7 Best Protein Powders for Seniors in 2024

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko (5 years as FPA-Certified Nutritionist, MS in Sports Dietetics)

If you are a fitness athlete, you probably seek to get the best from your workouts. Athletes who have already passed the novice stage and want to reach a new level of athleticism are increasingly paying attention to pre-workouts supplements. Below we have brought you the 7 best fitness pre workout.

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate.


Transparent Labs’ Whey Protein Isolate is high in protein, containing up to 85% protein-by-weight, low in carbohydrates and very low in fat. Therefore, this is a suitable option for individuals whose goal is to build muscle while losing weight.

Our group of certified specialists, medical professionals, and pro athletes have put 14 protein powders through their paces. Just 7 of them made the cut for our list after being judged on 5 critical aspects. Our team has also poured over 40 hours into testing and reviewed countless online feedback. Remember, we update this list regularly, so share your thoughts with us!

WBCM 7 Best Protein Powders for Seniors

Top 7 Best Protein Powders for Seniors Reviwed

ProductTotalTasteNutrition Label TransparencyMixabilityValue for MoneyMacronutrient Breakdown
Transparent Labs49.51010109.510
Isopure48.599.5101010
Garden of Life48.59.51010910
Sascha Fitness4899.59.51010
Opportuniteas4799.5109.59
Ensure Max46.599.5108.59.5
Muscle Milk45910998
Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate
  • Diet Type (best for): Build muscle, Recovery, Cutting (Weight loss)
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Whey Protein Isolate
  • Serving size: 33–34.5 grams
  • Price per serving: $2
  • Protein-by-Weight Ratio (%): 81-85%
  • Protein: 28 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 1-3 grams (depends on flavor)
  • Fat: 0-1 gram (depends on flavor)
  • Added Sugar: 0 gram
  • Calories per serving: 120
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Paul Sklar, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
Performing Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate

Transparent Labs’ Whey Protein Isolate is high in protein, containing up to 85% protein-by-weight, low in carbohydrates and very low in fat. Therefore, this is a suitable option for individuals whose goal is to build muscle while losing weight. For most seniors, the goal is not to lose weight, especially muscle mass. 


Therefore, because it is protein-dense, it is a good option to mix into different recipes such as smoothies, oats, and baked goods to easily meet protein needs while reaping the benefits of the nutrients of other ingredients in the recipes.


The product prides itself on being minimal in ingredients, void of artificial sweeteners, coloring, and preservatives. It is also gluten-free and therefore, suitable for individuals who are allergic to or intolerant to gluten. There are a variety of flavors to choose from, and many consumers find the product tastes good without being too sweet and is easy to digest.

49.5Expert Score

Transparent Labs’ Whey Protein Isolate is high in protein, containing up to 85% protein-by-weight, low in carbohydrates and very low in fat. Therefore, this is a suitable option for individuals whose goal is to build muscle while losing weight.

Macronutrient breakdown
10
Taste
10
Nutrition Label Transparency
10
Mixability
10
Value for Money
9.5

Positives:

  • 100% whey protein isolate

  • Higher than average amount of protein per serving

  • 0-1 g of fat per serving

  • Versatile macro breakdown (suitable for any goal)

  • High Labdoor ranking

  • Variety of flavors

Could be better:

  • Only 2.28 lb container 

  • Not the most budget-friendly protein

Isopure Whey Protein Isolate with Vitamins and Minerals
  • Diet Type (best for): Build muscle, Recovery, Cutting
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Whey Protein Isolate
  • Serving size: 31-34 g
  • Price per serving: ~$1.7-1.8
  • Protein-by-Weight Ratio (%):74-81%
  • Protein: 25 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0–2 grams (depends on flavor)
  • Fat: 0–0.5 grams (depends on flavor)
  • Added Sugar: 0 gram
  • Calories per serving: 100-110 (depends on flavor)
  • Company Founded: 1984
  • Recommended by Athletes: Heather Hardy
Performing Isopure Whey Protein Isolate with Vitamins and Minerals

Photo by @maxsupps_in

Isopure Whey Protein Isolate is suitable for those looking to build muscle, recover, and cut weight. In addition to whey protein isolate, it is also an excellent source of added vitamins and minerals although it does not contain vitamin D or iron. This product has a great macronutrient breakdown as it contains 25g of protein, zero to 0.5g of fat and just under 2g of carbohydrates per serving. Good value for money, especially if you buy the largest package.

