Consumers in their 20s and 30s often start to think about the future. They start their career, figure out where they want to live, step up their skincare routine and exercise to stay healthy and fight the visible signs of aging — but do they know that diet also impacts aging?

The health and wellness choices consumers make when they are younger can have a significant impact on their body later in life, and adding dairy will have long-term benefits. Fitness trackers aren’t telling consumers that they need dairy, but they do!

Mitigate impacts of physical inactivity 

Young adults typically start to live less active lifestyles. They may have their first all-day job, become homeowners or enter the early stages of parenting — all of which take time away from exercising. Ultimately, a reduced or low amount of physical activity can lead to muscle loss beginning in the early 40s.

Whey protein is not only beneficial for older adults, but also can help mitigate the negative impacts of physical inactivity across all age groups. In addition, consumers in their 20s and 30s can use whey protein to help with post-exercise muscle repair and recovery.

Consumption of whey protein starting at a younger age can help maintain and build muscle mass, which is beneficial to consumers at an older age. Studies show that the consumption of 30 grams of protein at each meal can help support muscle health.

An added benefit of dairy proteins is that they are high in leucine, the amino acid that has the largest impact on muscle protein synthesis. Additional research has shown that providing at least 2.5 grams per meal of leucine as adults age has a positive impact on muscle protein synthesis.

Regulate blood glucose levels 

U.S. dairy proteins help to meet the unique nutritional needs of consumers of all ages as they increasingly look for customized approaches to health and search for products that meet their specific lifestyles and goals.

As adults age, in addition to being less physically active and experiencing muscle loss, they also typically have decreased insulin levels. All of these could impact blood glucose management and increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. In 2018, there were more than 500 million global cases of type 2 diabetes, but the greatest future growth is expected in low-income countries.

While traditionally diagnosed in older adults, type 2 diabetes is increasingly common in younger adults due to poor diet and exercise habits. Balancing the amount of carbohydrates in meals with protein such as high-quality dairy protein can help normalize the blood glucose response after meals and thus help reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. Incorporating dairy protein into diets at a younger age can help further mitigate these risks.

Calendars not only tell us which meeting to go to next, but also remind all of us that we are getting older. Making smart nutrition choices in our 20s and 30s can enhance our overall health and enable a higher quality of life in later years. Many people want to add years to their life, and consuming dairy proteins can help add life to those years.

For more information about the health and wellness benefits associated with dairy ingredients, visit