner. I am sure since you an expert and a Doctor that you will ensure that you always follow a healthy lifestyle.

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  3. As a doctor you would know what to recommend for us. Ensure is a great supplement and I have added it to my diet to ##EnsureStrongerInsideOut . Glad to know you recovered although its a slow process.

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