As much as one-third of women between the ages of 20 and 40 do not get their recommended daily allowance of protein, U.S. Department of Agriculture research reveals. Protein is important for energy, weight loss, and muscle retention as women age. So how much protein do women need per day to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Read on to learn how much protein you really need per day as a woman to make sure you get enough of this important nutrient.
There is Power in Protein.
As a general guideline, women should aim to get 0.4 to 1.0 grams of protein per day, per pound of body weight. This is less than the amount of protein men should get per day, so take note if you are planning meals for a family. For a 140-pound woman, then, 60 to 140 pounds of protein would be sufficient for one day.
Your activity level also plays a role in the amount of protein you need to get per day. If you are trying to lose weight, you can aim for the lower end of the spectrum. If you are active, then it is important to get more protein, so shoot for the higher end of this recommended range.
There are many foods that contain protein, so you don't have to go paleo to get the right amount of protein women need per day.
Good sources of protein include:
- red meat
- seeds, like hemp or sunflower
It's also important to note that not all forms of protein are created equal. Some sources of protein also contain higher doses of fat, which can scare off some women.
To vary your protein sources and eat a rich diet, it is important that you incorporate both lean and rich sources of protein. This way, you aren't getting burned out from eating a grilled chicken breast for every lunch and dinner, or worried abut your weight every time you grab a handful of nuts as a post workout snack.
Keep protein supplements on hand so you can always make yourself a smoothie or grab an energy bar on the way to the gym, but do not get into the habit of eating these products instead of whole foods. Supplements are often loaded with fillers and some are little more than glorified candy bars.
What Are the Health Benefits of Protein For Women?
Protein has a range of health benefits for women. Eating protein can:
- Help prevent osteoporosis
- Ward off diabetes and combat obesity
- Help you feel full longer, so you maintain a healthy weight
- Lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL blood pressure
- Help you build lean muscle mass, which increases your metabolism so you burn more calories even at rest
If you want more nutrition advice, or help with anything related to your health and wellness goals, you can always speak with one of our fitness trainers. These wellness professionals know all the latest recommendations for men and women, and can help you tailor your diet to meet your goals now that you know how much protein women need per day.