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Why Is Protein Important For Women?

by Nathan Abbott on Sep 27, 2022

Why Is Protein Important For Women?

Protein Consumption For Women

Maintaining muscle mass and strength as women age is considered one of the most important anti-ageing strategies. New evidence suggests that current dietary recommendations for protein intake may be insufficient to achieve this goal and that individuals might benefit by increasing their intake and frequency of consumption of high-quality protein.

A gradual decline in muscle mass is observed from the third decade of life, with a 30–50% decrease reported between the ages of 40 and 80. Muscle strength is correlated with muscle mass and rapidly declines after the age of 50. 

Protein is also very important for satiety/reduces hunger and, consequently, weight regulation. A diet high in both protein and fibre was demonstrated to support successful weight-loss. Therefore, the incorporation of increased amounts of high-protein and high-fibre foods provides a promising strategy for overweight and obese individuals, since high-protein diets are linked to improved satiety and appetite control.

Protein For Bone, Hair, Nail And Skin Health

Proteins form an important part of body tissues and organs

Their primary physiological functions are to construct and repair tissues, mediate physiological functions, and supply energy. All tissue cells in the body are constantly renewed, and only adequate protein intake can maintain normal tissue renewal and repair. Skin, hair and nails are no exception.

Protein gives you strong bones

Dietary proteins represent key nutrients for bone health and thereby function in the prevention of osteoporosis. Several studies point to a positive effect of high protein intake on bone mineral density or content. This fact is associated with a significant reduction in hip fracture incidence, as recorded in a large prospective study carried out in a homogeneous cohort of postmenopausal women.

Protein Aids In Fat Burning

Several clinical trials have found that consuming more protein than the recommended dietary allowance not only reduces body weight (BW), but also enhances body composition by decreasing fat mass while preserving fat-free mass (FFM) in both low-calorie and standard-calorie diets. Fairly long-term clinical trials of 6-12 months reported that a high-protein diet (HPD) provides weight-loss effects and can prevent weight regain after weight loss. 

How much protein do women need?

The current international Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein for adult women is 0.8 g per kg of BW, regardless of age. In the UK, the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is 0.75 g/kg/BW.

These recommendations are derived as a minimum amount to maintain nitrogen balance and are not optimised for physical activity level (PAL). Furthermore, the body of an ageing woman undergoes multiple physiological changes which alter protein utilisation, and thus requirements, i.e., anabolic resistance, insulin resistance, impaired digestion, inflammation, and decreased IGF-1 levels. 

To achieve functional needs such as improving skeletal-muscle protein accretion and physical strength, dietary intake of 1.0, 1.3, and 1.6 g protein per kg BW per day is recommended for individuals with minimal, moderate, and intense physical activity, respectively. Long-term consumption of protein at 2 g per kg BW per day is safe. Chronic high protein intake (>2 g per kg BW per day) may result in digestive, renal, and vascular abnormalities and should be avoided.

Apart from the total daily intake, per-meal protein quantity and daily frequency of protein ingestion have also been shown to play an important role in preserving muscle mass and function. It is estimated that consumption of two to three meals a day, each containing ~25–30 g of high-quality protein, is optimal for the stimulation of 24-h muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in healthy adults. 

Plant-based nutrition has received much attention in the past decade. The ever-growing demand for foods naturally rich in protein is part of an ecological debate around whether more sustainable sources should be encouraged. The high proportion of animal-protein consumption in developed countries raises both health and environmental concerns. Dietary patterns characterised by a high intake of animal protein have been associated with increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease mortality and some cancers.

 Therefore, the focus of protein supplements industry has been on finding a perfect combination of sustainable plant-based sources of complete protein. NGX BodyFuel ticks all of those boxes - mixture of plant-based brown rice and peas protein powders to achieve a perfect combination of all essential amino acids.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5772850/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22139564/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32699189/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872778/