Are protein drinks just for the young? Think again.
Protein drinks are common these days. And for good reason. They can be a source of balanced nutrition, improved health, and even for losing weight. But what about if you are getting older? Should you consider adding protein drinks to your diet?
Questions to Ask
Here are 6 questions for older adults – and their children or caregivers – to ask:
- Am I getting enough nutrition? As we get older we need to make sure we are getting all of the nutrition we need. And that can be challenging. Many older people get into the habit of eating what they have always eaten – when they might have been more active. Or eat too much: especially of the wrong thing. Or sometimes they just don’t eat enough. By including a well-balanced protein drink, they can be assured of getting the needed nutrition.
- Am I eating less because I just don’t want to take the time to cook? Cooking can be a young person’s activity. Older, less-active adults may decide that it isn’t worth the time and effort to prepare meals. So they may skip them or prepare what is quick and easy. That approach can sometimes result in eating “empty” calories that only add on weight at a time when you need it the least.
- Do I have trouble shopping? Depending on your situation it may be less convenient to do grocery shopping than in the past. Maybe you have a caregiver or family member who can help you out. (Good for you if you are in that situation!) As shopping becomes more of a chore when older adults become less active they sometimes rely on simpler, less nutritious alternative.
- Am I spending too much on food? Protein drinks are not always cheap. Especially when you want to make sure you are getting high quality. Protein drinks as meal replacements can run around $3 per meal which is not an expensive alternative. Now we don’t recommend that older people only consume protein drinks for all of their meals just based on cost. And for other reasons. But there is no reason to exclude them from you diet just because you think they might be too expensive.
- Do I have trouble feeding myself? Now this is a tricky one. Many older adults may find it difficult to use eating utensils. No one wants to rely on others to feed them from a plate. (I know I wouldn’t.) Because protein drinks can be drunk through a straw, it can be a good solution.
- What would my doctor say about including protein drinks in my diet? You always want to include your doctor in any discussion that can impact your health. And your diet is one of the key factors to staying healthy. I have found that doctors support including protein drinks in an older adult’s diet as long as it is part of a well-balanced nutrition program.
How do I know so much about this? Because my parents in the picture above have been including protein drinks in their diet for years. And they have talked with several dietitians and doctors over the years and have always heard that the drinks were good for them.
If you would like to know more about what program has been so successful in helping my parents stay healthy as they get older, send me a message from the contact page. Or you can also send me a message if you are on Twitter. I am @2healthylife on there.
Have a healthy week!