Importance of Protein ( 50-70 grams a day)

Importance of Protein ( 50-70 grams a day)

✔Evidence indicates that protein intake of 50-70 grams a day  can improve muscle mass, strength, and function.

✔Frailty  as we age is closely connected to decreased muscle mass and strength known as sarcopenia.

✔Not only do the older progressively lose muscle with age, but their physiology resists building new muscle.

✔Pair inactivity with low protein intake, and continued muscle loss with age becomes  inevitable.

✔Animal sources of protein (highest quality) generally provide the most leucine, the essential amino acid that is key to synthesis of muscle tissue.

✔Whey protein ( found in most protein powder supplements has been found to be especially high in leucine.

✔Some experts believe equally distributing protein intake over three meals a day is as important as getting enough protein.

✔To help older (>65 years) people maintain and regain lean body mass and function, the PROT-AGE Study Group recommends a range of 1.0 to 1.2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight.

✔Sarcopenia is insidious but its progression may be accelerated by physical inactivity and poor nutrition.

✔Aging does not impair the ability to increase muscle protein synthesis following ingestion of 30 grams (≈4oz) of high quality protein (i.e. lean beef, chicken, or fish) at a meal.


✔Animal sources of protein (chicken, turkey, fish, beef, pork, shellfish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese) contain complete protein.  Complete protein is necessary to build and repair muscle.

✔By combining foods from two or more plant categories in a meal, those foods compliment each other and provide all necessary amino acids to create complete protein.  Example: serve cooked dried beans (legume) and rice  (grain) together.


Ways to Increase Protein


Make a high protein smoothie by blending, milk, nonfat dry milk, yogurt, and/or whey protein powder.  Two tbsp. peanut butter will add an extra eight grams of protein.

Prepare custards, puddings, and quiches that are packed with protein from milk products and eggs.

Purchase whole grain breads with seeds to increase protein and fiber.

Prepare a hearty stew or soup with lean beef or turkey and add dried beans as well.

Eat ½ cup cottage cheese with fruit and/or yogurt, plus nuts if desired.

Consume Greek yogurt (more protein than regular) with 12 to 15 grams of protein per 3.5 oz. cup.

Source Diana Robenstein

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