Exercise Nutrition for Adults Older Than 40 Years

Document Type


Date of Original Version



In general, nutrient needs do not change much for older individuals who exercise regularly yet moderately for the purposes of chronic disease risk reduction. Overall diets should reflect those recommended by such authorities as the American Dietetic, Heart, and Diabetes Associations, with special attention to ensuring ample protein and antioxidant intakes. Proper timing and amounts of nutrients consumed before physical activity should be practiced, to ensure adequate fueling while minimizing gastrointestinal discomfort. Consuming energy during activities lasting less than 90 minutes is unnecessary if the individual is well fueled before starting. After exercise, consuming a blend of carbohydrate and protein is often advocated for glycogen resynthesis and muscle protein repair, but the importance of this for those not engaging in regular vigorous activity remains to be clarified. Adequate hydration is critical to physical performance and health during exercise, particularly in the heat. Because thirst might not sufficiently reflect fluid needs of older individuals, this matter deserves special attention. Sports drinks are generally not necessary for events lasting less than 60 minutes and may provide unwanted calories, sugars, and sodium for older exercisers. Naturally occurring sources of electrolytes may be preferable. © 2008, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine