Does ‘nutrition in a bottle’ sound healthy for an ageing body? Do protein drinks work for older adults? If so, when do they work? And, what are the best protein drinks for seniors? And, when they are not recommended? Are protein drinks and shakes beneficial for older adults with type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, other chronic diseases, etc.?
You may read them as just a bunch of questions; however, they are the questions we will be answering in this article.
Regardless, your understanding of the importance of different protein drinks, shakes, and supplements to your ageing body is vital. Thus, it helps choose the best option that supports your’ overall health.
Role Of Protein In Ageing
Protein is extra essential for seniors. So, it is of tremendous and utmost importance to pay proper attention to sources and protein intake as it can support a healthy ageing process.
A diet sufficient in protein is good as it helps maintain muscle strength, balance, agility, and resilience.
Moreover, every cell in the human body needs protein to function correctly. Hence, it includes skin, bones, and internal organs.
Not all protein drinks
are equal although brands try to stay competitive. So, for this reason, they include different protein sources, change the flavour, add extra ingredients, and lower the prices, etc.
Regardless what seems appealing to you, you need to consider ultimate characteristics and some essential factors when shopping for protein drinks for seniors.
Continue reading to find out the truth about protein drinks and what are some of the best ones for older adults?
Let’s start with characteristics of a good protein drink for seniors…
What Is A Good Protein Drink For Seniors?
Generally speaking, protein drinks are good for seniors, but they are best for those who suffer from acute and chronic illnesses. These drinks are a great and easy way for older adults to ensure that they get the necessary protein.
Furthermore, a good protein drink includes nice flavours, consistencies, and ingredients. Similarly, it must have all vitamins and minerals and protein in one go.
Researchers say protein drinks combined with exercise showed significant health benefits for adults over 70.
1. Protein Shakes
One of the mainstays of health supplements is protein shakes. Typically, an essential protein shake includes protein powder mixed with water or milk. However, nowadays, these shakes come in various flavours and active ingredients.
Protein shakes can act as an efficient energy boost for seniors. In short, a good protein shake provides improved nutrition and increased energy for seniors with low energy. Moreover, these shakes add vitamins and minerals to provide medical health care and immune support.
2. Protein Powder
Protein powder is a popular nutritional supplement source that may also aid weight loss goals and help people tone their muscles. They are suitable for athletes, older adults, vegetarians, and vegans.
Protein powder includes two types and they are dairy-based and plant-based powders.
According to a study conducted in 2018, most of the best-selling protein powders contain traces of heavy metals. Hence, they are lead, cadmium, and arsenic.
Out of the lot, one of the best protein powders is Whey protein powder. It is one of the complete protein powders containing the necessary amino acids that seniors require from food.
3. Protein Supplements
Protein supplements are dietary supplements suitable for recreationally active adults, athletes, soldiers, etc. They are also best for people who want to increase muscle mass and improve exercise recovery and performance.
Combined with a proper fitness plan and balanced eating, these supplements can help lose weight and satisfy seniors’ daily nutritional requirements.
Suppose the diet lacks some high-quality protein sources, so the older adults should consider protein supplements. Thus, they will allow them to get the missed nutrients.
Protein supplements for seniors are also essential as they improve digestion and absorption of proteins.
According to the vital recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adult men should get at least 56 grams, and women get 46 grams of protein daily.
Some of the excellent protein drinks for seniors include:
- Kate Farms Organic Nutrition Shake
- Pure Protein Chocolate Protein Shake
- Dymatize ISO100 Clear Protein Drink
- Ensure Enlive
- Med Pass 2.0
- BOOST High Protein Drink
- Aloha Chocolate Sea Salt Plant-Based Protein Drink
- Boost Very High-Calorie Oral Supplement
- Fairlife Core Power High Protein Shake
- Body Fortress High Protein Shake
Can The Elderly Drink Protein Shakes?
Protein shakes are suitable for the elderly. These shakes can be an excellent option for seniors as shakes can fill any nutritional gaps.
Most people drink protein shakes for a one or few reasons. For instance, they drink for weight loss, muscle gain, and injury recovery.
Protein shakes are a dietary supplement, and most doctors recommend them for seniors.
There are so many unique and different brands available that provide protein shakes. There is no simple way to track them all, but we can tell you that protein shakes come in four basic types. These shake types have their advantages, so you should have no trouble deciding which is best for older adults.
For example, if you have diabetes, you must look that there are no added ingredients like sugar or sweeteners.
Below are the four basic types of protein shakes.
1. Whey Protein Shakes
Whey is a popular dairy product, a byproduct of cheese production.
