In a world first, researchers from Australian Catholic University have found eating twice the recommended daily intake of protein builds stronger muscles when combined with exercise.
A doubled daily intake is 92 grams of protein for women and 128 grams for men.
The findings could change the way we treat older people at risk of muscle loss as they age.
Muscle loss, or sarcopenia, affects one in three Australians over the age of 60 and leads to a higher risk of falls and fractures.
It’s also associated with diabetes, obesity, chronic kidney failure and heart failure.
“Current evidence indicates that the recommended intake for protein is not adequate for muscle growth when combined with exercise,” says study lead Dr Donny Camera.
“We are the first to show that combining cardio and strength training exercise with a high protein diet is essential for muscle growth and strength.
“Strong muscles allow us to live actively, independently and reduce our chance of falls.
“These findings have implications for many older adults at high risk of losing muscle mass as we now know that small tweaks can make a big difference and that it is never too late to get started.”
The researchers’ findings will also help elite athletes and those amateur sportspeople looking to improve their strength and endurance.
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