Protein is an essential macronutrient. Not only is it important muscle growth and development, but it also contributes to the formation of healthy cells that make up our hormones and enzymes, keeps our hair skin & nails healthy, and helps with overcoming low energy levels in females (stop us if you've heard this before!).
Why do we need more as we age?
Now when we're younger, our bodies do a great job at absorbing the protein we take in so it can keep us fit and healthy. But research shows protein is essential for healthy ageing, and we need more of it for our bodies to function effectively as we get older.
This reduction in muscle mass is known as sarcopenia, and can also increase your risk of other bone related diseases such as osteoporosis, osteopenia, and certain cancers.
This is exacerbated for women going through menopause due to the changes in hormones during this period. Oestrogen dramatically decreases, and there's evidence that this hormone is crucial in regulating lean muscle mass.
So what can you do?
There's no getting around it... we're all going to go through this. Some research shows that women should start to increase their protein intake at around 65. But, as the average age for menopause/perimenopause is around 51, we would recommend getting into good habits early! Although it sounds very sales-y, start getting used to taking protein supplements now (preferably ours. We have the tastiest on the market 😉), so that it's not as alien once we reach that age that we need to dramatically increase our intake. So many women have the resource to really reduce this specific effect of menopause, but due to protein powders' male dominated history, they don't feel it's for them. Get used to putting it into a smoothie, use it for baking, whatever is best for you!
Also, incorporating resistance training alongside increasing your protein intake will further aid your quest to maintain your lean muscle mass!