BEST 3 Protein Supplements for Seniors to Improve Well- Being

By Ire | Supplement Review

Feb 26

It is no secret that old age relates to muscle loss. After the age of 50, muscle mass decrease 1-2% annually. Sarcopenia is a common condition that affect older population. It causes muscle atrophy and consequently shortens life expectancy.

Biggest factors that accelerate that process are sedentary lifestyle, unbalanced diet, inflammation and stress. However, it is not all bad. We can reverse Sarcopenia through changing our lifestyle. It is NOT too late!

Trust me, my clients over 60 tell me that they feel like they are in their 20s again after starting them on an exercise program. Working on self-improvement has really shown to give every day more meaning.

Protein powders are not just for bodybuilders. They will be beneficial for anyone struggling to add muscle mass. Three most important nutrients that fight muscle atrophy are Protein, Omega 3 and Creatine. This article will only discusses protein supplements for seniors. There is not one (as far as I know) supplement that includes all those three. That is why I will also recommend my favorite Creatine and Omega 3 supplements at the end of an article.

Senior making a protein supplement shake after resistance training.


1. Prevents muscle atrophy (muscle loss)

Resistance training creates microtears in our muscle fibers. Those micro-tears can only be recovered by amino acids. Protein consists of bunch of amino acids, and that is why you need protein for muscle recovery. Whenever amino-acid recover micro tears, it also makes your muscle little bit stronger and bigger. That is ONLY possible if we have enough protein in our diet.

2. Reduces Inflammation

It was demonstrated that Whey Protein can help with inflammation. Inflammation is how body reacts to damage. In older adults, joint pain or muscle soreness can be an everyday life. In an extended review study, they have found that whey protein supplements significantly reduce CRP.  (CPR is responsible for muscle inflammation).

3. Strengthen Body to Reduce Injuries

Older individuals have bigger risk falling and breaking something. What is more, you are more likely to suffer from back pain, which is often a result of weak muscles. When muscles aren’t doing their job, more stress is put on your spine. Combined with osteoarthrosis or slipped disc, low back pain is no surprise. Taking protein supplement will help strengthen your muscle which will help with your injuries.

4. Cheap Source

Protein per gram is almost always cheaper in supplements when compared to consuming it from actual food. However, quality of protein is another factor that should be taken in account for BOTH sources.

5. Doesn’t fill you up

Undernutrition is a dangerous problem among senior population. Seniors will often feel too full to add another meal to their diet. Protein supplements are taken in liquid form, which produces weaker appetite response compared to solid food. That means consuming protein supplements will leave seniors with higher caloric intake by the end of the day without upsetting the stomach.

Strong and fit elderly playing with his grandchild


1. Amount

Journal of Clinical Nutrition published that seniors should consume more protein amounts that is usually recommended by doctors. Whereas Institute of Medicine only recommend 0.8g of protein per kg, study has shown that elderly who consume 1.5g/kg demonstrate more strength and muscle mass.

Most of the protein powder range from 15-25g of protein per scoop. Therefore, average elderly should be adding 1-2 protein powder scoop to their regular diet. Protein intake should be greater than protein breakdown due to sarcopenia. Protein intake should be little bit higher on the days when you work out. Therefore, consuming one scoop on a daily and one extra one after exercising should do the trick.

2. Timing

Protein supplement should be ideally consumed right after working out. However, if that is not possible, do not worry too much. Recent studies have shown that timing is not as relevant as it was once believed.


1. Stimulants

Some of protein supplements include stimulants like caffeine or even green tea. For more sensitive folks, that could cause heartburn, headache or increased heart rate.

2. Allergies

It is important to be aware of your own allergies. Important thing to note is that Whey protein is milk sourced. Therefore, if you are allergic to dairy, there are other options out there.

3. Sugar Content

Many protein powders are full of excess sugar. It makes sense to avoid those supplements since sugar is a risk factor for diabetes.

Protein Supplements for Seniors: Fit active elderly on top of the mountains.


Whey protein is a liquid you see floating on top of freshly opened yogurt. It is high quality protein which contains all essential amino acids. If you are not allergic to dairy, whey protein is easy to digest. Compared to other protein sources, whey absorbs very quickly in the body. All those features make Whey very high in nutrition value and one of the best choices when it comes to buying protein supplements for seniors. That has also been suggested through a study done by McMaster University.

There are two most common types of Whey:

Isolate is usually more expensive, and it consists of more than 90% of protein.

Whey concentrate is usually taken before working out. Due to higher level of fat and lactose, it provides us with more energy for workouts.


