The other day on our weekly radio show Living Fit After 50 we were talking about the one thing that we advise people over 50 to focus on to improve their health.
Our answer… making sure they get enough protein in their diet.
If there’s one thing we consistently see from those we work with it’s that they don’t get anywhere near enough protein in their diet which leads to them losing muscle mass, weaker bones and less energy.
And we get it, it’s not easy meeting your protein needs just through diet alone. I mean there’s only so much meat and lentils you can eat right?
I struggle with this myself as my to meet my needs I need to consume around 300g of protein per day. That’s about 10 chicken breasts…
So how do I do it? Protein Supplements
For decades, protein supplements have solely been consumed by athletes, bodybuilders, and those who indulge in heavy exercise routines. It might have been a sports supplement used to enhance muscles but, nowadays, a lot of health-conscious individuals are using protein shakes in their diets.
Protein supplements have various benefits and can be found in the form of powder, solid food, or fluid formulation. The supplements are preferred over traditional protein sources because of their availability and reduced preparation time.
Other possible benefits of protein supplements include:
As I mentioned there are those of us who struggle to meet our daily protein requirements and who use supplements as an alternative.
Older adults, weight lifters, athletes, and those with chronic illnesses may require more protein intake. Researchers have found that athletes involved in strenuous exercise training can benefit from having around twice their daily recommended protein intake, ranging between 1.4 and 2.0 grams per kg of body weight.
Protein supplements may help if you want to gain or maintain your lean muscle mass something critical for those of us over 50.
According to a research study done at Rice University, an adult who is looking to put on muscle needs to strength train several days a week and increase his protein intake from 0.40-0.60 g per pound of his body weight to 0.60-0.90 grams.
Recovery After Exercise
In addition to muscle growth, protein supplements can help in repairing damaged tissues and muscles. During workouts, the body naturally directs amino acids and energy to support muscle contractions. After the workout, your muscles go through a recovery phase.
Drinking a protein supplement after the workout can help soothe muscles that may have been damaged during the exercise. The supplement can also help in speeding up the recovery of sore muscles by reducing muscle damage and enhancing muscle performance and protein synthesis.
It Helps With Muscle Growth And Recovery
Taking protein supplements will not only build and strengthen your muscles, but it can also prevent muscle breakdown. Combining exercise and regular activity with high protein intake will promote muscle growth and strengthening.
High-quality protein supplements are rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and contain essential amino acids. One of the BCAAs (Leucine) plays a crucial role in stimulating muscle growth and recovery after endurance and resistance training.
As such, protein shakes, for instance, are very convenient for athletes who are always on-the-go.
It Promotes Satiety And Boosts Metabolism which in turn helps to shed fat
Proteins will make you feel fuller than fats and carbohydrates. This may be beneficial to athletes who are always fueling up their bodies for an extended period of time. The supplement’s ability to reduce hunger levels and appetite helps in the reduction of calorie intake, which is a key factor for those trying to achieve weight loss.
Along with the reduction of appetite, taking protein supplements boosts metabolism. Your body utilizes energy to digest and make use of nutrients in the food you consume. This is referred to as the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), and protein’s thermic effect is greater than that of fats and carbohydrates.
If you are looking to lose belly fat or want to get the ideal body composition, consider replacing carbs with protein.
Protein is the key macronutrient for any age but especially for those of us over 50. The simple formula for an active person is about 1g of protein per pound. Hit that and you’ll reap the benefits with a happier, healthier body