Women with Physique aspirations benefit from a high protein diet
Women who train intensively with weights because they want to participate in Physique competitions benefit from a diet with relatively much protein. American researchers come to this perhaps not surprising conclusion in a human study that lasted 8 weeks.
At first glance there are mountains of data on the relationship between protein consumption and body composition, but surprisingly little is known about the optimal protein intake of women who train with weights because they want to participate in Physique competitions. Hence the research that sports scientists at the University of South Florida published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
The researchers experimented with 17 women. The women were on average 21 years old and had been training for quite some time. They were able to dealift at least one and a half times their body weight. Before the study began, them women consumed an average of 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
During the 8 weeks that the study took, all women trained in the same way. The researchers gave half of them 0.9 grams of protein per kilo of body weight [Low Protein]. The other half received 2.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day [High Protein].
The athletes in the high protein group lost a statistically significant 1.1 kg body fat, the athletes in the low protein group a non-significant 0.8 kg.
The athletes in the high protein group gained 2.1 kilograms of lean body mass, the athletes in the low protein group gained only 0.6 kilos.
Finally, a high protein diet was beneficial for the development of the muscle strength, as you can see in the tables.
"This is the first study to demonstrate that an under-represented population (female physique athletes) engaging in resistance training benefit from higher protein intakes", write the researchers. "The findings suggest that higher protein intakes are advisable for these types of athletes seeking to optimize body composition."
"As there is a large discrepancy between 0.9 g/kg/day and 2.5 g/kg/day, additional research is required to determine the necessity of intakes as high as 2.5 g/kg/day in order to achieve the body recompositiion observed in the present study."
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018 Feb 6:1-21.
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