Protein supplements for power: why it’s important for women in keeping fit

Protein powders can give women the boost they need to power them forward in keep fit and exercise.This is paid for content, readers are encouraged to seek NHS advice before taking any supplements.

Over half of Brits say there’s been a shift in celebrating physically stronger women and 67% of women are more likely to pick up weights in the gym than a few years ago, but there is still a lack of understanding about protein and its benefits.

Half (50%) of Brits have seen a positive change in societal attitudes towards women who engage in strength training or weightlifting, with 55% saying there’s been a shift in celebrating physically stronger women, according to new research from SCI-MX.

The results come from a survey carried out in October last year of over 1,000 people, and was carried out by Censuswide Research Consultants, and figures were broadly similar for those surveyed in Scotland.

More than two-thirds (67%) of women say they’re more likely to pick up weights in the gym, with 31% saying lifting weights is now part of their exercise routines.

However, when it comes to nutrition, the research reveals more than two-fifths (42%) of Brits believe there are misconceptions surrounding protein powder and its impact on women’s bodies.

In fact, more than a quarter (28%) of women have avoided or hesitated using protein powder because they’re concerned about gaining too much muscle mass.

Myth busting

For this reason, and to celebrate physically stronger women, the British sports nutrition brand has partnered with nutritionist Kate Withington to educate the nation on the benefits of having a high-protein diet.

“It’s amazing to see that so many women now feel comfortable using weights within the gym – it’s been a long time coming!

“I think the societal shift in celebrating physically strong women has really helped with this change, although we clearly have more work to do when it comes to nutrition given the research from SCI-MX reveals a clear gap in knowledge when it comes to protein.”

nutritionist Kate Withington

“In the past, protein powders and high protein snacks have very much been targeted at those looking to bulk, but even for people who want to lose weight and tone up, protein is so important.”

Kate’s top tips on increasing protein intake:

Include protein-rich foods in every meal and include protein as additional snacks. For example, a day of eating could look like this:

. Breakfast: protein smoothie made with one scoop of strawberry protein powder, frozen berries and milk.

. Lunch: tuna and sweetcorn baked potato with salad. I love to use Greek yoghurt instead of mayo to increase protein content further and reduce calories.

. Afternoon snack: cottage cheese on rice cakes with some mixed seeds.

. Dinner: salmon goodness bowl. Salmon fillet with quinoa, broccoli and edamame beans.

. Evening snack: Greek yoghurt with berries.

. Consider using a protein powder – whey is one of my top supplements as it’s such a quick and convenient way to increase protein intake.

. Try to stick to snacks which are high in protein – these could include hard-boiled eggs, tuna lettuce cups, cottage cheese, edamame beans and beef jerky.

Age matters

Matt Durkin, product developer at SCI-MX, added: “Placing more importance on protein intake is a good recommendation for most adults, no matter their gender, because we become less receptive to protein intake as we age. This means we need a relatively higher protein intake to maintain muscle. This is one of the reasons why we see a steady decline of lean mass every decade following our thirties.

“Current protein recommendation for the general population is to consume 0.8g per kg of body mass, but I would suggest increasing this to around 1.2g/kg to help preserve muscle mass.

“But protein is only one part of the equation, everyone should be performing muscle-strengthening exercises frequently to stimulate the body to build or maintain muscle. For those engaging in regular exercise and looking to build or maintain muscle then a significantly higher amount of 1.6-2.0g/kg is recommended. Getting this amount of protein requires a conscious effort and good planning and this is where protein supplementation and working with a nutritionist can help.”

Find out more

To find out more about SCI-MX and its range of high-protein products visit the website here