One of the best benefits of whey protein shakes for seniors is that the human body can quickly and efficiently absorb the protein. Most importantly, it is also suitable for reducing blood sugar and controlling hunger.
In addition, according to one study, whey protein shakes can also help in lowering blood pressure.
2. Casein Protein Shakes
Casein is a dairy derivative that digests slowly and may be a better supplement. Because casein can slowly digest, it tends to fill you up and then leave you feeling full for a longer time.
Moreover, they are suitable for a meal replacement as part of a weight-loss plan.
3. Vegan Protein Shakes
Furthermore, these protein shakes are also effective because vegan and plant-based proteins contain the Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA). All the essential amino acids are also present in plant-based proteins.
4. Soy Protein Shakes
Soy is the most popular plant-based protein and is widely available as protein shakes and powders. The Soy protein shakes are ideal for vegetarians and vegans. They are also great for seniors with lactose intolerance.
They contain 9 essential amino acids and proteins ideal for older adults.
Sufficient protein, eating enough calories, and high-quality ingredients are something every senior must look for in their diet.
However, it is also important to discuss the pros and cons with your dietitian or the doctor before choosing the protein shake. In short, older adults must always select those shakes that are the best option for overall health and wellness.
Benefits Of Protein Shakes For Seniors
Below are some pros of protein shakes for the elderly.
As individual needs vary, having protein shakes generally is an excellent option for seniors.
Some potential benefits of protein shake include the below.
- They are quick and convenient.
- Some protein shakes are easy to mix with water, milk, coffee, and tea.
- Protein shakes are easy to digest.
- Most of them are excellent and fortified alternatives for vegans and vegetarians.
- The shakes can help stabilise blood sugar levels.
Things can go wrong sometimes too, specially if you as a senior start using protein drinks against your doctor’s advice.
Potential Dangers Of Protein Shakes For The Elderly
Some older adults think that protein shakes are not a suitable option for them for the following reasons.
- Some of the shakes can be high in added sugars and calories.
- Another drawback of protein shakes is that they can cause digestive distress.
- The adverse side effects of protein shakes include diarrhoea, constipation, vomiting, nausea, etc.
- They can be expensive to buy.
- Protein shakes are sometimes not available in multiple flavours.
Now, let’s review some of the best protein drinks for seniors…
10 Best Protein Drinks for Seniors
Based on all the details mentioned above, below are some of the best drinks for seniors and the elderly.
1. Fairlife Core Power High Protein Shake
If you are the one who loves chocolate, then the Core Power’s High Protein Shake from Fairlife is the best choice for you.
The drink contains ultra-filtered milk, so it becomes an acceptable protein source for seniors who suffer from lactose intolerance. Apart from that, it has all nine essential amino acids.
Some of its other features include the below.
- It contains 26g of high-quality complete protein.
- Primarily available in Chocolate and Vanilla.
- Core Power High Protein is a ready to drink shake.
- The shake is gluten and lactose-free.
After using this shake, one of the customers said that it is the best tasting protein shake available, and she will be using this product for years to come.
2. Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein
This is the best protein powder for seniors available on the market by Transparent Labs. However, the main point for older adults is boosting protein from grass-fed cows. Thus, it will provide enough protein to help build up muscle mass and body strength.
Moreover, Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein is also a best low-carb protein powder for seniors.
Below are some benefits of this protein powder.
- Grass-Fed Whey Protein contains no artificial additives. Hence, it preserves the gut health of older people.
- It has the highest protein content at 28g per serving, which helps fight sarcopenia.
- This protein powder has 120 calories and 0g of fat.
- Most senior prefers this because it has a low carb option of only 2g.
One customer said this whey protein is the number one powder because it is the best low carb protein powder he has used.
3. Bulk Whey Protein Powder
Bulk is a sports’ nutrition brand that is for athletes and younger gym-goers. But don’t get me wrong here, as this protein powder is also perfect for older adults.
Below are some of its unique and beneficial features.
- Bulk Whey Protein Powder contains 23g of protein per serving.
- It is low in sugar.
- The Bulk Whey powder has 5g of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA).
- This powder is available in many flavours and sizes.
It is delicious, adding good quality protein into the diet of seniors. Moreover, it comes in a wide variety of flavours shared by one customer from his personal experience.
4. Kate Farms Organic Nutrition Shake
Organic Nutrition Shake is a delicious plant-based and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified shake comes with organic protein and powerful phytonutrients for better health. However, it is available mainly in chocolate, vanilla, and coffee.
The following are some of its features.
- It has 16g of USDA-certified organic pea protein.
- Phytonutrient percentage is relatively high in nutrient-rich foods like acai, turmeric, green tea, and broccoli.
- Kate Farms Organic Nutrition Shake is gluten-free.
