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Daily Protein Consumption Should Be Spread Evenly Throughout the Day

Daily Protein Consumption Should Be Spread Evenly Throughout the Day

As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass and muscle strength, making it even more important to consume the recommended amount of protein. In addition, it is important to consume protein evenly throughout the day to maximize muscle protein synthesis. A recent study has found that many people over the age of 70 do not spread out protein consumption evenly throughout the day, which could increase the risk of loss of muscle mass. 

Participants in the study included 120 people. One-third were young (average age 23.8), one-third middle-aged (average age 51.6), and one-third old (average age 77.4). The participants weighed every food item they ate for three days and completed a food diary. The researchers evaluated the amount, pattern, and source of protein consumed.

Participants in the young group consumed on average 105.1 g of daily protein, which is 26% higher than the 83.4 g consumed on average by old participants. Middle-aged participants consumed an average of 97.0 g of daily protein.

Daily dietary protein intake was distributed unevenly across meals for all three groups:

Percentage of Protein Consumed Daily

 

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

Young

16%

30%

39%

15%

Middle-aged

14%

31%

44%

11%

Old

8%

12%

75%

5%

 

However, the distribution was most uneven for old participants, who tended to consume lower quality proteins at lunch compared to young and middle-aged participants.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Birmingham. It was published online ahead of print on March 16, 2020 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

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