Best Protein Drink For Elderly & Seniors 2023: Top Brand Reviews

Karla Tafra

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Medically reviewed by Kimberly Langdon, MD

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Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+

  • Informed Sport Certified (screened for most banned substances)
  • Complete amino acid profile
  • Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and without genetically modified organisms (GMO)

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

  • 100% grass-fed whey protein
  • Large range of delicious flavors
  • 28 g of protein per serving

ALOHA Protein Drink

ALOHA Protein Drink

  • Plant-based protein drink with 20 grams of protein per bottle
  • Easy to digest
  • Gluten-free, sugar-free, and made without any artificial ingredients

Protein drinks are a fantastic way to get additional protein into one’s diet, and when it comes to seniors, there seems to be great benefit from taking them. There are myriad low-calorie protein powders, and unique protein shakes on the market, all claiming they have the best ingredients and the highest quality, but it’s important to do a little bit more research before buying the first one you see. 

There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the best protein drink for the elderly, starting from its source (whether it’s whey protein or vegan protein), additional ingredients, and caloric value to whether there’s a presence of digestive enzymes, vitamins, and of course, the price. 

Best Protein Drink For Elderly & Seniors in (June. 2023)

Should Seniors Take Protein Drinks?

Seniors can greatly benefit from drinking high-quality protein shakes, especially[1] when it comes to recovery from an illness, injury, or even surgery, as well as a form of reaching their daily protein goals without having to worry about getting it from food sources.  

As we age, our ability to digest protein-rich foods and absorb the necessary nutrients diminishes, and we’re quickly and easily losing lean muscle mass. Research[2] suggests that “fast protein” might be better and more beneficial for muscle maintenance and even muscle gain than a “slow protein.” This can slow down the loss of muscle mass and help support your overall health and longevity goals. 

Adequate and sufficient protein intake is crucial for the health of your muscles, ensuring the supply of essential amino acids which stimulate protein synthesis. Studies show[3] that the current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein for the elderly is too low, especially if taken solely from food sources where there’s a big chance it won’t be digested and absorbed properly. 

This RDA is 0.8[4] grams per kilogram (g/kg) per day, and experts[5] ​​recommend a much higher protein intake that would at the lowest be between 1.2 and 2.0 g/kg per day, with a possibility of even going higher than that number.

5 Best Protein Drinks For Elderly & Older Adults In 2023

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+ is a vegan protein shake with a complete amino acid profile and 20 grams of protein per serving, perfect for seniors looking to increase their protein intake.

  • 20 grams of protein per serving with additional 370 milligrams of calcium
  • Informed-Sport Certified (screened for most banned substances)
  • Complete amino acid profile
  • Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and without genetically modified organisms (GMO)
  • Expensive for a one-time purchase, but they offer a discount if you choose a subscription model

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+ is vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and made without GMOs, and it’s one of the best high protein drinks for seniors on the market. It’s made with organic pea protein and organic coconut medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, making it easy to digest and absorb.

It’s sweetened with natural monk fruit and includes 370 milligrams (mg) of bone-supporting calcium and 200 mg of choline. Ritual’s formula is third-party tested to ensure high-quality, potency, and purity, and it’s made traceable, so you know exactly where your ingredients are coming from. 

Their protein shake is meant to help support muscle maintenance in seniors, promote bone and brain health, and support feelings of satiety, helping you stay fueled throughout your daily activities. 

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is a high-protein protein shake that helps you maintain and increase muscle mass without artificial ingredients and unnecessary sweeteners.

  • 100% grass-fed whey protein
  • Large range of delicious flavors
  • 28 g of protein per serving
  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for vegans and those having trouble digesting whey protein

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate has one of the highest protein-by-weight ratios on the market. Their 32-gram scoop contains an astonishing 28 grams of protein. Made from 100% grass-fed American cows, their whey protein isolate formula is clean and made without any artificial ingredients and sweeteners. Sweetened only with stevia, their seven delicious flavors are bound to satisfy any sweet tooth and with it, promote muscle maintenance and muscle gain for seniors. 

It’s considered to be one of the best protein drinks for seniors due to its clean and easy-to-digest, and fast-acting formula that successfully supplies all the essential amino acids straight in one single scoop. Transparent Labs is a well-trusted supplement company that’s often named one of the best protein powder brands on the market, making it a safe choice for the elderly who need more protein on a daily basis. 

ALOHA Protein Drink

ALOHA Protein Drink is a clean plant-based protein drink that’s derived from organic coconuts and offers 20 grams per serving, conveniently packed in one-serving bottles.

  • Plant-based protein drink with 20 grams of protein per bottle
  • Easy to digest
  • Gluten-free, sugar-free, and made without any artificial ingredients
  • Could be expensive for a 12-pack, but with discounts when signed up for a subscription

ALOHA Protein Drink is a vegan protein shake that’s easy to digest and comes with the cleanest ingredients. Made from organic coconut water and coconut cream and without any artificial ingredients, additives, fillers, or sweeteners, it’s one of the purest and easiest-to-digest plant-based protein shakes on the market. 