48.5Expert Score

Isopure Whey Protein Isolate is suitable for those looking to build muscle, recover, and cut weight. It is also an excellent source of added vitamins and minerals although it does not contain vitamin D or iron.

Macronutrient Breakdown
10
Taste
9
Nutrition Label Transparency
9.5
Mixability
10
Value for Money
10

Positives:

  • 100% whey protein isolate

  • Versatile macro breakdown

  • Source of added vitamins and minerals

  • Variety of flavors

  • Many packaging options

Could be better:

  • No third party certification

Garden of Life Whey Protein Isolate with Probiotics
  • Diet Type (best for): Build muscle, Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein
  • Serving size: 32-33 grams
  • Price per serving: $2.40
  • Protein-by-Weight Ratio (%): 73-75%
  • Protein: 24 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 6 grams
  • Fat: 0-0.5 grams
  • Added Sugar: 0 gram
  • Calories per serving: 120
  • Company Founded: 2000
  • Recommended by Athletes: Nate Diaz, Jessika Jenson
Performing Garden of Life Whey Protein Isolate with Probiotics

Garden of Life’s whey protein isolate powder is a great option for individuals whose goal is to build muscle and recover. It contains a blend of whey protein isolate and milk protein. In addition to all the essential amino acids, this product also contains 2-4 grams of dietary fiber and 2 billion CFU Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04 probiotics.

Garden of Life products are NSF Certified for Sport, which is an independent third-party certification program recognized by many major sports leagues, organizations, and practitioners seeking safe and pure supplements for their athletes. It is also certified by Informed Choice.

48.5Expert Score

Garden of Life’s whey protein isolate powder is a great option for individuals whose goal is to build muscle and recover. It contains a blend of whey protein isolate and milk protein.

Macronutrient Breakdown
10
Taste
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency
10
Mixability
10
Value for Money
9

Positives:

  • Contains blend of high-quality milk-based proteins

  • 2-4 grams of dietary fiber per serving

  • Contains probiotics

  • Tested by Informed Choice and NSF Sport for purity and safety 

  • Great taste and mixability

Could be better:

  • Highest price per serving in this rating

  • Only 2 flavors

  • Only 20 servings package option

Sascha Fitness Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate
  • Diet Type (best for): Build muscle, Recovery, Cutting
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate
  • Serving size: 31-36 grams
  • Price per serving: $1.55
  • Protein-by-Weight Ratio (%): 70-84%
  • Protein: 25-26 grams
  • Carbohydrates: < 1 g
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Added Sugar: 0 gram
  • Calories per serving: 110
  • Company Founded: 2016
  • Recommended by Athletes: Sascha Barboza, Dani Fernandez
Performing Sascha Fitness Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate

Sascha Fitness Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate is a suitable product for those looking to build muscle, recover, and cut weight. This is considered a faster-absorbing whey protein isolate as it has been hydrolyzed, meaning the protein has been pre-digested into peptides and individual amino acids. However, whether this form is superior to non-hydrolyzed whey protein isolate in the context of muscle building remains to be elucidated.


A blend of digestive enzymes (amylase, lipase, and protease) are included. However, the product contains <1 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of fat. Therefore, the additional amylase (digests carbohydrates) and lipase (digests fats) is likely unnecessary. Having said all this, most have found this product easy to digest.

48Expert Score

Sascha Fitness Hydrolyzed Whey Protein is considered a faster-absorbing whey protein isolate as it has been hydrolyzed, meaning the protein has been pre-digested into peptides and individual amino acids

Macronutrient Breakdown
10
Taste
9
Nutrition Label Transparency
9.5
Mixability
9.5
Value for Money
10

By the way, by choosing the unflavored version, you get 26 grams of protein instead of 25 grams and a higher Protein-by-Weight Ratio (84%).

Positives:

  • Hydrolyzed whey protein isolate may be easier to digest

  • Versatile macronutrients breakdown

  • Zero fat, <1 g of carbs

  • Many flavors

  • Low in sodium

Could be better:

  • Only one package size available

  • No third party certification

  • Additional digestive enzymes included may be unnecessary and drives cost up

Opportuniteas Whey Protein Isolate
  • Diet Type (best for): Build muscle, Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Whey Protein Isolate
  • Serving size: 30 grams
  • Price per serving: $1.45
  • Protein-by-Weight Ratio (%): 67-93% (depends on flavor)
  • Protein: 20-28 grams (depends on flavor)
  • Carbohydrates: 0-9 grams (depends on flavor)
  • Fat: 0-1 gram (depends on flavor)
  • Added Sugar: 0-8 grams (depends on flavor)
  • Calories per serving: 120
  • Company Founded: 2013
  • Recommended by: Kristina Hagan
Peforming Opportuniteas Whey Protein Isolate

