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Why Women Should Prioritize Increasing Their Intake of Protein

Have you noticed how often I emphasize the importance of protein? Why do I keep repeating myself about protein, protein, protein?

Well, let me tell you why: because it's absolutely crucial, especially as women age.

Protein isn't just about building muscle; it's about maintaining it as well.

It supports our metabolism, keeps our hormones in balance, and safeguards our bones. And when it comes to our skin, protein is like dynamite – it helps maintain its elasticity and youthful appearance

  1. Muscle Maintenance: As women age, they naturally experience a decline in muscle mass, a condition known as sarcopenia. Adequate protein intake, combined with regular resistance training, helps preserve muscle mass and strength, enabling women to maintain mobility, independence, and overall physical function as they age.

  2. Metabolism Support: Protein has a higher thermic effect compared to carbohydrates and fats, meaning it requires more energy to digest and metabolize. By incorporating protein-rich foods into their diets, 40-year-old women can support their metabolism and potentially enhance calorie expenditure, making it easier to manage weight and prevent age-related weight gain.

  3. Hormonal Balance: Protein plays a crucial role in hormone synthesis and regulation, impacting various aspects of women's health, including menstrual cycles, mood stability, and libido. By consuming sufficient protein, 40-year-old women can help maintain hormonal balance, potentially alleviating symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, such as hot flashes and mood swings.

  4. Bone Health: Protein is not only essential for muscle health but also plays a significant role in maintaining bone density and strength. Adequate protein intake is particularly important for 40-year-old women, as they approach menopause and become more susceptible to osteoporosis and fractures. By prioritizing protein-rich foods, women can support their bone health and reduce their risk of age-related bone loss.

  5. Skin Health and Aging: Collagen, a protein found in abundance in the skin, provides structure, elasticity, and firmness. As women enter their 40s, collagen production naturally decreases, leading to signs of aging such as wrinkles, sagging skin, and loss of skin elasticity. Consuming protein-rich foods, especially those high in collagen or collagen-building nutrients like vitamin C, can help support skin health and minimize the visible signs of aging.

Protein is often referred to as the building block of life, and for good reason. It plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, from repairing tissues to supporting immune health. While both men and women benefit from adequate protein intake, women, in particular, can reap numerous advantages by prioritizing this essential macronutrient in their diets.

  1. Muscle Preservation and Growth:

  • Statistics show that women who consume higher amounts of protein are better able to preserve muscle mass, leading to improved strength and overall physical function.

  1. Weight Management:

  • Protein is renowned for its ability to promote satiety, helping individuals feel full and satisfied after meals. Consequently, increasing protein intake can aid in weight management efforts.

  1. Hormonal Balance:

  • Protein plays a crucial role in hormone synthesis and regulation, impacting various aspects of women's health, including menstrual cycles and fertility.

  1. Bone Health:

  • Studies indicate that women with higher protein intake have greater bone mineral density, reducing their risk of osteoporosis and fractures later in life.

Now you know the WHYs, but I bet you are wondering 'how much?'

During perimenopause, women undergo significant hormonal changes that can impact their body composition and overall health. Adequate protein intake becomes crucial during this stage to support muscle maintenance, bone health, and hormonal balance.

While individual protein needs vary based on factors such as age, weight, and activity level, women in perimenopause should aim for a protein intake of around 0.36 to 0.45 grams per pound of body weight per day.

However, some experts suggest that women in perimenopause may benefit from slightly higher protein intake to counteract age-related muscle loss and support metabolic health. So set a goal of 20-30 g per meal.

It's essential for women to prioritize high-quality protein sources such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds to meet their nutritional needs during this transitional phase of life.

Increasing protein intake is essential for women of all ages and life stages. Whether you're aiming to preserve muscle mass, manage your weight, balance hormones, support bone health, or navigate pregnancy and postpartum recovery, prioritizing protein in your diet can yield numerous benefits. By making conscious choices to include protein-rich foods in your meals and snacks, you can enhance your overall health and well-being for years to come.

Your reward for making it this far is my Protein Power Doc!

It lists 30 different protein powered snacks, with their corresponding grams per serving. Choose wisely!

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