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Menopause and Protein Needs

Okay ladies, last week we covered carb intake relative to declining estrogen levels.

We covered this one to start for two reasons – our sport uses carbs as fuel, so you need to make sure you’re getting enough for training, and it tends to have the greatest impact on body composition.

That being said, protein is truly of equal importance, but for different reasons!

First, women tend to struggle to consume enough protein. Did you know that women make up 80% of vegans and 59% of vegetarians? And even if women ARE eating meat/animal products, many will tell you they often err to a more plant based diet.

Second, women over the age 30 lose anywhere from 3 to 8% of their muscle mass each decade, which means if you’re not strength training and getting adequate protein you may struggle to lift the coffee pot by the time you’re 80!

And as women age they tend to have more digestive issues, which can compound things even more so.

Having adequate muscle mass (which needs to be fueled by adequate protein intake) not only keeps you having a healthy metabolism, it also helps you stay upright, fast to react, helps protect against bone loss, and helps prevent falls.

Now you know WHY it’s important, how much should you be getting every day?

We encourage our athletes to be consuming between 0.8 and 1g per Lb of body weight daily. This means if you’re a 150lb woman you should be consuming between 120 and 150g per day. If this seems hard, start on the lower end and build (and it IS okay to supplement one serving a day as a protein shake- just know that most of your protein should come from whole food sources).

This is even MORE IMPORTANT in late perimenopause/menopause/post!

Without the protective/muscle building benefits of estrogen you’re going to work even harder (sorry ladies!) to get and keep your muscle. So remember, carbs for energy, protein for structure support (and a fast metabolism!).

Are you in your late 40s or later or in surgical menopause and looking for training that compliments your hormones? Check out our Level M program!

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