I know some of you ladies might be eating a healthy, well-rounded diet. The question is – are you getting enough protein to support your physique and performance goals?
The latest research shows that from hormones and enzymes, to the muscle and immune system, every cell in your body contains protein. This is why it is vital to get enough protein in your diet.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. However, if any of you ladies lift weights on a regular basis, you can throw that RDA out the window.
Your body needs more protein to enhance its recovery from training and improve muscle growth. Over the years and through clients I have trained myself, I have noticed that many women don’t really know how much protein they should be consuming in order to sculpt and maintain a lean body.
A 2015 study from the University of South Florida aimed to assess whether or not protein levels in nutrition can make a difference to performance. The study looked at two groups of women participating in an eight-week strength-training programme. The Programme consisted of two upper body days and two lower body days – one group being on a high protein diet, the other on a low protein diet.
The high protein group was told to eat 1.1 grams of protein per pound of body weight, including 25 grams of Dymatize ISO-100 Whey Protein before and after each session. The lower protein group was told to eat 0.55 grams of protein per pound of body weight, including only 5 grams of Dymatize ISO-100 Whey Protein immediately pre and post workout.
Each participant was allowed to consume as many carbohydrates and fats as they wanted. At the end of the study, the women who followed a higher protein diet gained significantly leaner body mass (4.6 pounds) compared to the lower protein group (1.5 pounds). The higher protein group also lost more body fat than the lower protein group.
The results obtained aren’t the most dramatic findings but yet they prove that those who train intensely and eat a higher protein diet are likely to gain more muscle than women who eat a lower protein diet. Another significant fact was derived from the group who obtained a higher protein intake. They consumed an average and additional 423 additional calories from protein every day. Not of fat surprisingly. The women on a higher protein diet actually lost more body fat than women on the lower protein diet. The higher protein group lost 2.4 pounds of body fat compared to 1.7 pounds in the lower protein group.
Ultimately, if your goal is to gain lean body mass and drop some body fat, there is a clear advantage to following a higher protein diet whilst engaging in a resistance-training programme. I recommend that women eat roughly 1 gram of high protein per pound of body weight daily to improve body composition and maximise recovery.