Fit in old age: lose less muscle mass thanks to protein
Until a few years ago it was thought that the protein needs of middle-aged and senior citizens were no different. In the meantime, however, studies show that these reference values need to be adjusted. If you eat more protein in old age, you prevent the loss of muscle mass and strength.
How does the nutritional requirement change with age?
Decreases over the years the energy requirement . This is because the body composition changes with advancing age: the proportion of fat increases, but bone and muscle mass decrease. In addition, the decline in active muscle mass reduces the basal metabolic rate and thus the energy requirement. The problem with this: the nutritional requirements remain the same. In addition, for some nutrients (e.g. protein or vitamin D), the recommended intake for seniors is even higher than for young or middle-aged adults. In order to stay fit and healthy in old age, seniors should therefore pay more attention to a nutrient-rich diet. This can be achieved, for example, by consuming more fruits, vegetables, leafy salads, whole grains and legumes. Since vitamin D synthesis in the skin decreases with age, vitamin D supplementation (e.g. with our vitamin D ) is recommended. A supplement of Vitamin B12 is also often recommended, as the body can absorb the vitamin from the intestine more poorly with age.
Malnutrition in old age
In addition, the decline in muscle tissue is associated with functional limitations. Often one then moves even less and the muscle strength continues to decline. As a result, physical activity is increasingly restricted. Everyday activities such as carrying the shopping bag, going to the market or cooking regularly are becoming increasingly difficult. Not only do muscle and bone mass decrease, but also nerve tissue. A changed sense of smell and taste as well as a feeling of thirst and satiety are consequences. Difficulty chewing and swallowing also contribute to poor nutrition. In addition, there are usually illnesses or medication intake that make it difficult to eat or are associated with utilization disorders. Often not only the micronutrients are neglected, there is also a lack of a sufficient supply of macronutrients (e.g. protein) and energy. Studies show that more than 1/3 of hospital patients have an energy protein deficiency. In order for the body to have sufficient reserves in the event of illness, the BMI for seniors should be over 23.
This is how seniors benefit from a higher protein intake
Bis A few years ago it was thought that the protein intake of middle-aged adults and seniors was no different. However, studies have shown that a higher proportion of protein counteracts the loss of muscle mass, muscle strength and bone density, and an inadequate protein intake promotes this. In the meantime, the reference values for protein intake have therefore been adjusted. A daily protein intake of 1.0 to 1.2 g per kilogram of body weight is recommended for people over 65 years of age. Those who are physically active and train regularly should even ingest 1.2 g / kg body weight. You can increase the protein intake z. B. with our protein powders . They can be drunk as a shake or mixed with meals.
With advancing age, the likelihood of an inadequate supply of nutrients increases. Seniors should therefore make sure that they consume enough plant-based foods (fruit, vegetables, legumes) and protein. Regular exercise and strength training also prevents the loss of muscle mass.