- It does not have milk, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, or corn.
Most of the customers buy these shakes, and according to one reviewer, she likes this shake because it contains no artificial sweeteners.
5. Dymatize ISO100 Clear Protein Drink
ISO100 Clear Protein Drink is unique in many different ways. The first thing is that it is clear, and secondly, it contains no fats, sugars, or carbs. Moreover, this is an excellent protein source for seniors as it help keep them staying fit and healthy.
Let’s check some of the features of ISO100 Clear Protein Drink.
- Dymatize ISO100 Clear Protein Drink contains 25 grams of whey protein isolate.
- The drink is best for lactose-intolerant people.
- No additional nutrient is present in it.
- It includes 110 calories per serving.
The majority of the customers give positive reviews for this product, and one said that the drink is deserving of almost all five stars.
6. BOOST High Protein Drink
BOOST High Protein Drink, along with the proteins, also has many nutrients.
Boost has a high-calorie count, so if not carefully managed may lead to weight gain.
Check out the below features of this fantastic product.
- Boost includes 15g of sugar per serving.
- This protein drink is the best meal replacement for some elderly.
- Calcium and Vitamin D both help in fighting sarcopenia.
- Along with the protein, it includes 27 different vitamins and minerals.
According to most customers, this drink is excellent as it has a high concentration of potassium, vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin K1. Another customer said it is a delightful drink and good if you want something nutritional and tasty.
Tip: This is our review on the Best Vitamin Drinks For The Elderly.
7. Pure Protein Chocolate Protein Shake
One of the most well-rounded protein drinks is Pure Protein Chocolate Protein Shake. It is best for those seniors who suffer from lactose intolerance. Moreover, it is also compatible with the ketogenic diet. This shake has all the nine essential amino acids.
Now let’s check some of its other features.
- Many ingredients in it will boost the immune system.
- It contains 30g of protein.
- The drink has a surplus of vitamins A, E, D, and C.
- Pure Protein Chocolate Protein Shake is different from traditional milk sources as milk isolate protein has fewer calories.
One of the best and most popular tasting protein shakes available in the market is reviewed by its customer, but some complain that it has a “chalky” aftertaste.
8. Body Fortress High Protein Shake
The Body Fortress High Protein Shake is suitable for ketogenic diets and available in chocolate and vanilla flavour. Furthermore, some of its ingredients include Calcium Caseinate, Sodium Caseinate and Milk Protein Isolate.
Below are some of its unique features.
- Body Fortress has an impressive 40 grams of protein per drink.
- It has gluten-free ingredients.
- The drink contains only a single gram of sugar.
- Each shake of Body Fortress has 11 ounces and contains 180 calories.
In one customer’s opinion, it is the best-valued drink. On the contrary, another said that it is not the best-tasting protein drink available.
9. Aloha Chocolate Sea Salt Plant-Based Protein Drink
For those seniors who don’t like animal-based protein, then the Aloha drink is for them. These drinks are soy-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.
It comes in four flavours: chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and coffee.
Let’s check some of its unique features.
- It contains 20g of drink per serving.
- Aloha protein drinks are USDA-certified organic, vegan and non-GMO (non-genetically modified organisms).
- The drink has 5g of sugar per serving.
- Another benefit is that this drink is entirely plant-based.
Aloha buyers like and recommend this product, and one customer said that it has no chalky taste with no harmful ingredients.
10. Optimum Nutrition
Another best-selling protein powder is Optimum Nutrition, which targets the gym-goer market and the elderly and older adults. Hence, below are some of its listed features.
- It is a whey protein concentrate product.
- The drink has 24g of protein.
- Optimum Nutrition is available in many flavours.
- Low in fat and protein.
A verified purchaser said that the product is genuine and the taste is delicious.
People in various age ranges can take advantage of the muscle-building properties of protein drinks. Protein performs many functions in the human body, and after digestion, it breaks down into amino acids. It is a fact that complete proteins one can get through foods like eggs, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Unfortunately, not every older adult can eat these things, and a lack of protein leads to a weak immune system. Hence, that is where the importance of protein drinks comes into play in the elderly, whether they are protein shakes, powders, or supplements.
Protein drinks are great as they can help address the causes of poor nutrition in seniors by adding essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Seniors with diabetes must find protein shakes and powders with no added sugars and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
In short, protein shakes and drinks can be one of the most crucial nutrients for seniors. Most foods provide the nutritional needs, but a protein shake, powder, or supplement can substantially improve their dietary pattern.
The right shake, powder, or supplement can add delicious protein. Similarly, these drinks will also improve the overall health and wellness of an elderly loved one. Always choose a safe and healthy protein drink based on your health care professional’s recommendation, though.