If you are new to fitness (or maybe not), you might be wondering if women need protein?
Well, the short answer is yes!
Women’s nutritional and fitness needs are different from men. No doubt there! But when it comes to protein, there is actually not much of a difference. Contrary to the common myth that protein is not meant for women, it is very much essential for their overall wellbeing. While gender can have an influence on the amount of protein one should be consuming, it has more to do with the activity levels of the individuals.
Let’s talk in detail about women protein and how it is essential to women:
What is protein & Why do women need protein?
Composed of amino acids, protein is one of the macronutrients that is required to maintain the structure of cells, hair, bones and connective tissue. It is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, for muscle strength and mass. In addition, protein regulates the functioning of various hormones of the body thereby, maintaining hormonal balance.
The bottom line is we cannot emphasize enough the importance of protein for women!
How much protein should you be taking?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question needs some maths (We’re already sorry for that).
You can calculate your personal protein intake by taking your weight (in kg) and multiplying it by 0.8. This will provide you with the minimum grams of protein you should be eating per day.
How much protein should you be taking while being pregnant?
Your body needs a lot more nutrients than normal while it is growing a baby inside it. The current RDA recommends pregnant women should eat about 1.1g/kg of protein for all states of pregnancy.
What should be the protein intake for breastfeeding women?
To maintain your own muscle mass while providing adequate nutrition to your baby, you should aim at eating around 1.7 to 1.9 g/kg of protein per day.
Signs that you are not consuming enough protein
While calculating is one way to find out if you are consuming enough protein every day, you can also watch out for the following signs:
Feeling of unusual weakness or fatigue, or constantly feeling tired
Sudden changes in moods
Brittle or damaged hair and nails, flaky skin
Feeling hungry a lot of the time or always
Getting sick a lot or staying sick longer than expected
Slow healing of wounds
Swelling in hands or feet
What are sources of protein?
Now that you know how many grams of protein you should be eating each day let’s get to the next step: what to eat in order to get the right amount! Sources of protein include lean meats like beef, lamb; Poultry like chicken, turkey and seafood like fish, prawns, oysters, and scallops. Dairy products like yoghurt and cheese are also rich in protein. Nuts and seeds like almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds are also great sources of protein. There is actually no dearth of vegan protein supplements online! So, get started with consuming this essential nutrient right now!