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Protein requirements

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  • Protein requirements

    I am a 53 year old woman and am 5'3. For some reason people think that is short

    Things seem to be going fine, but I am struggling with knowing how much protein I should target. I've read some things that appears to indicate that women's protein needs are different than what men need at similar activity levels and I have succeeded in confusing myself.

    I have 3 high-intensity 1-hour group training sessions a week (looks a lot like Crossfit), and also cycle and mountain bike when the weather and my body permits. As the season changes I am starting to put a lot more focus in building upper body strength as my riding decreases and am working with my group trainer on an individual basis once a week to start that process.

    Regarding my actual workouts - on the leg-press I am up to 360 for 6 reps. Upper body is very different, but that is my focus this winter. I need to build strength and flexibility and I know I need to fuel my body properly or this won't happen. We are doing a lot of compound work such as squats, deadlifts, hang cleans, etc.

    Right now my protein targets are 90-110 grams (26%), carbs range between 40-80 depending on the day (9-18%) most days are closer to 55-60, and of course the rest is fat. I've wondered about the carbs, but I feel fine at that level. No afternoon sleepiness, etc. I feel fine when exercising, though I DO eat breakfast before our very intense 6am hour-long sessions.

    Does this sound like reasonable targets for someone with my activity level and goals? I've enough problems getting the calories my body needs and I want to make certain that I am not defeating sabotaging my hard work by not giving my body the fuel it requires.
    Last edited by Catrin; 10-24-2012, 12:42 PM.

  • #2
    Your macros are not at all different from mine. You don't say how much fat though. While I do workout, you seem to do more than I do. I'm also much higher strength lower body from a big background in cycling. But I'm a 6' male at 225lbs and 60 years. I'd say if it's working for you and you feel good, stick with it. I think since at my age I won't have hypertrophy like some youngster I don't need any more protein.


    • #3
      i really think the 'protein targets' are misguided. if you're eating primally, you're fine.


      • #4
        Originally posted by jakey View Post
        i really think the 'protein targets' are misguided. if you're eating primally, you're fine.
        This all gets confusing, for sure. I do have to pay attention to my calories or I just don't eat enough. It is very easy to over-think the macro-nutrients. Thanks!


        • #5
          I only eat about 40-60g of protein/day. Usually in the 40s, 60s would be a good day. my MD (yes, I know, I took it with a grain of salt) said I should be eating about 90g/day which I do think is about accurate, although I have a very hard time eating that much protein because I get full quickly. I try and eat three "meals" all with fat, protein and veggies.