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7 Best Protein Powders for Elderly & Seniors (2022 Updated) 

Supplements Considered 33
Supplements
Considered
Hours of Research 193
Hours
of Research
Reviews Examined 88
Reviews
Examined
Experts Interviewed 14
Experts
Interviewed
Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: October 1, 2022

It was only a few weeks ago that one of my clients introduced me to his dad, who was in his early 70s. He had realized that he was getting less mobile, and I started working with him at the gym to regain some mass.

But when it came to recommending the best protein powder for elderly and seniors, I had to take a step back and reach out to my dietitian.

See, the issue is that older adults have considerably different nutritional needs, especially when it comes to exercise. What works well for young adults, may not suit the diet of seniors at all.

In some cases, sports supplements could be more harmful.

So, I spent a few weeks researching this with my dietitian to make sure we got the whey protein intake and product right.

Editor's Choice
Transparent Labs thumb
Transparent Labs
Protein per Serving
28g
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Click For Best Price
#2nd Best Choice
Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+
Ritual Essential
Protein per Serving
20g
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
4.9
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Click For Best Price
#3rd Best Choice
Ladder
Ladder
Protein per Serving
26g
Taste
4.5
Ingredients
4.5
Price
4.5
Overall Score 4.5
4.5
Click For Best Price

Our Top Protein Powders for Elderly (October 2022)

1 - Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein (Editor's Choice)

Transparent Labs thumb
Protein per Serving
28g
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0

Transparent Labs is at the top of our list of protein powders for seniors. What attracts a lot of people to this company is its focus on being transparent about all the contents on the label.

For older adults, the focus point is the boost in protein from grass-fed cows that may provide enough protein to help build up body strength and muscles.

The best part about this protein shake is the lack of artificial sweeteners since it uses stevia to give a mildly sweet taste. It's also leaner than most protein powders available on the market.

The only downside I would mention is that you can’t get this protein shake as an unflavored option to mix with food.

This whey protein is also ranked #1 in our best low carb protein powders research.

  • Calories : 120
  • Protein : 28g
  • Carbs : 2g
  • Fat : 0g
Pros
  • Highest protein content at 28g per serving to combat sarcopenia
  • Contains no artificial additives to preserve the gut health of elderly
  • Low-carb and fat option to favor power over fat
  • Sourced from grass-fed cows for higher protein quality and digestibility to counteract declining absorption rates with age
Cons
  • Not available as an unflavored option

2 - Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+
Protein per Serving
20g
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
4.9
Overall Score 5.0
5.0

Ritual has long been in the game of offering different supplements for every stage of life, and the Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+ is one that certainly impresses.

This protein shake is designed to deliver key nutrients that help support the nutritional needs of individuals over the age of 50.

It contains high levels of calcium HMB for bone and lean mass maintenance, brain-boosting choline, and organic pea protein for improved growth. Each serving also provides a complete amino acid profile.

This Informed-Sport Certified shake has a clean and transparent vegan-friendly formula free of sugar, soy, gluten, and artificial components.

  • Calories : 120
  • Protein : 20g
  • Carbs : 5g
  • Fat : 2g
Pros
  • Contains high levels of calcium HMB
  • Supports brain, bone, and muscle health
  • Complete amino acid profile
Cons
  • Only comes in a vanilla flavor

3 - Ladder Whey Protein

Ladder
Protein per Serving
26g
Taste
4.5
Ingredients
4.5
Price
4.5
Overall Score 4.5
4.5

The Whey Protein by Ladder is another protein powder that I would recommend for seniors.

This soy-free protein powder contains the optimal amount of essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids that the body needs to fully repair.

It also provides a minimum of 90% pure absorbable and digestible protein and only less than 1% lactose.

It also contains a combination of milk protein to give you a mix of fast and slow proteins for digestion. Probiotics help too with amino acid absorption.

  • Calories : 130
  • Protein : 26g
  • Carbs : 6g
  • Fat : 1g
Pros
  • Soy-free milk protein
  • NSF certified
  • Contains Extra vitamins and probiotics
  • Ingredients are all-natural
Cons
  • Contains sugar - may not be good if you’re cutting on carbs

The best part about thes protein shakes is that it comes in different flavors for those who are picky regarding tastes.