It comes in four delicious flavors (vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and coconut) and two sizes (11 ounces (oz) and 12 oz)) and are conveniently packed in one-serving bottles of 20 grams of protein. Aloha is a newly-certified B Corporation, meaning they’re using sustainable and good manufacturing practices for the greater good. Their products are certified organic and non-GMO verified, taking great care about what goes into their protein powders, protein shakes, and protein bars.

ALOHA Protein Drink is a perfect healthy high-protein snack for the elderly who need something light and satisfying to push through the day without artificial ingredients and potentially inflammatory additives.

Ladder Plant-Based Nutrition Shake

Ladder Plant-Based Nutrition Shake is a great plant-based protein shake that offers 20 grams of protein in every scoop, enriched with vitamins, minerals, and fiber to support your digestion and increase absorption. 

  • 20 grams of plant-based protein
  • Gluten-free, non-GMO, and made without artificial flavors, additives, fillers, or sweeteners
  • Added vitamins, minerals, and fiber to support digestive health and increase absorption
  • Only one flavor (chocolate)
  • Expensive if not signed up for subscription

Ladder Plant-Based Nutrition Shake is made from organic pea protein and helps supply your body with 20 grams of essential amino acids per serving. It’s an easy-to-digest and fast-acting protein shake that includes only real ingredients and zero artificial fillers, additives, thickening agents, or sweeteners. 

20 grams of protein support lean muscle growth and muscle mass maintenance and the additional 26 vitamins, minerals, and seven grams of fiber aid your digestion, increase nutrient absorption, and promote bone health. It’s one of the best all-in-one nutrition drinks for seniors on the market. 

Founded by Lebron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger, two veterans in the field of athletic nutrition and performance, they left no question about the high quality of their ingredients. Even though it comes in only one flavor (chocolate), Ladder Plant-Based Nutrition Shake can be bought in four-size bags or even as on-the-go packets that are convenient and easy to use. You can even get a small sampler to try it out before deciding on the bigger bag. 

Orgain Clean Protein

Orgain Clean Protein is a great and affordable single-serving grass-fed whey protein shake that contains all essential amino acids and promotes an increase in lean muscle mass while being convenient for all of those on-the-go situations.

  • 20 grams of clean, grass-fed whey protein per serving
  • Affordable
  • Gluten-free, soy-free, kosher, and made without artificial ingredients and sweeteners
  • Not suited for vegans and those who can’t digest whey protein

Orgain Clean Protein is made from grass-fed and organic cows, and it’s free of any artificial ingredients. The formula of this high-protein nutrition drink is also gluten-free, soy-free, sugar, free, and labeled kosher while supplying you with 20 grams of fast-absorbing protein. 

Conveniently packed in single-serving bottles, Orgain Clean Protein is low-calorie (only 130 calories) and can fit into anyone’s diet, aiding weight loss and preventing lean muscle mass loss at the same time. It’s great as a snack, an easy breakfast, or a delicious high-protein dessert to satisfy your sweet cravings. Seniors find this protein shake to be one of the best nutritional drinks, supplying them with much-needed protein building blocks while helping them manage their weight and keep them satiated throughout the day.

Benefits of Protein Drinks For Seniors

As we age, we begin to lose lean muscle mass and, with it, deteriorate our health. Adding protein drinks into your diet can help you prevent muscle loss while adding the necessary vitamins and minerals to support your immune system, heart health, bone health, and brain health. 

Some of the best protein shakes for seniors include added micronutrients and fiber, which will further improve your digestion and nutrient absorption and even speed up your metabolism, helping you thrive. 

Sufficient protein intake for seniors on a daily basis is crucial for a plethora of body functions, regardless of their physical activity and fitness level. It helps them maintain lean muscle mass, improve their balance, maintain good agility levels, and prevent impairment of their immune system, protecting[6] them from disease. 

It also supports their health on a cellular level, keeping their nails, hair, and bones strong and healthy. High-protein diets in the elderly also improve their vision, keep balanced fluid levels, and promote a balance[7] of all hormones, slowing down aging and its processes. 

Potential Risks of Protein Drinks for Seniors

Regardless of some great protein powder brands out there, there is, unfortunately, plenty of those with not-the-cleanest ingredients and high sugar content, which can be harmful to seniors. These artificial and often cheap ingredients can cause a variety of digestion issues and inflammation, compromising your immune system and increasing the risk of disease. 

These nutritional drinks can also contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals, which might be dangerous when interacting with specific medications. It’s always important to talk to your healthcare provider before adding any kind of nutritional supplement into your diet, especially if you’re already on a medication regimen or any kind of therapeutic treatment. 

Most of these protein shakes are low-calorie, but some protein supplements can come in the form of a high-calorie drink, potentially causing weight gain and additional health problems for seniors. 

Your daily protein goals might be completely different than someone else’s, and it’s important to take great care in fine-tuning your diet to best fit your health needs.

How To Consider The Best Protein Drink For Seniors?

