Do Men and Women Need the Same Amount of Protein?

05 June, 2020
The latest studies question whether a high protein diet can cause long term kidney damage. We'll tell you if men and women need the same amount of protein.
 

Nutrition needs do change from person to person. For example, not all people need the same amount of protein in their diets. We also see this difference between individuals of different sex.

Amount of protein in men and women

Men have greater energy needs because they have larger bodies and muscle massSince nutrients should represent a certain percentage of total caloric value, they also need a greater amount of protein.

However, it really isn’t a huge difference. The WHO generally recommends consuming 0.7 grams of protein/pound of weight. However, following these guidelines, a 140-pound man should consume 56 grams of protein a day, while a 100-pound woman would need 40 grams a day.

On the other hand, these guidelines are lagging behind the findings of recent studiesAs a general rule, men weigh more than women, and their protein needs are higher.

If you find a man and woman that weigh the same, the man would still need a higher amount of protein because of his percentage of lean mass. However, athletes are an exception to this rule, since their protein needs vary depending on their activity.

Protein sources

We need to emphasize that the trend in protein needs is changing. Currently, high protein diets that contain fewer carbohydrates are being recommended, both for men and women. This is because the latest research doubts that high doses of protein can cause short or long term kidney damage.

However, it recommends that at least 50 percent of your daily protein should come from animals. In fact, animal protein contains more essential amino acids and is easy to digest. When choosing plant protein, it’s important to make sure you combine the right foods to get complete proteins.

 
Sources of plant and animal protein.

Supplements and powders

For sedentary people, except for those with certain conditions or diseases, it’s not usually necessary to take protein supplements. If you follow a balanced diet, you should get all the protein you need.

However, you might want to take some sort of whey protein as a snack. In addition, it keeps you feeling full for longer than a salty or carbohydrate-rich snack. Therefore, it can be a great option to follow a low-calorie diet.

Keep in mind that these supplements have been designed for athletes. They need a higher amount of protein that they can’t get from their diets. Make sure you choose a good product and make sure the brand doesn’t use poor ingredients.

In addition, there are lots of protein products available for older people. This type of food could be an interesting option. They have good nutritional value, contain lots of protein, and are easy to keep in your purse or backpack.

Before taking any supplement, make sure you talk with a nutritionist to ensure it’s safe for you.

Salmon salad with lemon.
 

The importance of following a balanced diet for the right amount of protein

In any case, although it’s important to get enough protein when it comes to staying healthy, make sure you follow a balanced diet. Getting enough energy and providing nutrients for your body from different foods is a great way to keep your body functioning properly.

Also, it’s important to eat fewer foods that are processed, rich in additives, simple sugars, and trans fats. Instead, you should eat more fresh food, especially fruits and vegetables. These foods give us lots of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to carry out all physiological processes successfully.

On the other hand, regarding protein intake, it’s important that both men and women eat foods that have enough protein. This way, you can help keep yourself healthy.

Finally, as we mentioned before, about 50 percent of your protein should come from animal sources. That way, you get enough essential amino acids.

 
  • Deer RR., Volpi E., Protein intake and muscle function in older adults. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care, 2015. 18 (3): 248-53.
  • Kaji A., Hashimoto Y., Kobayashi Y., Wada S., Kuwahata M., et al., Protein intake is not associated with progression of diabetic kidney disease in patients without macroalbuminuria. Diabetes Metab Res Rev, 2019.