4 - Opportuniteas Grass-Fed Whey Isolate

Opportuniteas Grass-Fed Whey Isolate
Protein per Serving
28g
Taste
4.5
Ingredients
4.5
Price
4.5
Overall Score 4.5
4.5

Another grass-fed protein powder that my dietitian recommended is this Opportuniteas one.

These protein shakes may be a healthy choice to make due to the fact that it’s low in carbs and cholesterol, which may also help older adults to lose some bodyweight.

This protein powder comes unflavored only, and many people say it mixes easily, but you can’t get it in flavored form.

  • Calories : 114
  • Protein : 27g
  • Carbs : 8g
  • Fat : 1g
Pros
  • 27 g of whey protein each serving
  • Low in carbs, sugar, and cholesterol for healthier protein consumption
  • Positive reports that it mixes easily with no aftertaste
  • Uses milk from Wisconsin grass-fed cows for higher quality
Cons
  • Currently not available in flavored options

5 - Ensure Original Nutrition Protein Powder

Ensure Original Nutrition Protein Powder
Protein per Serving
9g
Taste
4.5
Ingredients
4.4
Price
4.3
Overall Score 4.4
4.4

For some seniors, the high doses of regular exercise and nutrition supplements may be a bit high.

This is where Ensure may fill a need by providing 8 grams for every serving.

The reason many people choose it, though, is down to the long list of important vitamins and minerals on the content label.

  • Calories : 250
  • Protein : 9g
  • Carbs : 34g
  • Fat : 9g
Pros
  • 8 grams of protein for every serving
  • Contains a broad range of minerals and vitamins
  • Claims to mix easily with water or milk
  • Many positive reviews on the vanilla flavor
Cons
  • A little high in sugar which may impact blood glucose levels

While it’s suitable for adults of any age, you should be aware that these protein shakes are a bit high in sugar.

6 - Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder

Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder
Protein per Serving
25g
Taste
4.4
Ingredients
4.3
Price
4.3
Overall Score 4.3
4.3

This Isopure product has one of the largest ranges of flavors I could find. But the main benefits of this protein powder is it being low in calories and having no carbs.

These protein shakes also come with added minerals and vitamins, including calcium and B12. These provide potential benefits for body strength and bone density, which has been shown in a clinical study [1].

  • Calories : 110
  • Protein : 25g
  • Carbs : 0g
  • Fat : 0.5g
Pros
  • 25g of whey protein powder per serving
  • Provides vitamins and minerals to supplement your diet
  • Zero carb option makes it easier to plan a diet
  • Available in a good selection of flavors
Cons
  • Some reviews say it’s not the easiest to mix and may require blending

One thing to highlight, though, is that some people have found it a little bit difficult to mix in a shaker.

7 - Pure Whey Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder

Pure Whey Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder
Protein per Serving
23g
Taste
4.3
Ingredients
4.3
Price
4.0
Overall Score 4.2
4.2

Pure Whey is a product I have used myself, and it’s suitable for adults of all ages.

There are plenty of reviews that it mixes easily and has quite a pleasant taste to it, which means you could mix it with other foods.

The downside here is that it’s a bit high in saturated fat, which may not suit all diets.

  • Calories : 130
  • Protein : 23g
  • Carbs : 3g
  • Fat : 2.5g
Pros
  • 23g of whey protein powder per serving
  • The powder seems to mix easily, and flavors taste natural
  • Sourced from grass-fed cows for better nutritional content
  • Available in a large 5 lbs tub
Cons
  • Keep in mind that it’s a bit high in saturated fat

Why Do Elderly People Need More Protein?

Elderly people need more protein because the body becomes less effective at absorbing protein as it ages. This may often lead to muscle wasting and bone density issues [2].

And a closer look reveals some interesting findings from an in-depth study.

Slower Digestion

Many things in our bodies slow down as we grow older, and one thing seniors need to be aware of is that their digestion may not be as effective.

I did find one particularly interesting study that revealed a lot more details about how the human body becomes less effective when it comes to absorbing many nutritionally important substances, including protein shakes [3]. You can opt for a recommended casein protein powder as it's slow-digesting.

Muscle Mass

As humans age, the body goes through a very natural process, which results to some level of muscle mass loss. This may lead to diminished muscles and other health issues, but there are plenty of things you could do to counteract it through the best protein shakes for muscle gains [4].

More regular forms of exercise may help to keep your muscles active enough to trigger repair and regeneration.

