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Peanut Protein Benefits

Resistance training paired with peanut protein benefits muscle health in older adults.

Glass of peanut protein shake

Now there’s a good reason to go nuts for peanut protein! Age-related loss of muscle mass is a leading cause of frailty in older individuals. The loss of strength, speed and energy can whittle away independence as a person ages.

For those in this demographic, a primary outcome goal should be to implement a training program to help minimize the erosion of lean body mass, thereby supporting healthy aging and longevity. Nutrition matters, too, as research suggests including enough muscle-nurturing protein in the diet helps lower the risk for frailty.

Perhaps protein from peanuts will emerge as an inexpensive and easy way to help seniors get enough of the macronutrient. A randomized controlled clinical trial from researchers at Auburn University published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition demonstrates that in combination with resistance training (full-body training twice weekly for 6—10 weeks), the intake of supplemental peanut protein powder (75 total grams of powder providing 30 g protein once daily) positively affects select markers of muscle growth and strength among untrained, older adults. This is compared with just weight training without supplementation.

The study authors believe the full array of essential amino acids and high-protein digestibility of defatted peanut protein powder makes it a viable muscle-maintaining and building protein option. And it’s something that could easily be incorporated into other foods, such as stirring into a bowl of oatmeal or using in baking.

See also: Plant Protein for Muscle Growth

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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