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Women's Fitness: How to Build Lean Muscle with Proper Protein Intake and Distribution

Updated: Apr 28, 2023



Attention ladies! Are you striving to build lean muscle and feeling like your hard work at the gym is not paying off? Well, it might be time to take a closer look at your protein intake. Protein is a crucial component for Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS), the process that repairs and rebuilds your muscle tissue after a workout. However, it's not only about the amount of protein you consume but also how you distribute it throughout the day.


Studies indicate that consuming at least 1.6 g/kg/day of protein is vital to optimizing daily MPS. For women, that means targeting a daily protein intake of around 87.2 - 119.9 g if you weigh 120 pounds (54.5 kg) or 116.8 - 160.5 g if you weigh 160 pounds (72.7 kg). To maximize MPS, it's necessary to distribute your protein intake evenly throughout the day. So, aim for four servings of 20 g of protein at each meal or an average of ~0.24 g/kg of protein at every meal.


To meet your protein goals, it's essential to include protein-rich foods in your diet, such as chicken breast, turkey breast, salmon, tuna, low-fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, tofu, tempeh, seitan, lentils, chickpeas, and black beans. If you need help calculating your protein needs, try using a macro calculator like the one available on Promix's website.


Here's a list of some low-fat protein-rich foods with the appropriate amounts in ounces and grams to provide around 20 grams of protein. Please note that the protein content of these foods may slightly vary depending on cooking methods and preparation.


  • Chicken breast (3 ounces or 85 grams)

  • Turkey breast (3 ounces or 85 grams)

  • Salmon (3.5 ounces or 100 grams)

  • Tuna (3.5 ounces or 100 grams)

  • Low-fat cottage cheese (5 ounces or 140 grams)

  • Greek yogurt (7 ounces or 200 grams)

  • Tofu (3 ounces or 85 grams)

  • Tempeh (4 ounces or 113 grams)

  • Seitan (1 ounce or 28 grams)

  • Lentils (1 cup cooked): 6.5 ounces (185 grams)

  • Chickpeas (1 ½ cup cooked): 5 ounces (140 grams)

  • Black beans (1 ¼ cup cooked): 5.5 ounces (155 grams)

Don't let insufficient protein intake hinder your progress! Incorporate these foods into your diet and distribute them evenly throughout the day to fuel your muscle growth and achieve your desired results.

 

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