As a body positive personal trainer with years of experience, I have seen firsthand the power of protein when it comes to overall health and fitness. Despite what diet culture may tell us, protein is not just for weight loss or muscle building. In fact, it's especially important for those going through menopause or perimenopause and for those who are physically active. So, let's dive into why protein is so crucial.
First and foremost, protein is essential for menopausal and perimenopausal women because it can help combat muscle loss. As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass, but this process is accelerated during menopause. This can lead to decreased strength, mobility, and balance, among other issues. However, consuming adequate protein can help slow down this process and even promote muscle growth. Plus, protein can help with bone health, which is also a concern for folks experiencing menopause.
For physically active individuals, protein is crucial for muscle recovery and repair. When we exercise, we create small tears in our muscles, which is a normal part of the process. However, in order for our muscles to repair and grow stronger, they need protein. Additionally, protein can help with overall energy levels, which is important for staying active and performing well during workouts.
It's worth noting that not all protein sources are created equal. While animal sources like meat, eggs, and dairy are often touted as the best, there are plenty of plant-based protein options as well. Legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains can all be great sources of protein. Plus, incorporating a variety of protein sources can provide a wider range of nutrients.
In summary, protein is a crucial nutrient for everyone, especially for perimenopausal folks and active individuals. It helps maintain and develop muscle mass, aids in repairing muscle micro-tears, boosts satiety, and comes in various forms, including plant-based options and flavorful protein powder. No matter your preference, it's never too late to add a bit more protein to your daily intake. So go ahead and enjoy that delicious smoothie bowl while helping your body get even stronger!