New study suggests older adults can benefit from hitting this protein goal

Changing your protein intake may be the solution if you find it tougher as you age to gain (or even maintain ) muscle.

According to a recent study, older women who consumed more protein had better body recomposition (gained lean muscle and lost fat ).

The building blocks for muscular growth — known as hypertrophy — are provided by a higher protein intake combined with resistance training, a result that becomes more difficult as you age.

These findings apply to elderly men and women, and they are supported by studies on protein intake and protein quality.

Your journey toward improved health and fitness gains strength with each revolution of the sun thanks to growing knowledge, wisdom, and skill mastery. However, a sneaky disadvantage is that, unless you increase your protein intake, it’s harder to maintain muscle and change your body composition.

Researchers divided 130 women over the age of 60 into three groups based on their daily protein intake: low (0.8 grams per kilogram per day, or the Recommended Daily Allowance for adults ), moderate (1.0 g/kg/day ), and high (1.3 g/kg/day ). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to compare the lean body mass and body fat mass before and after the women completed 24 weeks of progressive resistance training (DXA scans ).

The findings demonstrated that eating at least 1 g/kg/day of protein led to an increase in muscle mass of more than five per cent and a decrease in fat mass of more than three per cent. Meanwhile the low-protein consumption group, which is typically recommended as a guideline, only demonstrated a two per cent gain in lean muscle mass and a less than two per cent decrease in fat mass, the high-protein intake group demonstrated outcomes comparable to the moderate-protein group.

This result is important for older people since they have particular difficulties while trying to gain muscle. According to Stuart Phillips, PhD, a professor of kinesiology and specialist in muscle physiology: “Older people are inherently more resistant to the usual effects of protein ingestion, therefore this demographic has a greater difficulty maintaining and developing muscle.” This resistance can be overcome by increasing your protein intake.

Overall, this study supports the idea that consuming more than 1.0 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day while engaging in progressive resistance training will help you build muscle and lose body fat. Additionally, the longer you engage in weight training or Pilates, the more you’ll profit from consuming more protein.

A good general rule of thumb is to try to acquire your protein from whole foods first before adding a supplement, and if you follow a plant-based diet, include complementary proteins to make sure your diet contains all nine essential amino acids. If you are interested in starting an exercise routine that can help build strength and muscle endurance please try a free trial of our back Pilates programme at For more information on this and other tips visit to get my free book and audiobook Get to the Line in the Best Shape Possible.


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