One of the most popular supplements is protein powder. You can find protein supplements for sale in stores and online. Whey protein, vegan protein, and other supplements contain this muscle-building ingredient.
Protein powder can also be beneficial for senior citizens. But, as you might already know, there are a lot of protein powders and supplements for sale.
Instead of you searching through page after page of search results or store websites, I’m here to help! In this article, you’ll learn about the best protein powders for senior citizens. You’ll also learn about the pros and cons of protein products for the elderly.
The top-rated protein powders for senior citizens
If you need more protein, the supplements below are great for older adults. The protein and amino acids found in the following supplements can help improve your bone health and assist in retaining lean muscle mass.
1. Premier Protein Whey Powder
If whey protein doesn’t cause you to deal with any digestive issues, Premier Protein’s whey protein powder is a low-cost way to increase your protein intake. This supplement is the best protein powder if you’re on a tight budget. A 23.3-ounce container only costs about $25.
This protein contains both whey concentrate and whey isolate. Plus, each serving of this supplement contains 30 grams of protein per serving. This supplement is also available in three different flavors:
- Cafe Latte
You also don’t have to worry about having too much sugar while using this supplement to increase your protein intake. That’s because Premier Protein only contains one gram of sugar per serving.
Protein per serving: 30 grams
Calories per serving: 150 calories
Sugar per serving: 1 gram
Carbs per serving: 2 grams
2. Orgain Organic Vegan Protein
Based on the sheer amount of positive reviews and its clean ingredient profile, Orgain’s supplement is the best protein drink for vegetarians and vegans.
This product’s plant-based protein comes from peas, rice, and chia seeds. Each serving of this protein product also contains five to six grams of fiber per serving.
While fiber isn’t directly responsible for muscle gain, it’s a good ingredient for this plant-based protein product to contain. That’s because fiber helps aid the digestive process and maintain healthy body weight.
What I also like about using this product for protein supplementation is that it contains no genetically modified ingredients. This nutritional supplement also contains no gluten, dairy, or soy.
If you use this supplement to increase your protein intake, you’ll be glad to know that it’s available in many flavors. Some of this protein drink powder’s most popular flavors are chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, and chocolate fudge.
Protein per serving: 21 grams
Calories per serving: 150 calories
Sugar per serving: zero
Carbs per serving: 15 grams
3. Muscle Milk Zero Ready-to-Drink Protein Shakes
If you’ve ever tried a protein drink, it’s likely that what you tried was a beverage from Muscle Milk. This company started making and distributing protein supplements around the late 1990s. Now, you can find Muscle Milk on shelves everywhere.
While this company produces some of the best protein powder, it also has a line of ready-to-drink supplements available to prevent lean muscle mass loss. If you want to prevent muscle loss without consuming a bunch of carbs or sugar, check out the Muscle Milk Zero line of supplements.
These products are great for older adults because they require no measuring or mixing. Plus, this supplement’s cap is resealable and easy to twist on and off. This line of RTD supplements is also rich in fiber, which is great for older adults.
Currently, this protein drink is available in two flavors: chocolate and vanilla creme. From a nutrition label perspective, this is my pick for the best protein drink that’s pre-made.
Protein per shake: 20
Calories per shake: 100
Sugar per shake: Zero
Carbs per shake: 7
4. Boost Glucose Control With Nutrient Support
If you need a supplement that doubles as a meal replacement on a high-protein diet, Boost makes a wide range of ready-to-drink beverages.
For elderly people who need help managing their blood sugar levels, Boost makes a supplement that helps with controlling glucose levels. This nutritional drink also contains large amounts of choline and magnesium.
Instead of being meant as a low or no-carbohydrate beverage, this supplement is for people who need a balance of protein, carbs, nutrients, and vitamins in a convenient shake.
Protein per shake: 16
Calories per shake: 190
Sugar per shake: 4
Carbs per shake: 16
5. Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake
Another way to get more protein in your diet is with a nutrition shake from Ensure. The Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake contains milk protein concentrate to deliver 16 grams of protein per serving.
This supplement also includes vitamins and minerals to help support a strong immune system. This protein beverage also contains vitamin D and zinc to help support tissue health.
I’d recommend this beverage for older adults who have difficulties either gaining or maintaining a healthy weight. This product is available in five flavors, which are:
- Dark chocolate
- Butter pecan
- Milk chocolate
Protein per shake: 16
Calories per shake: 350
Sugar per shake: 20
Carbs per shake: 48
Pros and cons of protein powder for the elderly
While whey protein can be great for senior citizens, these supplements aren’t without drawbacks. Here’s a closer look at the good and bad about protein powder.
A convenient way to increase protein intake
One of the best things about protein powder is how convenient they are. Instead of having to prepare a meal and wash dishes, you can mix protein powder with water or milk to have a liquid meal ready in about 30 seconds.
For many reasons, some senior citizens find it difficult to prepare their own meals. Other older people struggle with mental difficulties that could make cooking potentially dangerous. Instead of taking any risks, senior citizens can use a protein supplement to get the nutrition they need.
