Protein is a macronutrient that our body needs to consume on a daily basis to remain functional and working at the highest capacity. Protein helps with numerous different things in our body, but for the purpose of this article we will not be looking at that. One of the topics many of the older adults I work with address is about food intake, specifically being protein consumption. Something that most individuals don’t know is that older adults need to consume more protein per day, compared to younger individuals. This is because an older adults body does not keep muscle as easily as a younger individuals body. Because of this, they need to consume more protein per day to maintain their muscle mass, when compared to the younger body. Let’s look at how much protein individuals need, both old and young.
How Much Protein Do You Need in a Day?
The general recommendation per day, is roughly .82 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you would multiply this by .82. The number you get from this calculation is 131, meaning you would need to eat 131 grams of protein per day. This is actually a pretty liberal amount of protein, and for individuals who aren’t doing resistance training frequently throughout the week, you can probably eat a little less than this. If you are someone who is very physically active, you could potentially shoot for eating 1 gram of protein per pound off bodyweight per day. For older adults, sticking close to the .82 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is probably a good rule of thumb to start with. If you do have digestive issues, or kidney problems, it would be a good idea to check with your doctor before you fully take on these general recommendations. For most individuals, you are probably not eating enough protein. Start with adding extra sources to one meal, and work up from there. Sources of high quality protein are milk, cheese, eggs, lean meat and fish.
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