Seniors, Strength Training and Protein Intake

Seniors-StrengthTrainingJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Commonly associated with advancing age, sarcopenia (reduced muscle mass) contributes to a decline in skeletal muscle strength, often resulting in diminished functional capacity, a limited ability to perform daily activities and possible loss of independence. With a bit of hard work, perseverance and patience, senior adults can partially reverse age-related losses in muscle strength, which can help combat weakness and frailty and help to maintain self-reliance. Since 1988, numerous published scientific studies have shown that progressive resistance exercises can result in significant improvements in skeletal muscle function in older persons, as well as improvements in functional capacity such as walking speed and stair-climbing power.

Resistance exercises performed two to three times weekly with a rest day in between allows for muscle growth and recovery. Rest and recovery days help to avoid injury and allow the body to heal the tears in muscle fiber, a vital part of the body’s natural muscle building response. While strength training can vary in frequency, intensity and duration, current research shows that performing resistance exercises builds muscle mass and strength, improves balance, sleep and mood, and helps maintain healthy weight, bone density and vitality in the senior years. Strength workouts should include the major muscles of the body, including the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, legs and core.

Sufficient protein intake is necessary to build, maintain and repair muscle, as well as prevent muscle wasting. While exercise can have a profound effect on muscle growth, there must be a positive muscle protein balance, as muscle growth can only occur if muscle protein synthesis exceeds breakdown. Resistance exercise improves muscle protein balance, but in the absence of sufficient protein intake, the balance remains negative. Essential amino acids, found in animal and plant proteins, are key nutrients for muscle health and maintenance. As amino acid availability is an important regulator of muscle protein metabolism, consuming protein before and after a workout may lead to a better outcome for muscle growth and development, as well as improved metabolic health.

Data analysis shows that many older adults, particularly women, do not get enough dietary protein. Seniors who participate in weight training to become physically stronger should consider increasing, but not overdoing, their daily protein intake. While professionals disagree on the optimal amount of protein needed to maintain muscle with aging, for the purpose of maximizing muscular strength and mass with resistance training, researchers concur that most people require additional protein. A review of databases of published research regarding weight training and protein studies found that active seniors were better able to rebuild and maintain muscle by adequately addressing increased protein requirements.

This relates to a 25 to 50 percent increase over the recommended daily amount (RDA) of 46 grams of protein for sedentary women and 56 grams for sedentary men. The general recommendation is to spread protein consumption evenly throughout the day, taking in 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal and 12 to 15 grams per snack. Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that studied the use of protein supplementation found that whey protein was the most effective type of protein for seniors struggling to build muscle due to inactivity or illness. Whey protein is considered a high-quality or complete protein meaning that it contains all the essential amino acids necessary for post-workout recovery. Supplementing with amino acids, particularly on recovery days, has been shown to diminish muscle damage, as well as delayed onset muscle soreness, pain or stiffness associated with resistance training.

 It should be noted that those with kidney disease should not increase their protein intake without consulting their healthcare practitioner.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality protein supplements in support of healthy nutrition:

Absolute Protein...Absolute Protein™ Vanilla by NuMedica®: This quick soluble, high quality protein powder provides a perfect balance of concentrated, fast absorbing whey proteins with hydrolyzed protein peptides, and slow absorbing whey concentrates and isolates for an effective supply of muscle building nutrients. This supplement provides vitamins, minerals, branched-chain amino acids and L-glutamine for a lean and optimal way to supplement with high quality protein.  Provides 17 grams of protein per serving. Naturally flavored. Free of wheat, corn, yeast, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts and artificial colors and preservatives. Chocolate flavor also available.

Ultra Protein Plus...Ultra Protein Plus Natural Vanilla Bean Flavor by Douglas Laboratories®: This fortified powdered formula provides a full complement of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and 16 grams of plant- based protein per serving in support of metabolic and physiologic functions. Natural vanilla bean flavor. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation. Natural Chocolate formula also available.

D-RiboseD-Ribose by Designs for Health®: This simple sugar molecule is an essential component of cellular energy metabolism. Produced naturally by the body, D-ribose is necessary for the heart, muscles and other tissues to make ATP, the primary source of cellular energy used to maintain normal health and function, particularly after strenuous activity or exercise. D-ribose may improve athletic performance and the ability to exercise by boosting muscle energy, without raising blood glucose levels. Gluten free. Non-GMO. No additional ingredients.

Protein CompleteProtein Complete by Professional Complementary Health Formulas: This low-fat, cholesterol-free formula provides high quality soy and pea proteins fortified with a balanced supply of essential vitamins, minerals, synergistic herbs, enzymes and probiotics to aid in general digestion, promote intestinal health, improve nutrient utilization and increase the intake of protein and other nutrients.