Great for seniors with chewing difficulties
As people get older, they often begin losing their adult teeth. That’s why many elderly people have dentures, allowing them to chew food and for appearance purposes. Other senior citizens might have difficulties chewing due to medical conditions.
Regardless of the reason, a protein supplement is a helpful way for seniors to get proper nutrition without having to chew food.
Maintaining muscle mass
Whether it’s a whey protein or whey isolate supplement, protein powder helps people maintain muscle mass. Many adults consume protein powder as part of an exercise program.
With that said, it’s still beneficial for senior citizens to exercise. Of course, these exercise programs won’t be as intense for someone in their 20s or 30s.
Most senior citizens like to exercise for health purposes. That’s because regular exercise can help seniors:
- Stay mentally sharp
- Avoid depression
- Lower their risk of many diseases
Instead of using protein powder to gain large muscles, senior citizens benefit from this supplement because they maintain muscle tissue.
Protein supplements also contain amino acids
It’s also worth noting that most protein supplements also contain branched-chain amino acids. These ingredients can help prevent the breakdown of muscle mass, which commonly happens as people get older.
Besides their ability to help improve or maintain muscle mass, the benefits of essential amino acids don’t stop there. These amino acids can also help seniors with skin and tissue repair. Certain studies show that regular consumption of essential amino acids can even help with weight management.
A great part of a healthy diet
It’s important for people to eat healthily, especially as they become senior citizens. Fortunately, protein powders can serve as the basis for healthy snacks.
The average protein shake is low in calories, fats, and sugars. Senior citizens, especially those who struggle to maintain a healthy weight, can consume protein-rich foods or supplements to stop those cravings for snacks.
Certain protein powders can cause digestive issues
As someone who tries his best to stay in shape, I’ve tried a lot of supplements. Looking back now, I probably tried way more supplements than I needed to. My point is that some supplements can cause unpleasant digestive issues. A common culprit of digestive issues can be a whey protein supplement.
Personally, unless I have more than a few drinks per day, whey protein powders don’t affect my stomach. However, a decent amount of people who use whey supplements to get more protein can wind up with mild stomach discomfort. Depending on the person, whey protein might also cause someone to experience diarrhea.
If you experience the previously mentioned stomach-related issues, that’s not to say you can never have a protein shake. I’d recommend trying a high-quality protein supplement made with another source of protein besides whey. For instance, organic pea protein contains digestive enzymes that prevent indigestion.
Another potential way to prevent protein-related stomach problems is by replacing dairy-based milk with soy or almond milk.
Some protein powders don’t taste great
As many people on high-protein diets will tell you, not every protein powder is delicious. Some of them are downright nasty. Don’t worry – all of the best protein drinks in the list above taste great.
The most common negative about powders used to make protein drinks is that they taste chalky.
Certain supplements contain lots of sugars
Many people, including those with diabetes, must limit their sugar intake. If that’s the case with yourself, you’ll want to watch out for high-quality protein products with too much sugar.
Since protein shakes are mainly for people concerned about their health, most of these supplements won’t contain an excessive amount of sugar. However, it’s still a good idea to check the ingredient label of any protein supplement if you have a sensitivity to sugar.
Watching out for overly expensive protein supplements
Another potential issue you can run into when looking for a whey protein supplement is price. Fortunately, all of my top picks are some of the most affordable protein products on the market.
However, there are plenty of powders for protein shakes that retail for upwards of $60!
Frequently asked questions about protein powder for senior citizens
It’s understandable to have questions about using supplements to increase your protein intake. With that in mind, here are answers to some commonly asked questions regarding senior citizens getting more protein.
Is whey protein powder safe for senior citizens?
Yes, these powders are safe to help senior citizens increase their protein consumption. The only potential issue the elderly can encounter with whey protein shakes is slight stomach discomfort.
If a senior citizen doesn’t respond well to whey protein concentrate or isolate, consider switching to plant-based proteins. For instance, switching from whey protein to pea protein could improve stomach issues.
Can elderly people drink protein shakes?
Yes, protein shakes are perfectly safe for the elderly. The only exception to this rule would be if a senior is allergic to certain types of protein, like whey protein.
What types of protein supplements are available for seniors?
So far, you’ve learned a lot about protein powders. However, you can also enjoy ready-made protein drinks. Sometimes referred to as ready-to-drink supplements, or RTDs, these supplements are pre-made protein drinks.
An RTD protein shake is even easier for a senior citizen to consume, especially since it doesn’t require mixing any powders.
How much protein should a senior citizen consume per day?
Another frequently asked question is how many grams of protein per day can seniors have? According to recent research from Consumer Reports, older adults should try to consume 0.45 to 0.55 grams of protein each day for each pound they weigh.
So, let’s say you’re 70 years of age and weigh 150 pounds. In this case, a sufficient protein intake would range from 67.5 grams to 82.5 grams of protein per day.
The previously mentioned numbers might sound like lofty goals to reach each day. Fortunately, an average protein shake contains anywhere from 20-40 grams of protein.
In conclusion, protein shakes and the powder needed to make them can be great for senior citizens. Fortunately, there are many supplements available to make high-protein drinks.