1. Poor regulation of supplements

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does NOT regulate food supplements. Companies have their own responsibility in guaranteeing everything on their label is correct. Therefore, I have gone on a search for protein supplements that have been inspected by a third party. Every supplement below has scored high (70+) on Labdoor Quality Rankings.

2. Toxic Metals

Clean Label Project is a nonprofit organization that focuses on transparency of product labeling. In one of their study, they have found that majority of their 134 tested protein supplements have a higher level of BPA than indicated. BPA is known to cause cancer and developmental disorders. What is more, product that were labeled “organic” showed to include 2x the amount of heavy metals. That is why I chose only proteins scored with 5/5 stars.

Older man lifting weights in the gym


1. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

Optimum Nutrition protein powder is one of the word’s most popular supplement. Great content, trustworthy label and fair price rank this supplement number one seller of Amazon. One scoop contains 24g of Whey protein.

Due to lecithin, product mixes very well with both water or milk.


  • Mixability
  • Taste


  • Contains artificial sweeteners
  • Contains Soy

2. NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate

Now Sports Packaging may look like something from 20 years ago, but it is inside what matters. That particular supplement has scored very high in both label trustworthiness and content purity. Supplement is extremely clean which comes with obvious downsides regarding the taste and mixability. One scoop will enrich you for 25g extra proteins.

If you have a sensitive stomach, that is a great product for you. However, you might want to use a blender for mixing it.


  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Natural
  • Easy digested


  • Unflavored
  • Doesn’t mix well
  • Can taste even though it is unflavored

3. Pure Protein Powder (Natural)

Pure Protein Powder will enrich you for 23g of protein per scoop. Because this supplements contains lactose it might not be the best choice for people who are lactose intolerant.

Lecithin helps with supplement mixability.


  • Mixability
  • Cheap
  • No Artifical ingredient


  • Bitter taste
  • Contains fructose
  • Contains Soy
  • Contains Lactose


Fish oil, more specifically Omega-3 is linked to many positive things. Study has found that elderly who have higher Omega 3 intake show to be biologically younger. It maintains cardiovascular health, reduces inflammation and strengthen the bones. One study even suggest that Omega-3 could fight depression. I recommend using Nordic Natural – Ultimate Omega.


Creatine is a substance that is already naturally in your body. It helps with energy production during heavier resistance training.
Creatine is a supplements, usually taken by younger people to improve their gym performance. What hasn’t been talked enough is that elderly can benefit from creatine supplementation even more than younger folks. Study compared effects of creatine supplementation in between younger and older adults. Seniors have showed double the strength gain and muscle gain compared to younger individuals. Creatine boosts workload, raise anabolic hormones and reduces protein breakdown. My favorite is a
Creatine Monohydrate Powder (BulkSupplements).


Proper diet should be in line with proper resistance training program. Note that endurance training does not equal resistance training. While endurance training is important, resistance training will be the one promoting muscle growth. Perfect example is seen in Track and Field athletes. Just compare bodies of Olympics marathon runners versus Olympics discus throwers. Two completely different exercise strategies and two completely different body types.

Remember how muscle building works? We need to create muscle tear in order to recover it and consequently make it bigger (hypertrophy). Older population, we need to be even more careful on what kind of exercises to choose. There is a way to work around osteoarthritis, low back pain, dizziness… This is an article how 65 year old Dan gained 10 pounds of muscle mass in 6 months.

If you are looking for more specific training plan, contact me about online personal training services above.

Need help structuring your diet and exercise program for elderly?

If you need help planning meals perfect for your body, check out of online coaching opportunities here!

Coach Ire will be able to help you to structure your workouts and diet for your own body type. Get an online coach to finally put some flesh on those bones.

Older man stretching in the park


Muscle break down that happens with age is a common occurrence. However, with well planned resistance training and good diet, we can reverse that process.

Because FDA does not regulate supplements, purchasing protein supplements is risky. Especially for older adults. Supplements companies are unfortunately not known to be the most honest ones. That is why thorough research is very much needed.


About the Author

Hey, my name is Ire.I am a Personal Trainer/ Strength Coach based in Stockholm, Sweden.When you don't find me in the gym, I will most likely be on a Track and Field stadium throwing around a discus.

  • […] BEST 3 Protein Supplements for Seniors to Improve Well- Being […]

  • Anonymous says:

    I ve been using Whey Stadard since I was 55… Works amazingly well still at 65 now

  • Karen says:

    I read your article and notice it talks about men, does the same principles apply to older women.

    • Ire says:

      Hey Karen,

      Same concept definitely applies to older women as well when it comes to supplement selection. What usually differs is the rate results can be seen (usually slower)

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