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Eating Protein Throughout the Day May Help Maintain Muscle Mass

As we age, we naturally lose lean tissue mass (muscle), and that can reduce mobility. A recent study suggests that consuming an even amount of protein at all three daily meals helps build lean tissue mass.


Participants in the study included 60 people between the ages of 50 and 70. They were given either a beverage with a high-quality, milk-based protein or a beverage with similar calories but no added protein for breakfast and lunch over the course of 24 weeks. The portions of the drink were adjusted for the median body mass of the participants.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted an increase in lean tissue mass in the protein group, to the equivalent of 0.6 kg more than the placebo group.


Researchers from FHI University of Limerick conducted the study. It was published on January 1, 2016, in The Journal of Nutrition.


Protein functions as a building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It is also a building block for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. Previous studies suggest that consuming high amounts of protein may help build muscle and increase metabolism.

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