Key Found to Muscle Loss After Age 65.
Seniors Can Still Bulk Up On Muscle by Pressing Iron.
The benefits of strength training for older adults.
Ideal protein to help seniors rebuild lost muscle.
Strength Training Benefits and Guidelines for Seniors.
The benefits of strength training for older adults.
The benefits of strength training in the elderly.

Dr. Hauschka – Featured Brand

DrHauschkaSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Did you know that Professional Supplement Center offers natural beauty and skin care solutions from Dr. Hauschka? Born of a passion to provide a line of nature inspired products that take a holistic approach to support skin health as a means of achieving beautiful skin, for more than 50 years Dr. Hauschka’s founding mission has remained–to meet the strongest criteria available for natural and organic ingredients that support the long-term health of the skin, the planet and all living creatures. These 100% natural skin care products, based on the relationship of skin to overall health, are designed with the purest and highest quality plant and mineral ingredients, carefully chosen for efficacy and synergistic effects. All products are certified by NATRUE, a non-profit, international association with the strongest criteria for natural and organic ingredients in personal care products, as verified by an independent certifier.

NATRUE standards include environmentally responsible harvesting, non-toxic processing of raw materials, socially responsible business practices, and the exclusion of petroleum-based synthetics and GMO ingredients. Plant ingredient origins are extensively researched to ensure ecologically and ethically sound sourcing. All nature-derived raw materials are harvested at their peak for maximum benefits and are minimally processed to maintain the vibrancy of the botanicals. Dr. Hauschka’s personal care formulations are vegan, certified organic, and are gluten, preservative, synthetic ingredient, and cruelty free.

To see more personal care products from Dr. Hauschka, please visit

Hydrating MaskHydrating Mask: This hydrating cream mask offers intensive care to nurture, nourish and protect dry, sensitive and mature skin. Specific ingredients replenish, soothe and hydrate, while supporting natural oil production. Use once or twice weekly for skin that looks and feels fresh, supple and smooth. Certified Natural and dermatologically tested for sensitive skin. Free of synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives, mineral oil, silicones and polyethylene glycols (PEGs).

Hydrating Hand CreamHydrating Hand Cream: This fast-absorbing hydrating hand cream soothes, nourishes and protects hands from cold, harsh or dry conditions. Featuring a mild fresh scent, this moisturizing cream nurtures and supports the skin’s natural renewal processes without leaving a greasy residue. Certified Natural and dermatologically tested for sensitive skin. Free of synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives, mineral oil, silicones and polyethylene glycols (PEGs).

Lip BalmLip Balm: A personal favorite, this lip balm offers intensive soothing and nourishing care to nurture and protect lips. Ingredients, such as jojoba, apricot kernel oils, calendula, beeswax, cocoa butter and limonene, moisturize, soften, renew, fortify and protect lips, while smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and providing a translucent shine. Certified Natural and dermatologically tested for sensitive skin. Free of synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives, mineral oil, silicones and polyethylene glycols (PEGs).

Intensive Treatment...Intensive Treatment for Menopausal Skin: Intensive Treatments are formulated for skin that has lost its natural balance and requires focused care. Specific ingredients diminish the appearance of dullness, redness and blotchiness and support the skin’s natural renewal processes. For best results, use for a minimum of 28 days. Certified Natural and dermatologically tested for sensitive skin. Free of synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives, mineral oil, silicones and polyethylene glycols (PEGs).

Improved Diet = Improved Health

ImprovedDietJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

For almost a century federal dietary guidance was designed for avoidance of nutrient deficiency diseases, such as scurvy and rickets. Other than obesity, minimal attention was given to reducing the risk of degenerative chronic conditions. In the past two decades there have been substantial advances in understanding the relationship between diet and health, as well as broad agreement that overall dietary modifications improve the chance of a healthier life and reduce the prevalence of diet-related chronic disease. Family history, environmental concerns, healthcare access and other health-promoting lifestyle factors, such as regular exercise and healthy sleep, are all determinants of health and wellbeing. While there is clear evidence that the daily diet directly affects both short and long term health, research shows American dietary patterns are very slow to improve.

Dietary advice has improved, but are we listening?

It’s been almost 20 years since nutrition experts, that historically promoted high-carb/low fat diets, disavowed their disastrous advice to shun all dietary fats and instead urged Americans to focus on whole grains, nuts and healthful fats. A study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported some improvements in the Standard American Diet. A cross-sectional analysis among 44,000 adults found that the quality of the average American’s diet improved by two percentage points between 1999 and 2016. Researchers found decreased intake of low-quality carbohydrates and added sugars, as well as increased intake of  high-quality carbohydrates, including whole grains, plant proteins and nuts. Yet, after two decades of updated nutrition advice the majority of overall diet composition remains derived from nutrient deficient refined carbs and unhealthy fats.