Opportuniteas’ Whey Protein Isolate is a protein powder with variable protein, carbohydrates, and fat depending on the flavor. If you are looking to build muscle, recover, and cut weight, then suitable options would be unflavored and coffee versions, which are more versatile and contain 28 g and 27 g of protein, respectively. Otherwise, the additional chocolate and vanilla flavors would be better suitable for building muscle and recovery but not cutting weight. This supplement is flavored with cane sugar, cocoa, vanilla flavor, and/or himalayan salt. It also contains sunflower lecithin as the emulsifier. While the powder generally mixes well, some have noted a “rancid” smell and taste in some instances with the current product that contains sunflower lecithin compared to a prior version that did not.

47Expert Score

If you are looking to build muscle, recover, and cut weight, then suitable options would be unflavored and coffee versions, which are more versatile and contain 28 g and 27 g of protein, respectively

Macronutrient Breakdown
9
Taste
9
Nutrition Label Transparency
9.5
Mixability
10
Value for Money
9.5

Positives:

  • Excellent composition of macronutrients for an “Unsweetened” and “Coffee” versions

  • Lower price category (with the purchase of a 5 lb package)

Could be better:

  • The vanilla and chocolate versions contain significant amount of added sugar

  • No third party certification

Ensure Max Protein Nutrition Shake
  • Diet Type (best for): Build muscle, Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Milk Protein Concentrate, Calcium Caseinate
  • Serving size: 330mL
  • Price per serving: ~$2.7 per bottle when buying a pack of 12 pcs
  • Protein-by-Calories Ratio (%): 80%
  • Protein: 30 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4–6 grams (depends on flavor)
  • Fat: 1.5–2 grams (depends on flavor)
  • Added Sugar: 0 gram
  • Calories per serving: 150
  • Company Founded: Ensure was introduced in 1973
  • Recommended by Athletes: Sheetal Tipnis-Bantu
Performing Ensure Max Protein Nutrition Shake

Ensure Max Protein Nutrition Shake contains the highest amount of protein per serving among this list. The key protein source is a milk protein concentrate, which contains casein and whey proteins in a proportion similar to milk. The protein proportion in milk protein concentrates can be anywhere between 42–85%, while 89.5% or higher is considered a milk protein isolate. The greater the concentration of protein, the lower the concentration of lactose.


Also, this product contains 2 grams of fiber and a mixture of vitamins and minerals. The huge amount of calcium deserves special attention - as much as 650 mg per shake! Keep in mind that Cafe Mocha and Milk Chocolate with Caffeine flavors contain 100 mg of caffeine.

46.5Expert Score

Ensure Max Protein Nutrition Shake contains the highest amount of protein per serving among this list. The key protein source is a milk protein concentrate, which contains casein and whey proteins in a proportion similar to milk.

Macronutrient Breakdown
9.5
Taste
9
Nutrition Label Transparency
9.5
Mixability
10
Value for Money
8.5

It is a convenient protein drink for elderly individuals as it is a premixed drink in a carton that is available in seven different flavors. Additional bonuses of ready-to-drink shakes are saving time for preparing a protein shake and eliminating the need to wash a blender or shaker.

Positives:

  • Highest protein per serving in this list

  • Source of added vitamins and minerals with 650 mg calcium per serving

  • Conveniently premixed, saves time 

Could be better:

  • High price point

  • No third party certification

Muscle Milk ZERO Protein Powder
  • Diet Type (best for): Build muscle, Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Calcium and Sodium Caseinates, Whey and Milk Protein Isolates
  • Serving size: 30g
  • Price per serving: ~$1
  • Protein-by-Weight Ratio (%): 50%
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 9 grams
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Added Sugar: 0 gram
  • Calories per serving: 100
  • Company Founded: 1988
  • Recommended by Athletes: Andy Potts, Mirinda Carfrae
Performing Muscle Milk ZERO Protein Powder

Muscle Milk ZERO Protein Powder is suitable for those looking to build muscle and recover. Per 30g serving, it provides 15g protein, 9g carbohydrates, and 2g fat. It is the least expensive per serving of the other products; however, it contains one-half less protein per serving than the rest of the products in this ranking. Taking double the serving size to yield a similar amount of protein would amount to a similar cost although the amount of carbohydrates and fats would double proportionately, which would work well for individuals looking to build and recover but not for those looking to cut weight.

