Association between protein intake and lean body mass in a group of Masters Athletes

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Cambridge University Press


Recommendations for protein intake are based on total body weight; however, these recommendations do not consider lean body mass (LBM). The purpose of the present study was to identify the average protein intake in g/kg LBM in a group of healthy Masters Athletes (>= 26 years of age, exercising >= 2 d/week). Data were obtained from a cross-sectional study. Body weight (kg), height (cm) and LBM via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were measured. Dietary intake was measured using a 2005 Block Food Frequency Questionnaire. The average energy intake, the percent energy from protein and the average protein intake in g/kg LBM were calculated. Differences between protein intake and the US Recommended Dietary Allowance (US RDA) (0.8 g/kg body weight) were determined. Alpha levels were set a priori to P < 0.05. A total of 176 participants (94 women, 82 men; 39 +/- 11 years of age; body mass index: 24.6 +/- 3.4 kg/m(2)) were analysed. The average energy intake, the percent protein energy and the average protein intake were 7996.9 +/- 110.9 kilojoules (kJ)/d (1,910.4 +/- 26.5 kcal), 15.5 +/- 2.6 % and 1.43 +/- 0.53 g/kg LBM, respectively. No differences existed between women and men for protein intake/kg LBM. Both sexes had significantly higher protein intakes than the US RDA (P < 0.001). We identified the average protein intake (g/kg LBM) in healthy Masters Athletes that may contribute to evolving perspectives on the determination of protein needs. The present study helps establish the relationship between protein intake and LBM so that we may further increase our accuracy when developing future protein recommendations.



DXA, Lean body mass, Masters Athletes, Protein