seniors high fiving

The New Look of Healthy Aging: Active Aging

As active consumers age, their bodies change, and so do their nutrient needs. Products designed for active aging provide the support they need to maintain their active lifestyles.


  • Active aging focuses on maintaining strength and mobility throughout life.
  • Active aging products blend knowledge from healthy aging and sports nutrition.
  • Phosphorus, collagen, creatine, and leucine are key active aging ingredients.

What Is Active Aging?

Active aging is an approach to aging that goes beyond the traditional notion of healthy aging to include maintaining strength and mobility throughout life. It typically requires mindful, proactive steps that include regular exercise focused on strength, flexibility, balance, and cardiovascular fitness—plus proper nutrition to support these efforts.

Active aging is a new model for healthy aging that brings enormous benefits. Those who pursue active aging are more likely to maintain their independence and stay involved in their favorite activities (including social interaction activities) for longer, for the highest quality of life.

Discover the key to healthy aging with our comprehensive guide on nutritional solutions that support longevity and vitality.

Boomers Are Prioritizing Exercise

Active aging is already on people’s minds. More than 60% of those over 60 years old report feeling younger than their age,1 with regular exercise reported as the number one step Boomers (and Gen X) are taking to age healthily.2

woman kayaking

While the top health priorities for Boomers are improving or maintaining their overall physical health (46%) and keeping a healthy heart (46%), additional important health concerns include reducing inflammation (which touches on joint health) (13%), guarding against the loss of bone density (12%), and preventing the loss of muscle mass and strength (11%).3

Boomers Are Seeking to Improve Their Nutrition

Boomers are also taking action to improve their diets, with 54% of women and 55% of men ages 60-75 changing their consumption of certain foods or beverages specifically to guard against the effects of aging.4 The numbers are even higher for those in their forties, indicating interest in nutrition for healthy aging starts early.5

Boomers have started consuming or are consuming more berries, leafy green vegetables, no/low alcohol beverages, and green tea, while those in their forties and fifties report similar increases—along with more dairy milk, eggs, fish, citrus fruit, or flaxseed for some segments.6 All groups report consuming less red meat and sugar.7

These choices indicate an awareness of essential nutrition (like vitamin C from citrus fruit and high-quality protein from milk and eggs), as well as functional nutrition. Berries and green tea, for example, are associated with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Check out our Concept Lookbook for ideas on active aging products for Boomers.

woman eating strawberries

The Need for Active Aging Products

Using nutrition products that support healthy aging—from nutrient-dense beverages to functional foods to vitamin-mineral supplements—is another way older consumers are taking action. However, with older consumers more active than ever and many with no desire to slow down, products that support active aging can be even more appealing.

Developing messaging around active healthy aging can connect with those who want to maintain a physically active lifestyle as they age but know their nutrient needs are changing. Active aging products combine ingredient knowledge from both the healthy aging and sports nutrition categories for total support. 

Key Benefits and Ingredients

While active aging products can impart a wide range of health benefits, the core focus is on helping consumers maintain mobility, strength, and balance as they age. These are all strongly dependent on healthy bones, joints, and muscles.

Bone Density

As active consumers age, they become more prone to bone loss and brittleness. Probably the best known nutrients to maintain and support strong, healthy bones are calcium and vitamin D. However, phosphorus and magnesium are also essential. Our TruCal® is a source of milk minerals that provides the right proportion of essential bone minerals.

Joint Health

With age, people are also more likely to experience joint inflammation, which can lead to stiffness and pain. This is why active aging products may also include ingredients targeting joint health, such as collagen. Curcumin (from turmeric) is also becoming popular in joint health products, often with piperine (from black pepper) for improved absorption and bioavailability.

Muscle Mass and Strength

Maintaining muscle mass, and ultimately muscle function and strength, is another key part of active aging. Protein is one of the most essential nutrients for active aging since it’s needed to maintain existing muscle mass and support new muscle protein synthesis after exercising. Leucine is an ingredient with a unique role among amino acids in that it triggers the process of muscle synthesis.

senior man lifting weight

In addition, researchers are beginning to explore the potential of other ingredients, such as creatine monohydrate and omega-3 fatty acids, for producing muscle benefits in older people. Research shows creatine may allow for exercising at higher workloads which then can increase muscle mass and strength,8,9 whereas omega-3s may have the ability to enhance the rate of muscle protein synthesis.10

Your Supplier for Active Aging Ingredients

This new area of active aging reflects an important shift in how we perceive and manage aging, providing a key opportunity for food, beverage, and supplement brands to support active lifestyle consumers throughout life’s journey.

For companies interested in tapping into this emerging segment, our portfolio of innovative nutritional and functional ingredients—including TruCal® balanced milk mineral complex, CuroWhite® curcumin, PepForm® leucine, and CreaBev® creatine (with enhanced stability for RTM and RTD beverages)—can help you get started.

Contact Glanbia Nutritionals to learn about these and other active and healthy aging solutions, including our dairy and plant-based proteins and custom premixes.


1. Glanbia Nutritionals, Health & Wellness Consumer U&A Study – US, 2023.
2. Innova Market Insights, Trends Insider: Global Healthy Aging: A Generational Approach, December 2023.
3-7. Glanbia Nutritionals, Health & Wellness Consumer U&A Study – US, 2023.
8. Oikawa, S.Y., Brisbois, T.D., van Loon, L.J.C., et al., Eat like an athlete: insights of sports nutrition science to support active aging in healthy older adults, GeroScience, 2021.
9. Devries, M.C. & Phillips, S.M., Creatine supplementation during resistance training in older adults—a meta-analysis, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2014.
10. Oikawa, S.Y., Brisbois, T.D., van Loon, L.J.C. et al., Eat like an athlete: insights of sports nutrition science to support active aging in healthy older adults, GeroScience, 2021.

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