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Women's Protein Guide
It's good to know that we've moved past the days of striving to be as thin as possible and evolved into fit, strong, healthy women. But with protein supplements too often targeted towards body builders, how can we increase our protein intake to support our goals?
Never fear, GEN P is here! We've got all the need-to-know protein info specifically for active women.
Why is protein important?
Protein is an essential nutrient responsible for multiple functions in the body, including the maintenance and growth of muscle tissue. With exercise, muscle tissue is essentially being damaged, and it's subject to greater damage with increased exercise intensity or volume.
By ingesting adequate protein throughout the day, essential protein 'building blocks' (amino acids) are being delivered into the system, ready to rebuild and restore muscles.
How much protein should I have?
Quite simply, the more active you are, the more protein you require.
Protein recommendations also differ given the type of activity you do. If you lift heavy weights for most of your workouts, then you will need more protein versus someone who runs 10k twice per week.
Follow these guidelines to determine how much protein you require per day, based on your activity type:
As we can’t store protein we need to consume it every day, with research indicating every 3 – 4 hours is optimal for protein ingestion2. So it’s goodbye to traditional 3 meals per day, and hello to protein-rich snacking between meals.
Be prepared and have a protein-based snack in your bag for after you exercise, to get a head start on muscle replenishment, ready for training tomorrow. Obviously, we'd suggest GEN P Protein Milk as an ideal and convenient post-training protein drink!
Alternatively, add GEN P 3 Way Protein Blend Powder to delicious snacks that pack a protein punch, such as protein balls, or protein laced vanilla lattes. Check out our recipe section for snacking inspiration.
Which protein foods should I eat?
Proteins in the body are made up amino acid sequences (the 'building blocks' of proteins), although some of these are ‘essential’, meaning that we can’t make them in the body and have to get them from our diet.
Not all protein sources provide all 9 essential amino acids. Protein derived from animal sources like eggs, chicken and milk are known as ‘complete’ proteins and provide all the amino acids we need. Most plant sources such as beans, nuts or grains are ‘incomplete’ and only provide a selection of the essential amino acids we need. For a healthy balanced diet have a mix of both plant and animal based protein sources.
Vegans and vegetarians can still obtain all the essential amino acids by mixing protein sources, for example, ensuring a meal contains grains AND pulses.Make sure you're aware of your protein intake and back up with a supplement, particularly after a workout, to restore muscle and ensure you're getting the most from your HIIT.
- American Dietetic Association; Dietitians of Canada; American College of Sports Medicine, Rodriguez NR, Di Marco NM, Langley S. (2009). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 41(3):709-31.
- Phillips SM & Van Loon LJ. (2011). Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. J Sports Science, 29, Supplement 1, S29-38.