Active women that are looking to build muscle and lose fat should consume 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. For a 150lb. woman, that means 120 grams of protein per day.
If you are a typical American woman, your daily protein intake is likely less than half that amount. Take an example set of daily meals: Two Eggs for breakfast (12 grams of protein), Chicken Salad for Lunch (17 grams), and 4 Ounces of Beef for Dinner (35 grams). That gives us only 71 grams of protein for the day, far below the amount needed for athletic women looking to build muscle. Also note that most of the protein in our example comes from red meat, which women typically do not eat for dinner every night.
Active females require more protein than women who lead sedentary lifestyles, but even the sedentary woman should consume more protein than the is currently recommended. The American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend that athletes consume 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or .5 to .8 per pound.
Women who are recovering from illness or who are elderly will require significantly more protein, too.
Is Protein Enough?
Proteins are the foundation of your cells, tissues, muscles and bones. Protein is an absolutely vital nutrient, but some proteins are more complete than others. Whey protein, for example, also contains more than adequate proportions of all nine essential amino acids (See: What Is Whey Protein?). Because your body is not capable of producing amino acids and must rely on dietary sources, this is an important distinction.
You need to balance the calories you consume against their protein pay-off in order for optimal results. Red meat is rich in protein, but it's also high in saturated fat and calories.
Better Sources of Protein
Nuts, fish and legumes are all good sources of protein which don’t pack on the saturated fat and calories, but they’re not the only option. High-quality protein powders, particularly whey protein products, can help you meet your intake goals with ease. With 25 grams of protein per service, protein shakes are easy to mix, tasty and full of the amino acids and protein you need for strong nails, hair, bone and muscle. Pin Up Girl Protein is a convenient, delicious and easy source of nutritionally complete, whey-based protein for women. Pin Up Girl Protein has 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of sugar, and only 110 calories. Learn More
Now, let's look at our sample meals above, but adding a protein shake after breakfast and one at night to see if we reach our desired protein intake for the day:
The good thing about adding two protein shakes to your daily diet is that you are not adding any fat or carbohydrates. A protein shake with Pin Up Girl Whey Isolate Protein has 0 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of fat and only 110 calories.