Despite what we’ve been told all our lives until now, recent research is showing that no, the metabolism doesn’t slow down as you age. So, before you start to blame the extra body weight on the fact that you just aren’t as young as you used to be, you’ll want to read this.
Research Says the Metabolism Doesn’t Slow Down as You Age
To be fair, the broad statement that metabolism doesn’t slow down as you age isn’t accurate at all times in our lives. After all, the metabolic rate of a newborn infant certainly isn’t the same as that of someone in their sixties. That said, until the age of about 60, the decline isn’t what we’ve been led to believe.
The results of a new international study have found that the metabolic peak is at age 1 year. At that time, babies torch their way through 50 percent more calories than their adult counterparts. From there, the decline is about 3 percent per year until the age of about 20 years. That’s when things get interesting.
From that point, most of us assume that things get worse. However, the truth is that Metabolism doesn’t slow down while you age at all until you reach 60 years! From about 20 years old to 60 years old, the metabolic rate stays essentially at a plateau. Even after the age of 60 years, the slow-down is far less than previously expected. It’s only about 1 percent per year. The findings were recently published in the Science journal.
Adult Metabolic Rate Remains Essentially Stable
Okay, so if the metabolism doesn’t slow down as we age, why do we all think it does? Why is it that we universally seem to believe that by the time we hit 30 years old, it’s a fast metabolic decline?
The authors of the study speculate that it may be lifestyle changes playing roles that deceptively make it appear that our metabolic rates are sliding. In fact, the researchers weren’t even able to measure any real difference before and after menopause, one of the central factors often blamed in slowing things down in women.
The researchers studied the results of over 6,400 people aged 8 days old to 95 years old. They were spanned across 29 countries. These individuals had taken part in “doubly labeled water” tests. This method involves asking individuals to drink water in which some of the hydrogen and oxygen molecules have been replaced with traceable isotopes that can be traced in urine samples.
In this way, researchers were able to conduct an analysis on total daily energy expenditures including the calories burned from all activities ranging from breathing and food digestion to exercising.
So, before you blame aging for your metabolism slowing down, it might be time to take a closer look at the way your daily life has changed between now and when you were twenty, particularly when it comes to overall activity level and the amount of sleep you’re getting.