Protein and Aging: Why is Protein Important as You Age

Last Updated on February 19, 2020 by Ellen Christian

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This post has been sponsored by Abbott and Ensure

I never gave a lot of thought to protein and aging until I started to do a bit of research. Now that I’m on the other side of fifty, I think about aging differently than I did when I was younger. Aging isn’t something that’s years down the road. It’s now and it’s here to stay. But, I’m determined not to let it slow me down or impact my way of life any more than it has to.

Protein and Aging

I can’t stop aging. My body is going to age whether I want it to or not. I see things like gray hairs and wrinkles every time I look in the mirror. I notice a decrease in upper body strength and less energy than when I was younger. I’m determined to do everything in my power to age gracefully including being sure that I’m getting enough protein in my diet each day.

Did you know that proteins are often called the building blocks of life? That’s because protein is needed for so many things like healthy skin and hair, strong muscles, energy, and focus. Protein also helps you feel full longer which means that it’s easier to say no to snacking temptations throughout the day. This means I can keep my weight where I want it.

Here are a few reasons that protein is even more important as you age:

Muscle mass

Muscle mass is made of protein. Now, you may think of bodybuilders when you hear the words muscle mass. But, the truth is that muscle mass is just as important for adults as we get older as it is for bodybuilders. Many people experience muscle loss with aging so it’s important to do everything we can to counter that by getting extra protein in our diets.

Skin and hair

You may have seen me discuss changes to my hair and skin that I’ve noticed as I age. Protein is important for both healthy skin and healthy hair. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and our hair often loses volume. Skin, hair, and nails are all mostly composed of proteins.

Health goals

My health goals haven’t changed much as I’ve gotten older. It’s still important for me to lead a balanced, active lifestyle. Protein helps me achieve my health goals by keeping my muscles strong, my weight under control, and my brain focused.

It isn’t always easy to get all of the protein I need in a day. Yes, I eat meat for dinner and sometimes for lunch. But, I know I need more than that. I try to add high protein snacks like hard boiled eggs and nuts whenever I can. But, when I’m on the go, it can be a challenge. Abbott’s newest nutrition drink, Ensure Max Protein, helps me get the right amount of protein for my age and lifestyle even when I’m busy.

Getting enough protein is important as you age because even with a healthy diet, adults don’t process protein after 50 years old, as well as when they were younger. That’s why it’s important to know how much protein you may actually need. A person weighing 150 pounds would need roughly 54 grams of protein a day, according to dietary guidelines.

However, your protein needs change based on things like age, activity level or illness – and current recommendations don’t take that into consideration. Research shows it’s also important to space out your protein intake evenly throughout the day. That’s a challenge for me since most of my protein comes from dinner.

Ensure Max Protein provides 30 grams of high-quality protein with all nine essential amino acids, and it’s available in two great flavors – Café Mocha and Milk Chocolate. It includes 1 gram of sugar and is low in fat (1.5 grams) with 150 calories, which makes it a smart choice for a snack. I find that the Café Mocha flavor is a great choice for breakfast along with a bowl of fruit. The Café Mocha flavor includes 100 milligrams of caffeine, which is as much as one cup of coffee, and it’s from a Colombian coffee extract.

It’s easy to add Ensure Max Protein into my day. The individual serving size bottles are a great choice for on-the-go protein. There is no need to mix or stir. I enjoy them over ice. So, I just pour it into a shaker bottle with some ice cubes, and I’m ready for lunch along with a garden salad or a mug of vegetable soup.

Ensure Max Protein

Even with our country’s obsession with protein and today’s culture of information overload, there’s clearly a major gap in our diets. That’s why, actress and health advocate, Kate Walsh has teamed up with Abbott to help adults kick-start their health goals with Ensure Max Protein. Like Kate, I’ve learned that good health doesn’t have to be over complicated, and I know first-hand that we can find simple ways to make it work even with a busy lifestyle. You can try Ensure Max Protein for yourself by heading to

Abbott partnered with influencers such as me for its Ensure Program. As part of this Program, I received compensation for my time. Abbott and Ensure believe that consumers and influencers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Abbott/Ensure policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Here are some protein shake benefits to be aware of.


16 thoughts on “Protein and Aging: Why is Protein Important as You Age”

  1. Oh wow! I never really knew how important it is to get the right amount of protein each day. I'm outside a lot during the summer, so I'm glad I read this and learned about this today. Thank you very much for this article.
  2. Protein is very important, I definitely need to work on getting more because I don't get very much now....I need to step up and get busy!
  3. I totally understand about needing more protein as we get older, at ahem, 52 I definitely am starting to feel the aches and pains and am ready for an afternoon nap lol. I want to be around for a long time to come, so eating right is important. I have to admit I am not very good at that, but need to start making positive changes.
  4. Since the weather has been a lot warmer around here lately I have started eating many more salads again. But I did like reading this info on proteins and working the Ensure into your everyday life. A win, win, for everyone.
  5. You are so right about this one. Protein is extremely important in many ways for our bodies. It's also important for our brains. As we age it gets more vital to eat well.
  6. This article really got me thinkin as how much I dont eat well. I need more calcium in my diet. Gonna so the yogurt thing this summer .
  7. Thank you for this informative post. I also do not eat meat so getting enough protein is often an issue for me. I will have to try this product for sure.
  8. So glad they reduced the sugar content in these. Back in the day when I worked in the hospitals as a nutritionist (80's), the Ensure products were not the best tasting and patients really had to be "encouraged" to take them. They've come a long way, though some may not care for the artificial sweetener. Maybe that will be the next thing they improve in product development.

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