Nutritional supplementation to enhance the efficacy of exercise training in older adults: what is the evidence from the latest randomized controlled trials?

L.B. Verdijk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Purpose of review This review summarizes recent studies that assessed whether nutritional supplementation enhances the efficacy of exercise training in older adults, focusing on the benefits for physical/functional performance of protein, vitamin D, or multi-ingredient supplementation. Recent findings Studies applying long-term exercise training strongly support the benefits of different exercise regimens for muscle strength and function but most studies do not provide direct evidence for protein, vitamin D, or multi-ingredient supplementation to further augment such improvements in older adults. Several methodological limitations are addressed that likely limited the reliability to convincingly establish or refute any additive effects of supplementation. Only when specifically tailored to the population under study, ensuring proper intensity, duration, and adherence to exercise, and aiming for a daily intake of similar to 1.5 g protein per kg body mass, and similar to 800 IU of vitamin D supplementation, there appears to be some potential to augment the efficacy of long-term exercise training in older adults, with potentially greater benefits in compromised older subpopulations. There is some support for the efficacy of nutritional supplementation to further augment the beneficial effects of prolonged exercise training in older adults but any intervention needs tailoring of both the exercise and the nutritional intervention towards the intended (sub)population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-510
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • ageing
  • exercise
  • multi-ingredient
  • protein
  • vitamin D
  • MASS

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