45Expert Score

Muscle Milk ZERO Protein Powder is suitable for those looking to build muscle and recover. Per 30g serving, it provides 15g protein, 9g carbohydrates, and 2g fat. It is the least expensive per serving of the other products

Macronutrient Breakdown
8
Taste
9
Nutrition Label Transparency
10
Mixability
9
Value for Money
9

Positives:

  • Contains a blend of high-quality milk proteins

  • Added vitamins and minerals, good source of calcium

  • NSF Sport certified

Could be better:

  • Lowest protein-by-weight ratio of the list

  • Only 2 tastes available

  • Only 1 packaging option is available (1.65 lb)

Why Do Elderly People Need Protein? 

Protein is a key important factor for senior adults. There is an age-related phenomenon called anabolic resistance that contributes to the decline in muscle mass and decrements in physical function. This phenomenon is characterized by blunted stimulation of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to anabolic stimuli in skeletal muscles such as dietary protein / amino acids and exercise.

Many older people consume less protein than when they were younger. In combination with the phenomenon of anabolic resistance and a decrease in physical activity (especially resistance training), this lays the perfect foundation for increased loss of muscle mass, deterioration of physical functions and quality of life in general.

Therefore, elderly individuals require adequate protein to offset the physiological changes that occur with age. In order to counteract anabolic resistance, seniors are recommended to consume at least 1.2 g per 1 kg of body weight, and the needed amount to optimize muscle protein synthesis can even be 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, in combination with strength training. A protein shake for elderly individuals could be a convenient way to get the protein they need.

WBCM two shakers on the table

How to Find the Best Protein Powder for Seniors?

There may also be problems with the milk protein intolerance, which can present with the same symptoms as lactose intolerance. In this case, whey proteins and casein (another type of milk protein besides whey) may not be suitable as well. Fortunately, there are many alternatives available such as plant-based protein powders.

If you have never taken protein supplements before, be aware that they are unpredictable in terms of gastrointestinal tolerance. It may take some time for you to experiment with protein powder dosages and forms of consumption (as a shake, as part of baked goods or as an addition to oats) until you find a format in which you do not experience bloating, abdominal pain or even diarrhea. Experiment and always buy the smallest package to gauge tolerability of a particular protein supplement.

The typical amount of protein in supplements is approximately 20-30 grams per serving. However, research suggests that the required single serving of protein for seniors may be even higher if you're interested in maximizing muscle protein synthesis. Protein powders are therefore convenient and easy ways to obtain a needed amount of protein per one intake, which could be helpful for people who have difficulty eating enough food sources of protein to get the same amount.

As you can see above, there are a variety of protein products out there. Some contain other ingredients on top of protein (for example, vitamins, minerals, fiber, flavoring ingredients, emulsifiers, etc.). Personal preference would dictate how much or little of these additional ingredients you may be comfortable with.

Protein supplements and other supplements for this matter are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as food products rather than drugs, therefore, the quality and safety control of dietary supplements is not so strict.

WBCM shaker stand on the flor

Therefore, it is recommended to look for products that are third-party tested for contaminants, heavy metals and pharmacological substances. In this sense, it is better to buy a slightly more expensive product if it has certification from NSF, Informed Choice / Sport or another reputable organization. Fortunately, there are enough such products, but you need to devote some time to studying them. You can also use our reviews to know which protein supplements have third-party certification.

Another factor worth paying attention to is taste. There are a huge number of flavors, and even one and the same flavor from different brands can be different. The reason is the use of different ingredients and sweeteners in different dosages. Look for a flavor that you like, because this will ensure that you will definitely consume more protein.

Tips From the Champ

Protein is important for maintaining and building lean body mass in order to support physical strength and functioning. It is especially important in older age as muscle sensitivity to the effects of protein is decreased. Dietary sources of protein are the primary source to rely on but in the case of individuals with complex health conditions, difficulty preparing foods, decreased appetite, poor oral health, and/or socioeconomic factors, a protein powder for elderly woman and men can be a convenient strategy to meet protein requirements.

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Protein Consumption Tips for Elderly (How, When to Consume Protein)

In order to meet daily protein requirements, it is recommended to spread your overall protein intake throughout the day. The optimal per meal protein dose for older adults is approximately 0.4g/kg of bodyweight per one meal (compared to 0.24-0.25g/kg of bodyweight/meal for younger individuals). As already mentioned above, older individuals appear to require a higher single meal dose to better stimulate muscle protein synthesis and this corresponds with the fact that older adults have a decreased sensitivity to muscle protein synthesis.

