Are Protein Supplements Suitable for the Elderly?

Are Protein Supplements Suitable for the Elderly?

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear high protein diet? You may say bodybuilders, Athletes and sports personalities.Of course, they need large amounts of proteins as they build muscles. But we should never forget that protein is not just essential for the younger demography, but to our senior crowd too!

Level of fitness isn’t a matter of age, which is why proteins are required by elderly people to carry out vital functions and to maintain muscle strength, balance, agility and resilience thus taking a step towards a better overall health.

What is Protein Supplement?

Protein supplements have gained huge fame with athletes as a means of increasing their ability to build and maintain muscle strength. Protein is one of the three essential components of the human diet, along with carbohydrates and fats.

While, a supplement is added to an athlete’s regular diet to help him achieve a particular nutritional goal. A supplement can either be from natural sources or from synthetic sources in a fluid, powder or tablets form.

Protein is composed of various types of amino acids and is an important component of cells.

Primary functions of Proteins are:

  • Providethe raw material for both muscle building and repair
  • Plays an important role in the immune system
  • Vital for the hormone production
  • Important for transmission of nerve impulses throughout the nervous system

Thus, we can understand how important is a protein for human health and body, which is why, experts recommend the use of protein supplements to fulfil the protein requirement.

When the body is running with a shortage of protein, a supplement will help to correct the deficiency. Protein deficiency will stop the body from affecting the repairs necessary to maintain muscles structure. The consumption of additional amount of protein (with caution) helps to promote healthy muscle development.

Many approaches to protein supplementation have been advocated on the premise that if a little extra protein is beneficial to muscle repair and growth, greater amounts of protein supplements must be even better.

Let’s see the premise revealed by the chemistry of how the body processes excess amounts of protein. Unlike carbohydrates or the fats excess proteins are broken down into their amino acid components for elimination they are not stored.  

There’re some more issue regarding the protein supplement and the method how it is consumed.

What Are the Benefits of Protein Supplements?

1. Muscle Gain

Protein supplements also help when you’re trying to gain lean muscle.

2. Weight Loss

Protein supplements effectively make your tummy full, which is why you just feel full when actually you are not. This way the total calories intakeis less.

3. Nutrition

Protein supplements help you get the proper nutrition necessary for your body in addition to the regular diet you have.

4. Workout recovery

Protein supplements help repair damaged muscles and tissues, using after exercise can aid recovery by reducing muscle damage and improving muscle performance and muscle protein synthesis.

Are Protein Supplements Suitable for Elder People?

Every cell in your body depends on proteins to function properly includingSkin, Hair, Nails, Muscle, Bones, Internal organs. Protein is essential to heal, build and repair cells and body tissues like, healing from injuries, keeping balanceof your fluid levels, recovering from long illness or surgery, maintaining healthy digestive system, balancing your hormones.

Your body starts to reduce muscle tissues and bone strength without proteins. All these issues mostly affect the elderly people. A study says that seniors are not able to use proteins as easily as younger people, so their bodies need more protein.

Strong bones and muscles help you do your regular activities likelifting a drinking bottle, getting out of a chair, walk till the store, work in your garden, dance, play with your grandchildren, pulling your socks and getting out of the shower.

With age, it is normal to lose muscle mass, but a loss of strength may cause you reduce your confidence and increase your dependability. Your body may be more susceptible to illness and injury.

Nutritional needs keep changing as we age which is why we require more protein. As a result, most of the muscle you lose is in the legs, which leads to weakness, and fatigue and leg ache.

Aging uses up all your stored nutrition reserves. As young, you would have survived on a diet lower in nutrition, because of these nutritional reserves. But, by the age of 60, you may have used up your reserves making you weak and frail.

Older adults, losing weight, or living with chronic or acute illness need to consume more protein rich diet. During the stress periods, aging bodies are not able to process protein effectively and need more of it to maintain muscle mass and strength, bone health.

All the above reading is also applicable to the healthy seniors who need more protein than when they were younger to help preserve muscle mass. Yet many of the older adults are not able to eat an adequate amount of proteins due to reduced appetite, dental issues, impaired taste, swallowing problems and limited financial resources.This is the reason why elderly people need the protein supplements.

Considering this factor, many companies have now started manufacturing the protein supplements that are suitable for the elderly people to consume. They are perfectly blended according to the appetite and digestion levels of the elderly people, and are recommended in accurate proportions. The protein supplement can be consumed by the elderly people according to their daily routines, but strictly after consultation with their family physicians.

US health department recommends an intake of 0.8 g/day for all adults, with an average daily intake of 1.0–1.2 gprotein per day for those aged 65+ years.



Protein powders can prove beneficial supplement for many, including older adults. They are a perfect source of complete protein, withsometimes other added nutrients.

One thing to remember is, though it is essential for every individual, it is a little more essential for the elderly people and hence need to be provided after a thorough consultation with the doctors or dieticians.

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