PSA To All Women: You Won't Want To Sleep On This Key Nutrient As You Age
We all need protein—point-blank. But how much protein depends on factors like age, sex, body composition, and physical activity level. And if you're a woman, hormones play into the equation as well. For instance, research shows that women may require more protein during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle1, during pregnancy2, and while breastfeeding3. Protein needs also increase as women approach menopause. Combined with age-related muscle loss, you get a perfect (protein-deficient) storm in your wiser years.
But more protein doesn't have to mean more stress. For example, products like the Vanilla Organic Plant Protein by plnt make squeezing in that extra protein a whole lot easier. All of plnt's products are environmentally friendly and made with whole food ingredients sourced straight from the earth—so you can nourish yourself and respect the planet at the same time. But more on this (and other protein tips) later. First, let's get deeper into the "why" behind women's changing protein needs.
Age-related muscle loss
Protein is made up of a wide array of essential and nonessential amino acids that our body uses not only to build muscles, tissues, and bones, but also to generate hormones and enzymes, repair tissues, and support immunity and digestion. However, as we get older, our bodies become less efficient at digesting and absorbing protein4. As a result, we lose muscle mass5 and strength, increasing the chances of falls and fractures, as well as impacting cognitive function6, insulin sensitivity7, inflammatory pathways8, and more.
That's why it's extra important for both men and women to increase protein intake after the age of 655. It also helps to implement more strength training and to keep up with other nutritional needs by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Incorporating a daily multivitamin, like plnt's Fermented Whole Food Women's Multi can also help to support natural immunity, energy, and metabolic health as we age.*
The perimenopause–menopause layer
As if aging itself wasn't enough, menopause swoops in to make things even more complicated. And technically it kicks off even before actual menopause… Perimenopause, which starts as early as age 35 in some women, can begin altering hormones and body composition in a way that may increase protein requirements9. During both perimenopause and menopause, estrogen levels start to plummet, which leads to a decrease in muscle mass and function10.
Suffice it to say, this can be a stressful period in a woman's life for a variety of reasons (hot flashes aside). That's why we love Organic Stress Support by plnt. It contains organic mushrooms and herbs like ashwagandha, holy basil, lemon balm, and bacopa to help promote a more relaxed state of mind—no matter why you need it.*
How to up the protein
Aside from just animal protein, there are tons of nutrient-rich, plant-based protein sources out there that, when combined, add up to a solid amount of protein. From nuts and seeds to beans and whole grains, sprinkling in a variety of protein-rich plants throughout the day will get you one step closer to your daily protein goals.
One way to really fill in the gap is to add in a protein powder—especially if you're tight on time or don't feel like eating a full meal. plnt's Vanilla Organic Plant Protein is a personal favorite because it offers 25 grams of high-quality protein—including all nine essential amino acids—from pea, hemp, and goji berry sources. It's also easy to digest, free of major food allergens, and made without synthetic colors, sweeteners, and flavors. Blended into a smoothie or simply mixed into cold water, it's a quick and convenient way to up your protein tally for the day.
Aging with grace
Aging doesn't have to mean slowing down. It just means taking a couple of extra steps to support the life you love. And with brands like plnt, you can sip your protein on the go, so there's literally no need to slow down. Whether you're 35 or 65, it's never too early to start prioritizing protein—and we recommend that you do. Laying the groundwork now puts you in a better position down the road. So that when Mrs. Menopause comes knocking, you'll be ready!