The best protein and nutritional drink for seniors have to tick a few important boxes in order to be beneficial to their long-term health:

  • High quality – the ingredients of protein shakes for seniors have to be high-quality and from a trusted source so that there’s minimal risk of inflammation or illness
  • Enough protein – the serving size of protein shakes needs to be adequate to meet at least the recommended RDA if not more, as suggested by experts
  • A complete amino acid profile – choose that protein shakes with all essential amino acids. This stimulates better protein synthesis and faster absorption
  • Zero artificial ingredients and sugar – artificial ingredients and high amounts of sugar are known[8] to cause inflammation, weight gain, and potential metabolic diseases
  • Diet preferences – the best protein shakes for seniors need to adhere to their diet preferences. Suppose they’re following a vegan diet or are lactose intolerant. In that case, they need to find a high-quality plant-based protein shake with clean ingredients
  • Additional micronutrients – it’s always best to find protein shakes that have more than just essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in their formula. If your doctor approves it, choose products with added calcium and choline for bone health, magnesium for recovery, vitamin C for your immune system, and fiber for improved digestion
  • Right caloric value – some seniors need a higher caloric ratio because they’re trying to gain weight or recover from an injury or disease, while others will benefit from low-calorie options and weight loss

Final Word

Protein shakes are a great and convenient way of adding more protein into your daily diet. Aging accelerates lean muscle mass loss and slows digestion and nutrient absorption. The best protein shake the elderly can take on a daily basis contains a decent amount of protein per serving and zero artificial ingredients or sugars. 

These protein shakes can help maintain lean muscle mass and even help with muscle gain while promoting weight loss. Keeping your muscles healthy and nutrient-replenished helps your overall health and longevity, so paying attention to your macronutrient ratios every day is important. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do seniors need more protein?

Aging causes muscle loss at a much faster rate than you think, and adding sufficient protein into your daily diet will help slow it down as well as prevent it from happening. Maintaining healthy muscles helps with a plethora of other processes in the human body, supports your immune system, and keeps your bones and blood vessels healthy. 

Is protein drink safe for the elderly?

Yes, protein shakes are safe for the elderly as long as they contain only clean ingredients and zero artificial additives, fillers, thickening agents, sweeteners, as well as sugars. It’s also great for keeping them satiated and fueled for their daily activities.

When is the best time to take protein drinks for older people?

Usually post-workout or physical activity as that’s when their muscles will be able to absorb protein the best.

What is the best protein drink for seniors?

The best products are those with adequate protein, clean ingredients, and zero artificial ingredients and sugars.

+ 8 sources

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  1. Chapman, I., Oberoi, A., Giezenaar, C. and Soenen, S. (2021). Rational Use of Protein Supplements in the Elderly—Relevance of Gastrointestinal Mechanisms. Nutrients, [online] 13(4), p.1227. doi:10.3390/nu13041227.
  2. Dangin, M., Guillet, C., Garcia‐Rodenas, C., Gachon, P., Bouteloup‐Demange, C., Reiffers‐Magnani, K., Fauquant, J., Ballèvre, O. and Beaufrère, B. (2003). The Rate of Protein Digestion affects Protein Gain Differently during Aging in Humans. The Journal of Physiology, [online] 549(2), pp.635–644. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2002.036897.
  3. Landi, F., Calvani, R., Tosato, M., Martone, A., Ortolani, E., Savera, G., D’Angelo, E., Sisto, A. and Marzetti, E. (2016). Protein Intake and Muscle Health in Old Age: From Biological Plausibility to Clinical Evidence. Nutrients, [online] 8(5), p.295. doi:10.3390/nu8050295.
  4. Gov, D. (2015). DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS EIGHTH EDITION. [online] Available at:
  5. Baum, J., Kim, I.-Y. and Wolfe, R. (2016). Protein Consumption and the Elderly: What Is the Optimal Level of Intake? Nutrients, [online] 8(6), p.359. doi:10.3390/nu8060359.
  6. Chernoff, R. (2004). Protein and Older Adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, [online] 23(sup6), pp.627S630S. doi:10.1080/07315724.2004.10719434.
  7. Walrand, S., Short, K.R., Bigelow, M.L., Sweatt, A.J., Hutson, S.M. and Nair, K.S. (2008). Functional impact of high protein intake on healthy elderly people. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, [online] 295(4), pp.E921–E928. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.90536.2008.
  8. Paula Neto, H.A., Ausina, P., Gomez, L.S., Leandro, J.G.B., Zancan, P. and Sola-Penna, M. (2017). Effects of Food Additives on Immune Cells As Contributors to Body Weight Gain and Immune-Mediated Metabolic Dysregulation. Frontiers in Immunology, [online] 8. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2017.01478.
Karla Tafra

Medically reviewed by:

Kimberly Langdon

Karla is a published author, speaker, certified nutritionist, and yoga teacher, and she's passionate when writing about nutrition, health, fitness, and overall wellness topics. Her work has been featured on popular sites like Healthline,, Well and Good, Women's Health, Mindbodygreen, Medium, Yoga Journal, Lifesavvy, and In addition to writing about these topics, she also teaches yoga classes, offers nutrition coaching, organizes wellness seminars and workshops, creates content for various brands & provides copywriting services to companies.

Medically reviewed by:

Kimberly Langdon

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