Have you noticed how some people of the older generation shy away from meat? Sometimes if they’ve had a protein-heavy meal for lunch, they’ll avoid it for dinner.
Well it turns out, having more protein when you’re older isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Especially if you’re trying maintain your strength.
According to the New York Times, lifting weights along with eating more protein is a key factor in staying fit and strong when you’re over 40.
It reports that eating more than the supposed daily recommended intake of protein actually benefits older folks, as seen from the results of this study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The research answered a simple question: does eating more protein lead to greater muscle growth?
The short answer is yes. Paired with weight training, a higher than average amount of protein consumed led to a significant increase in muscle mass in both men and women. The participants of the study gain about 10 percent more strength and 25 percent more muscle mass than those who didn’t eat more.
Rob Morton, a doctoral student at McMaster who led the study, says that having more protein than what is generally advised has proven to be beneficial
“We think that, for the purposes of maximising muscular strength and mass with resistance training, most people need more protein,” he said.
This is highly beneficial for the elderly, especially since they tend to lose strength and muscle mass the older they get.
Of course, Morton clarifies that more in-depth research has to be done to fully understand how additional protein affects the body apart from affecting muscle size and strength.
The main takeaway? Don’t be afraid to order an extra serving of meat when you’re having a meal with the family. More protein, more gains.
By Gilbert Wong, Men’s Health Content Producer