Introduction: A protein intake of 25–30 g per meal is suggested to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis in older adults in order to prevent sarcopenia. Protein intake at breakfast is often low and therefore breakfast offers the potential for protein suppletion. Since protein is known for its satiating effects, we explored the association between the amount of protein intake at breakfast and total daily protein intake in older adults.
Methods: Baseline protein intake was assessed by a 3-day dietary record in 507 community dwelling older adults of 55 years and older participating in lifestyle interventions at the Amsterdam Nutritional Assessment Center. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to examine the association between protein intake at breakfast (in g) and total daily protein intake (in g, and g/kg body weight), adjusted for energy intake (kcal/d), sex, age and BMI. Interactions were tested for sex, age and BMI but were not significant (p>0.80).
Results: Mean age was 67.6 ± (SD) 7.3 years, 42% was female, and mean BMI was 30.0 ± 5.6 kg/m2. Total daily protein intake was 81 ± 24 g which equals 0.96 ± 0.3 g/kg and 17.6 ± 3.7 percent of total energy intake. Protein intake at breakfast was 14 ± 7 g. A 10 g higher protein intake at breakfast was associated with a 6.7 g (SE = 1.0; P<0.001) and a 0.06 g/kg (SE = 0.01; P<0.001) higher total daily protein intake after adjustment for confounders.
Key conclusions: A higher protein intake at breakfast does not compromise total daily protein intake in community dwelling older adults.