Eating more protein at breakfast or lunchtime could help older people maintain muscle mass with advancing age
After the age of 30, bone and muscle loss is very common in women. That's why it's all the more important for us to take care of what we eat. And we have got this study as proof.
A recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Exercise and Sports Nutrition suggests that consuming a more balanced protein diet can help in reduction of various age-related loss of muscles.
More protein means more efficiency
Eating more protein at breakfast or lunchtime could help older people maintain muscle mass with advancing age – but research finds that most people eat proteins fairly unevenly throughout the day.
The body's mechanisms for producing new muscle require regular stimulation to function efficiently – this stimulation happens when we eat protein. The mechanisms are less efficient in older people, so they need to eat more protein to get the same response as younger people.
But just eating more protein is not enough, though – older people also need to spread that intake evenly across all their meals to ensure they maximise the benefits of protein for muscle mass.
Researchers in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham, studied the dietary intake of young, middle-aged and old-aged individuals with a particular focus on the amount, pattern, and source of protein consumed.
Distribute protein-rich food evenly throughout your day
Their results showed that, while the majority of individuals across all three groups met or exceeded current national guidelines (RDA) for protein intake, the protein intake and distribution across daily meals and snacks were very varied.
The study involved 120 participants divided into three age groups. In the first, participants had an average age of 23; in the second an average age of 51; and in the third an average age of 77. All participants were asked to complete a food diary over a three-day period, weighing out every single food item consumed.
Researchers looked for patterns in the dietary behaviour of participants. In particular, they evaluated the protein intake across the different age groups and found 18 different patterns of protein intake throughout the day, showing a wide variety of eating habits.
Most noticeably, the team found that old people, compared to young and middle-aged individuals, people were more likely to eat a lower-quality protein source, such as bread, at lunchtime.