Are Protein Needs for Women Similar To Men?
1.6–2.2 g/kg or 0.7–1 g/lb of protein per day is required to maximize muscle growth or retention for lifters. We know this from heaps of studies including this meta-regression…
…but the thing is that most of such protein recommendations come from studies analyzing the population that start most wars in the world cuz, I assume, small penis syndrome — men. But do the same protein recommendations apply to women too? You’re about to find out so buckle up.
A recent study used a method called the indicator amino acid oxidation technique to assess protein needs in female lifters. Who the fugg knows what indicator amino acid oxidation technique is? Google, of course. So Google it is! It says it’s a non-invasive method to assess whole-body protein synthesis.
So the researchers went with the investigative mood to find out the protein dosage needed to maximize net protein balance after a workout in women. They found that women needed 1.53–1.93 g/kg/day (0.67–0.81 g/lb), to maximize the acute anabolic response. So it’s very similar to the protein needs for male lifters (1.6–2.2 g/kg or 0.7–1 g/lb).
If we were to look at it in terms of g/kg or lb of lean body mass rather than kg or lb of total body weight, the requirements would be virtually identical. That makes sense because women tend to carry more fat and less muscle mass than men. Off to the part where I say “in sum.”
- Protein needs for women lifters are similar to the protein needs for men when expressed per kg of total body weight and nearly identical when expressed per kg of lean body mass.
- Most people would rather do time in a Kenyan prison (gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis… you get the idea) than learn how to measure lean body mass so the only option to estimate daily protein target is using total body weight. In that case, since you carry less lean body mass than men, you can hover around the lower end of the range (1.6 g/kg or 0.7 g/lb).