Seniors need muscles, too!
If you think protein powders are only for young meatheads, well, you're mistaken.
We lose muscle mass as we age, and furthermore, strength training workouts are fantastic for keeping us healthy into our elderly years.
Protein powder can help! But there are a lot of factors that go into picking the best protein powder for elderly people and seniors.
Let's dive into the research and our top picks.
Here's a quick summary, first:
What to look for in a protein powder for elderly people
First things first... do seniors even need protein powder?
We know proper nutrition is important for people who are still growing, but what about if you're over 60?
In an article for Health Line about a study dealing with seniors taking protein powders it was said that:
“Protein is important for supporting muscle mass, which we lose as we age.”
The same study found that a high-quality protein like whey can be advantageous for seniors hoping to gain muscle mass and to increase their strength.
Now, while protein drinks such as Boost and Ensure (which typically use lower quality proteins) are good options, an article for Healthy Eating pointed out:
“...because of its fast absorption rate and excellent range of essential amino acids, whey is often the choice for those looking to retain or build muscle.”
And there are two types of whey (Isolate and Concentrate). While Isolate tends to be more expensive, it contains a minimum of 90 percent protein, which is more than Concentrate.
Concentrate, on the other hand, has higher levels of lactose and fat – which can provide more energy for workouts. So it all depends on what you're looking for.
But before you purchase just any protein powder, we’ve come up with a few things to consider:
If you do buy whey protein, do you want Isolate or Concentrate?
Does the protein powder contain added calories for bulking up?
Does it contain added Vitamins and minerals fur further health benefits?
And of course, does it taste good?
(*Always an important question.)
With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at our top picks and recommendations.
Best budget protein powder for elderly people: Ensure Original Nutrition Powder
Overview: To start off, the Ensure Original Nutrition Powder is a solid option for the elderly who are looking for a simple, but effective protein powder. It is well priced, has great reviews, and it’s available with Prime shipping. Some more qualities of this protein powder include:
Contains added calories
26 vitamins and minerals
9 grams of high-quality protein per serving
Suitable for lactose-intolerance and gluten free
2 flavor options
Protein Type: Soy Isolate
Protein per serving: 9g
Why we like it: Ensure is a good all-around nutritious protein powder for boosting energy and increasing strength. It is very affordable, and it contains many additional vitamins and minerals for extra health benefits. Many of the reviews mention that it mixes well and that it helps to keep consumers feeling full throughout the day. Furthermore, there are many reviews for this product that specifically mention how beneficial Ensure is for elderly people looking for a nutritional balance. A few reviews also mention that it is a great source of energy for seniors.
Potential drawbacks: Even though this is a good option, it is not a whey protein powder – which many health articles suggest for building muscle. Also, there are a few reviews that claim the taste is a little ‘off’ and that there tends to be a slightly negative aftertaste. Which, of course, is pretty important! (Especially if you're consuming it everyday.) However, the taste can most likely be altered based on the mixtures used with the protein powder. (So there is hope yet!)
Best mid-range protein powder for elderly people: EAS 100% Pure Whey Protein Powder
Overview: The EAS 100% Pure Whey Protein Powder is a great option for those looking for more serious muscle building. If an elderly person were looking to pair a protein powder with a workout, this would be one of the best protein powders for their needs. This product has thousands of favorable reviews and is available with Prime shipping. Some other notable features include:
100% Pure Whey Protein Powder
30 grams of high quality protein
No added sugars
3 flavor options
Protein Type: Whey Concentrate
Protein per serving: 30g
Why we like it: This EAS 100% Pure Whey Protein Powder is an incredibly affordable option for seniors looking for a good everyday protein powder. It is 100% Whey protein so it is helpful in building and retaining muscle mass and increasing strength – especially when paired with workout plans. Moreover, many reviews mention that it helps to reduce muscle soreness after workouts. It is available in 3 different flavors and the reviews are generally positive regarding the taste.
Potential drawbacks: While this is still a solid option, some reviews do mention problems with the protein powder mixing. Some people needed to spend extra time and effort to thoroughly mix the protein powder in with their shakes. This is not a huge problem but it is something to consider for an elderly person using the powder on a day-to-day basis. Also, while many reviews were positive regarding the taste, a few did mention that it was bland. (Of course, taste can be subjective.)
Best high-end protein powder for elderly people: Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate
Overview: Last on our list, we have the Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate. While this protein powder is a bit pricier than the other two options, it is an Isolate Whey protein powder – which provides higher levels of protein and better absorption. It has thousands of rave reviews and it is available through Amazon Prime. Some notable features of the product include:
100% Whey Protein Powder
26 grams of protein
Less than 1 gram of fat and sugar per serving
3 flavor options
Protein Type: Isolate
Protein per serving: 26g
Why we like it: We’ve added this one to the list because it is an extremely popular Isolate whey protein powder. It contains a minimum of 90% protein and it is low on lactose and fat. This is a great option for elderly who have trouble consuming lactose or who do not want a protein powder with a lot of extra sugar. As we mentioned above, this specific powder contains less than 1 gram of fat and sugar per serving. And, not to mention, we like it because a lot of the reviews say it tastes great!
Potential Drawbacks: While this protein has great reviews and is an Isolate whey protein powder, it's mostly used in combination with working out. So, if an older person was just looking for a protein powder as a simple supplement for nutrients and nothing more, than this one might not be worth the extra money. However, if they were looking for a protein powder to combine with a workout, then splurging on this one would prove to be a great bet. Furthermore, another potential drawback is that the company that sells this product seems to have had a packaging/contamination issue in the past (about 2 years ago) - but recent reviews indicate it’s been fixed.
We hope we’ve provided a solid variety of options for your protein powder needs. Depending on what you're looking for – either a simple nutrient supplement for everyday use or a high-protein, muscle-building powder for use in combination with workouts – these three powders are all good options.
In general, if you are looking for a simple protein powder that boosts energy and helps increase strength on a day-to-day basis, we would suggest trying Ensure first. A lot of the reviews specifically mentioned Ensures benefits for older folks. You can check out Ensure on Amazon here.
However, if you're looking to build a little muscle mass in combination with workouts, the Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate simply can’t be beat. Check out Dymatize on Amazon.