Balanced protein intake will help you avoid losing muscle mass with age

Specialists from the University of Birmingham School of Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation (UK) conducted a study among a group of 23-77 year olds and found that balanced protein intake during the day helps maintain muscle mass in old age. An article about this was published in Frontiers in Exercise and Sports Nutrition.

The scientists studied the diets of young, middle-aged and elderly people, focusing on the amount, structure and source of protein consumed. The analysis showed that most subjects consumed protein food very chaotically during the day.

The study involved 120 volunteers divided into three age groups. The average age of participants was 23 years in the first, 51 years in the second and 77 years in the third. All participants were asked to complete a detailed diary of the food, including the weight of each meal consumed.

It turned out that people mainly exceeded the national guidelines for protein intake, and the distribution of protein in daily meals was very different. Scientists looked for patterns in human dietary behaviour and found at least 18 patterns of protein intake during the day. In particular, they found that older people tend to eat protein at a time and eat foods that contain poor quality proteins (e.g. bread) more often at lunchtime.

The research team concluded that older people need to increase the amount of proteins in their diets, but it is worth evenly distributing their intake across all meals, adding them to breakfast and lunchtime meals to maximize the benefits to muscle mass maintenance as they age.

March 18, 2020, 12:11 p.m.

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