However, this recommendations is based on studies that used fast-digesting protein sources, without the presence of other macronutrients. Consuming protein from whole, solid foods along with significant amounts of other macronutrients (fats and carbohydrates) will result in slower absorption of amino acids. Due to this, our body can theoretically utilize more amino acids for anabolic processes, including maximizing muscle protein synthesis. Therefore, recommendations for a single intake can even reach 0.6 grams of protein per 1 kg of body weight for some older people.

In general, focus on the range of 0.4-0.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight per meal. For a man weighing 70 kg, this corresponds to 28-42 grams of protein per meal. Using a protein powder or ready-to-drink shake will make it much easier for you to get the right amount of protein.

WBCM the athlet performs shaker

FAQ

What Happens if Seniors Don’t Get Enough Protein?

By consuming insufficient protein, seniors lay the foundation for an increased loss of muscle mass, strength, and physical functions, and as a result, a deterioration in the quality of life.

Is Whey Protein Ok for Seniors?

Whey protein is the high-quality type of protein with an optimal amino acid profile. It contains all the essential amino acids in needed amounts, including a high proportion of leucine, which is a key driver for increasing the rate of muscle protein synthesis. In fact, one recent experiment showed that the leucine needs of older people may be more than double the needs that are set in current recommendations.

How Much Protein Should a 70 Year Old Eat?

As already mentioned above, the minimum recommended protein requirement for the elderly is 1.2 grams per 1 kg of body weight. For a 70-year-old man weighing 70 kg, this corresponds to 84 g of protein, and for a woman weighing 57 kg, this corresponds to 68.5 g of protein.

If you are not interested in minimizing the loss of muscle mass, but in optimal stimulation of muscle protein synthesis, you may need even more protein, for example 1.5 grams per 1 kg of body weight. It is not very difficult to satisfy such a daily need, and with the help of protein powders in the form of shakes, this task is even easier to accomplish. Especially considering problems with appetite and impaired ability to chew solid protein food with age.

Conclusion

Protein is important for maintaining and building lean body mass in order to support physical strength and functioning. It is especially important in older age as muscle sensitivity to the effects of protein is decreased. Dietary sources of protein are the primary source to rely on but in the case of individuals with complex health conditions, difficulty preparing foods, decreased appetite, poor oral health, and/or socioeconomic factors, a protein powder for elderly woman and men can be a convenient strategy to meet protein requirements.

The best overall protein powder is the Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate. It has a high protein-by-weight ratio, is sourced from highest quality whey protein isolate, and is available in many flavors with good mixability. It can meet variable goals from building muscle to recovery to losing weight.

Also read:

References:

  • Anabolic Resistance of Muscle Protein Turnover Comes in Various Shapes and Sizes // Frontiersin: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2021.615849/full
  • Strategies to Prevent Sarcopenia in the Aging Process: Role of Protein Intake and Exercise // MDPI: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/1/52
  • Defining anabolic resistance: implications for delivery of clinical care nutrition // Pubmed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29389741/
  • Milk allergy // Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/milk-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20375101
  • Dietary Supplements // FDA: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/dietary-supplements
  • Strategies to Prevent Sarcopenia in the Aging Process: Role of Protein Intake and Exercise // MDPI: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/1/52
  • How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? // Bio Med Central: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-018-0215-1
  • Dietary leucine requirement of older men and women is higher than current recommendations // Pubmed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33330915/

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here
Oleksandr Maksymenko

Sports Nutritionist, MSc

Experience: 7 years

Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist, certified by FPA (Fitness Professional Association). Oleksandr adheres to the principles of evidence-based dietetics and instills in his clients a healthy relationship with food - without strict prohibitions on favorite foods and regular disruptions. His main task – not only get a result for you, but also maintain it for many years, enjoying tasty and delicious food.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by an expert with proven experience. When writing the article we've used our expertise and data from authoritative, scientific, and evidence-based sources. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


Our team of authors and experts includes professional athletes (Olympians, winners of European and World titles), PhDs in Sports Science, certified coaches, sports nutritionists, CSCSs, physiotherapists, and others. Read more about the team here, and more about how we test here.

2 comments

  • Torokhtiy Team

    Hi @Zoey!

    There are no specific recommendations for protein powders for the general public and people aged 50+. Just choose a product from a well-known brand with a good reputation, as well as according to personal preferences for protein source (whey, plant-based, etc.), taste and gut tolerance. And of course, pay attention to the total amount of protein in your meal plan.

  • Zoey

    Which protein powder is best for age 50?

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