Some of us are actively pursuing a healthier lifestyle.

To be sure, Americans have many different approaches to eating. While some focus on taste and nutrition, other focus on convenience. Those who focus on healthy eating say they are relatively satisfied with their diets. A majority of people who focus on convenience say they should probably eat healthier most days. When asked to confront their own eating habits, most Americans admit to nutritional shortcomings. Yet, 72 percent of adults acknowledge that healthy eating habits and exercise are the most important factors for healthy lifespan improvement. As well, the majority know that both the quality and the quantity of food consumption is a public health concern. While this public awareness shows that millions of Americans are moving in the right direction, considerable challenges lie ahead to improve the majority of American’s diet and health.

Why nutrition matters:

The typical American diet is too high in calories, unhealthy fat, sodium and added sugars, and too low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium, and fiber. A low nutrient, low fiber, high sugar diet contributes to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis and many types of cancer. As well, unhealthy eating is the leading cause of mortality and disabilities stemming from bone fractures, heart attacks, strokes and lower-limb amputations. Improving the diet promotes healthy weight maintenance, reduces cancer risk, prevents strokes and supports cognitive function, cardiovascular health, strong bones and teeth, better mood, improved memory, overall wellbeing and healthier longevity.

If you’re really not sure what to eat, go for vegetables. Nine out of ten Americans fail to meet the five a day serving requirement. Full of fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients, vegetables help protect the heart, the eyes and the brain, lower the risk of diabetes and some cancers, help maintain healthy blood pressure, protect blood vessel walls and support bone health. To support whole body heath, the American Heart Association recommends approximately 2100 calories of nutritious whole foods each day.

  • 5 daily servings of vegetables (one serving equals 1 cup raw leafy greens or ½ cup cooked or raw vegetables)
  • 4 daily servings of fruit (one serving equals one medium sized piece of fruit or ½ cup cut up fruit)
  • 6 daily servings of whole grains (one serving equals 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of cereal or ½ cup cooked rice)
  • 3 daily servings of dairy (one serving equals 1 cup milk or yogurt or 1.5 oz. of cheese)
  • 3 daily servings of healthy fats and oils (one serving equals 1 tablespoon)
  • 8-9 weekly servings of poultry, meat and eggs (one serving equals 3 ounces of meat or one egg)
  • 2-3 weekly servings of seafood (one serving equals 3 ounces)
  • 5 weekly servings of nuts, seeds, beans and legumes (one serving equals ½ ounce of nuts, ¼ cup of beans or 1 tablespoon nut butter)

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of healthy nutrition:

Spectrum VibranceSpectrum Vibrance by Vibrant Health®: This concentrated blend of powdered, whole food plant nutrients provides a broad range of nutrient-rich red, yellow, blue and green fruits and vegetables, as well as bioactive food substances and antioxidant-rich botanical extracts. One serving is equivalent to 4.5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Delicious Greens...Delicious Greens 8000 Original Flavor by Greens World Inc.: This powdered concentrate blends certified organic vegetables and fruits with enzymes, probiotics, natural fibers, vitamins, minerals and more to deliver the antioxidant power of 8000 ORAC units. Naturally flavored with orange and spearmint. No added sugar. Free of wheat, MSG and preservatives. Vegetarian formulation. Additional flavors available: Berry, Chocolate, Mocha Café, Fruit Punch and Strawberry Kiwi.

Spectra Purples™Spectra Purples™ by DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont: This proprietary powdered supplement blends 19 whole fruits, vegetables and extracts containing health promoting purple phytonutrients in support of healthy aging and cognitive, cellular, immune and cardiovascular health and function. Also available: Spectra Greens™, Spectra Oranges™ and Spectra Reds™.

PaleoRedsPaleo Reds® by Designs for Health®: In support of healthy aging, this proprietary whole food powder combines a variety of high quality colorful fruits and vegetables known for their phytonutrient and antioxidant compounds. Contains over 70% organic ingredients. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation. Also available: PaleoGreens® (unflavored) and Lemon/Lime.

Trends in Dietary Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat Intake and Diet Quality Among US Adults 1999-2016.
Improving America’s Diet and Health: From Recommendations to Action.
New Survey Shows Changes in American Diet Trends.
What’s on your table? How America’s diet has changed over the decades.
Our Food Is Killing Too Many of Us.
Public views about American’s eating habits.
Suggested Servings from Each Food Group.