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Review

Nutrition for Older Athletes: Focus on Sex-Differences

1
Medical Faculty, Sigmund Freud Private University, A-1020 Vienna, Austria
2
Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), D-51147 Cologne, Germany
3
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Preventive Medicine (CEDP), University Hospital Cologne, D-50931 Cologne, Germany
4
Cologne Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases (CECAD), D-50931 Cologne, Germany
5
Institute for Clinical Diabetology, German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
6
German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD e.V.), D-85764 Neuherberg, Germany
7
Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
8
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
JPI-HDHL Knowledge Platform on Food, Diet, Intestinal Microbiomics and Human Health, The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development, The Netherlands.
Academic Editor: David C. Nieman
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1409; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051409
Received: 21 January 2021 / Revised: 8 April 2021 / Accepted: 12 April 2021 / Published: 22 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Regular physical exercise and a healthy diet are major determinants of a healthy lifespan. Although aging is associated with declining endurance performance and muscle function, these components can favorably be modified by regular physical activity and especially by exercise training at all ages in both sexes. In addition, age-related changes in body composition and metabolism, which affect even highly trained masters athletes, can in part be compensated for by higher exercise metabolic efficiency in active individuals. Accordingly, masters athletes are often considered as a role model for healthy aging and their physical capacities are an impressive example of what is possible in aging individuals. In the present review, we first discuss physiological changes, performance and trainability of older athletes with a focus on sex differences. Second, we describe the most important hormonal alterations occurring during aging pertaining regulation of appetite, glucose homeostasis and energy expenditure and the modulatory role of exercise training. The third part highlights nutritional aspects that may support health and physical performance for older athletes. Key nutrition-related concerns include the need for adequate energy and protein intake for preventing low bone and muscle mass and a higher demand for specific nutrients (e.g., vitamin D and probiotics) that may reduce the infection burden in masters athletes. Fourth, we present important research findings on the association between exercise, nutrition and the microbiota, which represents a rapidly developing field in sports nutrition. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; cardiorespiratory system; exercise; hormones; masters athletes; muscle; nutrition; protein aging; cardiorespiratory system; exercise; hormones; masters athletes; muscle; nutrition; protein
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MDPI and ACS Style

Strasser, B.; Pesta, D.; Rittweger, J.; Burtscher, J.; Burtscher, M. Nutrition for Older Athletes: Focus on Sex-Differences. Nutrients 2021, 13, 1409. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051409

AMA Style

Strasser B, Pesta D, Rittweger J, Burtscher J, Burtscher M. Nutrition for Older Athletes: Focus on Sex-Differences. Nutrients. 2021; 13(5):1409. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051409

Chicago/Turabian Style

Strasser, Barbara, Dominik Pesta, Jörn Rittweger, Johannes Burtscher, and Martin Burtscher. 2021. "Nutrition for Older Athletes: Focus on Sex-Differences" Nutrients 13, no. 5: 1409. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051409

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