Summary of a systematic review of studies on the optimal protein intake in recreational and competitive female athletes.
204 recreationally active or competetive pre-menopausal female athletes (cycling, triathlon, physique, rowing, ice hockey, volleyball, dance, resistance training, basketball).
pre-menopausal women – women aged between 18 and 45 years of age who did not go through menopause.
Systematic review of 14 studies.
- protein requirements
- menstrual cycle phases
- hormonal contraceptives use
- Protein requirements during different phases of menstrual cycle or during hormonal contracteption could not be assessed due to not enough research.
- In resistance and intermittent exercise, pre- and post-exercise protein intake of 0.32-0.38 g/kg yield beneficial physiological effects for recreational and competetive female athletes (4 studies). Type of protein (whey vs. casein) did not affect maximal strength or body composition.
- Also, estimated daily protein intake per kg of body mass depends on the activity type:
Take home message
Mercer D, Convit L, Condo D, Carr AJ, Hamilton DL, Slater G, Snipe RM. Protein Requirements of Pre-Menopausal Female Athletes: Systematic Literature Review. Nutrients. 2020 Nov;12(11):3527.