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  • Writer's pictureLarry Jones

Women need protein too!

Fitness Journal September 2019 Issue:


For years we have heard that people who regularly workout lifting weights can benefit from eating higher amounts of protein than the general population. There's just one issue.

Most of the research behind this advice was conducted on men, with little focus on women. Now, a study in the April 2019 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise has shed light on the specific protein needs of this under-studied demographic.

To determine how much protein women need to maximize whole-body protein synthesis (i.e., Muscle growth) and net protein balance after exercise, eight resistance-trained females consumed varying amounts of protein in the hours following two separate training sessions.

In the end researchers concluded that about 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight on training days is enough to allow women to increase their muscle protein anabolism while discouraging muscle protein break -down. That means a 130-pound female lifter should be consuming around 87 grams of protein, especially on training days. Intakes above this level had diminishing returns in the study, suggesting that loading up more protein is not necessary.

Female clients should be educated on the importance of eating adequate amounts of protein from a variety of sources to help build and maintain lean body mass.

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