Is your daily protein intake spread out evenly like peanut butter on toast? Well, a recently published study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that doing so makes it easier to preserve muscle strength, especially while advancing in age. 1
While evenly distributing protein throughout the day does not replace a healthy diet overall and regular exercise, it does help stave off loss of lean mass and actually stimulate muscle building.
Why is this so important for seniors?
Muscle decline is associated with more falls, loss of indpendence, and even coexisting mental decline. 3 Not only is muscle protein constantly being broken down and rebuilt but older adults have greater protein requirements.
The principle, however, applies to all age groups - young and old. Evenly distributing protein is just as important as consuming a healthy, high-quality protein.
What typically happens, though? Most Americans consume about three times more protein at dinner than at breakfast. 3
That's unfortunate, though, because muscle building can be as much as 25% over the course of a day when protein is evenly distributed, as a study in The Journal of Nutrition shows. 4
Based on research, older adults are encouraged to get about 25 -30 grams of protein per meal to trigger muscle protein synthesis.
Just one scoop of EnergyFirst's whey protein isolate in a smoothie is an easy 20 grams of high-quality protein. Other protein-rich sources that can be used in meals and snacks include lentils (1 cup has 18 grams of protein), kidney beans (1 cup has 15 grams of protein), eggs (1 boiled egg has 6 grams of protein) or Greek yogurt (6 ounces has 17 grams of protein!).
1. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;106:12–3.
2. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(5):1554S-1557S
3. Clin Interv Aging. 2015; 10: 663–671.
4. J Nutr. 2014;144(6):876-880.