Protein at every meal may help preserve muscle strength as you age

Research we're watching


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Want to maintain your muscle strength as you age? A study in the July issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that eating protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner may help.

While it has been long thought that when you got your protein during the day didn't make a difference as long as your intake was sufficient, emerging research shows that this may not be the case. Researchers in this study looked at a group of 1,741 healthy older men and women in Canada and followed them for three years. They assessed the participants' strength and mobility at the outset of the study, and then tracked their diets and reassessed their strength at the end of the study period. People who ate protein at all three meals throughout the day were stronger at the beginning and the end of the study than those who mostly ate their protein only at dinner — even if they ate roughly the same amount of protein over all.

While this study provides food for thought, its authors say further research is needed to confirm their findings.