But in order to keep the muscles healthy, seniors have to ensure they are getting the full range of amino acids. It’s as important for seniors as it is for bodybuilders trying to build up strength and lean muscle mass.

Bone Health

Due to the lower rate of protein absorption, seniors may also find that it contributes to reduced bone health. One study, in particular, found that seniors may need considerably more protein to avoid loss of bone strength [5]. Sometimes, the easiest way to meet the demand is through protein powders and supplements.

As protein powders may also help with weight loss in the seniors and elderly population, this may also reduce the amount of strain on bones and joints.

As my dietitian said to me, the benefits of taking more protein on a day to day basis may be significant enough to provide quite an improvement in overall health, especially for seniors.

But are all supplements suitable?

Optimal protein works out to be about 15 to 25 percent of your daily calories, over a day, including 20 to 30 grams per meal and 12 to 15 grams per snack.
- Kim Hayes, health writer

What To Look For In A Protein Powder For Elderly People?

various vitamins

You should look for these three things when shopping for a protein powder for elderly people:

Essential Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and the essential ones have to be taken in through your food as the body cannot produce them. Without these, your muscles will not have all the nutrients necessary to repair and build up strength. The lac of essential amino acids as you get older may lead to loss in muscle mass.

That’s why I generally recommend that seniors opt for whey protein concentrate, as it may provide the broadest range of essential amino acids in the right concentration.

Vitamins

Even before you get to an elderly age, vitamins are an essential part of your health. But as you grow older, it may take your body more time to absorb vitamins, so you may want to consider getting a regular boost through the best protein powder.

Minerals

The most crucial mineral for seniors is calcium, as bones are heavily reliant on it. But as you get older, your bones become less effective at processing calcium, so you may need to ensure that your intake is increased.

Some of the protein powders above contain added calcium, which may help older adults to retain bone density over time.

Is there anything you should stay away from?

What To Avoid In Protein Powders For Elderly People?

saturated fat and calories

When choosing protein powders for elderly people, you would want to avoid those with calories and saturated fat. Here’s why.

Calories

Every gram of protein has about 4 calories. But many protein powders also contain fillers and carbs like sugar. These then significantly add to the number of calories, which may have a negative effect on blood sugar levels and possibly lead to weight gain.

Saturated Fat

One advantage of pure protein powders is that they don’t contain any fat. But saturated fat has to be removed in the manufacturing process, and many companies tend to skip this step.

Read more about this in our article: How to choose protein powder?

What's The Best Way For Elderly People To Use Protein Powder?

protein shake

The best way for elderly people to use protein powder is to make it a daily habit to drink a protein shake. You can mix your protein powder with few other ingredients to make it more delicious.

Protein shakes are typically easier to drink and can be paired with your usual diet. You can set a time every day either with your breakfast or after an exercise routine.

If you do some exercises every day, then this may be the most suitable time, especially after some more intense physical activity.

The more strain you put on your muscle tissue, the more this may stimulate they grow

It doesn’t have to be a full-on, high-intensity workout session at the gym. Any form of physical exercise may trigger the necessary processes that could help to maintain strength.

Our #1 Protein Powder for Elderly & Seniors

Many study results have shown the direct impact of increased protein intake on lean muscle mass and bone density of the older population.

With reduced strength and mobility being a concern for many seniors, it’s important to get the right combination of nutrition and physical exercise.

Based on my research and work with my dietitian, I recommend trying out Transparent Labs.

It delivers a high dose of whey protein while reducing calories from carbs practically to zero. Many of my older clients reported it helps with planning meals to avoid messing up a diet, and none of them had any digestive issues.

Our #1 Recommendation

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein

Transparent Labs thumb
Protein per Serving
28g
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Pros
  • Highest protein content at 28g per serving to combat sarcopenia
  • Contains no artificial additives to preserve the gut health of elderly
  • Low-carb and fat option to favor power over fat
  • Sourced from grass-fed cows for higher protein quality and digestibility to counteract declining absorption rates with age
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of October
Cons
  • Not available as an unflavored option

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2 thoughts on “Best Protein Powder for Elderly & Seniors
Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

  1. Protein supplements for the elderly are so helpful especially for those who are cautious like me. 🙂

  2. Thank you! I am 68 years old and doing pretty well. I am 135 pounds and I don’t think I get enough protein. I have a good appetite and I am planning to get a good protein powder for seniors.

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