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Optimal Protein Consumption for 40+ Adults: Fueling Your Muscles By Emma Mattison

by Emma Mattison – NASM, CPT, CNC and Functional Aging Specialist

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

Two vibrant older adults demonstrating fitness and health, showcasing the benefits of protein for muscle recovery and overall muscle health.

Today, we're diving into the fascinating world of nutrition. More specifically, we're focusing on a nutrient that acts as a powerful ally in the quest for muscle health, especially for those of us over 40: protein.

Protein: The Vital Muscle Builder

As we journey through life, our muscle mass tends to naturally decline, a process known as sarcopenia. Research indicates that this trend can be countered effectively with the right intake of protein. Far from being a mere dietary component, protein is a fundamental building block for our muscles. It aids recovery post-workouts and bolsters overall muscle health (Baum, Kim, & Wolfe, 2016; Bhasin et al., 2018).

Key Takeaways

  • Protein is essential in combatting muscle loss (sarcopenia) prevalent in adults over 40.

  • It promotes muscle recovery after physical activity and boosts overall muscle health.

Quality Over Quantity: Choose Your Protein Wisely

Variety of lean protein sources including chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and plant-based options such as legumes, nuts, and seeds, symbolizing healthier dietary choices for muscle health and recovery.

When discussing protein, it's crucial to emphasize that the quality of your protein sources can be as important as the quantity consumed. Red and processed meats, although protein-rich, could potentially increase the risk of specific types of cancer (Bouvard et al., 2015). For healthier choices, consider lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and plant-based options such as legumes, nuts, and seeds.

I have another article regarding the usage of protein powders. They are entirely acceptable, but do not use them chronically as a "meal replacement." Opt for consuming your proteins from whole foods when you can, and consider protein powders as their initial intention: supplements. Read the protein powder article HERE.

Key Takeaways

  • Be cautious with red and processed meats due to potential health risks.

  • Opt for lean proteins or plant-based options for healthier, risk-free protein sources.

Power-Packed Snacks and Other Protein-Rich Foods

Supplement your diet with protein-rich snacks such as almonds or Greek yogurt sprinkled with berries. These not only offer a protein punch but also help keep hunger at bay.

Key Takeaways

  • Protein-rich snacks can provide an extra protein boost and control hunger.

  • Greek yogurt, almonds, and berries are excellent choices for power-packed snacks.

Healthy snack options including Greek yogurt, almonds, and berries, showcasing high-protein choices for maintaining muscle health and aiding recovery in older adults.

Conclusions for Optimal Protein Consumption

Remember, balance is critical in any diet. While protein is vital for muscle health, a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats ensures a wide range of essential nutrients for overall health.

In our upcoming blog post, we'll explore the importance of integrating diverse types of physical activities into your lifestyle. Keep reading and stay tuned to uncover more about maintaining a healthy body as you age!

Note: Before making any significant dietary changes, please consult a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to ensure they align with your personal health needs and goals

Book Your Free 15-Minute Phone Consultation with Emma Mattison!

If you're ready to take your fitness to the next level, schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation with me, Emma Mattison. During this consultation, we can discuss your fitness goals, assess your current fitness level, and create a personalized plan to help you improve your fitness and functional health.

Image of Emma Mattison, a highly qualified online personal trainer, functional aging specialist, certified trainer and nutrition coach through NASM and FAI, and a skilled Tai Chi and Dance instructor.

But that's not all! As a special offer, I'm providing a free functional fitness course to jumpstart your journey. This course will introduce you to various exercises and training techniques to enhance your overall functional fitness and complement your aerobic base training.

Invest in yourself today and experience the transformative power of improving your aerobic base. Take the first step by scheduling your free consultation and claiming your free functional fitness course. Let's work together to achieve your fitness goals and unlock your full potential!

An older woman joyfully participating in an online fitness class from her living room. She is in mid-movement, following the instructions on her tablet screen, and her face is lit up with enthusiasm and determination, embodying the spirit of joyful movement and active aging.

Please note: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice. Consult with your healthcare provider or a certified fitness professional before starting any new exercise program.

Schedule your FREE 15-Minute Phone Consultation and claim your FREE Functional Fitness Course with Emma Mattison! Click here to book now!

You can also email me at


About the Author

Image of Emma Mattison, a highly qualified online personal trainer, functional aging specialist, certified trainer and nutrition coach through NASM and FAI, and a skilled Tai Chi and Dance instructor.

Hi! I'm Emma Mattison. I'm a NASM certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, stretch & flexibility coach, pranayama breathwork guide, holistic nerd, and lover of birds & music! I specialize in functional fitness for older adults, and those with conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Scientific literature is fun to me, and my goal is to make it understandable and fun for you!

I am driven to share knowledge I find fascinating & transformative with my clients, and the world. Everyone has the power to take their health into their own hands!

My love for fitness and true discovery of health started with helping my best friend – who I can now call my husband! Today, I couldn't do any of this as smoothly and enjoyably as I do now without him! Check out our YouTube, MyZeniverse! He literally edits and films everything. He's editing the next YouTube video next to me right now, as we speak! Check it out, and give it a like if it's helpful! 😊😊


Baum, J. I., Kim, I. Y., & Wolfe, R. R. (2016). Protein Consumption and the Elderly: What Is the Optimal Level of Intake?. Nutrients, 8(6), 359.

Bhasin, S., Apovian, C. M., Travison, T. G., Pencina, K., Moore, L. L., Huang, G., Campbell, W. W., Li, Z., Howland, A. S., Chen, R., Knapp, P. E., Singer, M. R., Shah, M., Secinaro, K., Eder, R. V., Hally, K., Schram, H., Bearup, R., Beleva, Y. M., McCarthy, A. C., … Basaria, S. (2018). Effect of Protein Intake on Lean Body Mass in Functionally Limited Older Men: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA internal medicine, 178(4), 530–541.

Bouvard, V., Loomis, D., Guyton, K. Z., Grosse, Y., Ghissassi, F. E., Benbrahim-Tallaa, L., Guha, N., Mattock, H., Straif, K., & International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group (2015). Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat. The Lancet. Oncology, 16(16), 1599–1600.

Cruz-Jentoft, A. J., Bahat, G., Bauer, J., Boirie, Y., Bruyère, O., Cederholm, T., Cooper, C., Landi, F., Rolland, Y., Sayer, A. A., Schneider, S. M., Sieber, C. C., Topinkova, E., Vandewoude, M., Visser, M., Zamboni, M., & Writing Group for the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2 (EWGSOP2), and the Extended Group for EWGSOP2 (2019). Sarcopenia: revised European consensus on definition and diagnosis. Age and ageing, 48(1), 16–31.

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