Why protein and weight training are most important for menopausal women

menopause nutrition perimenopause training Nov 30, 2022

We know the benefits of high protein diets for preserving muscle tissue and for better body composition for satiety.


And we know the benefits of exercise and, particularly, resistance training for muscle growth and mental health for strength.


But why are these 2 things more important for women in Menopause?


We lose the muscle-building properties of our hormones as they flatline in menopause.

Does that mean we can’t build muscle and maintain a strong athletic body composition?


Absolutely NOT!


But the distribution of your protein intake and the timing of it, along with heavy resistance training, become MORE important to illicit the anabolic response that we otherwise lose from our hormones.


It is worth noting here that protein, after training drops cortisol and enhances lean mass development.


So Protein around your training window to ensure you have sufficient amino acids in the blood becomes a focus.


This is where BCAA's during training can be beneficial.


It is also good to consider that post-training window if you have to drive, shower or do other things before eating, which can take you then 60-90 mins before you refuel; you can get something small into your to tide you over and assist with the recovery process.


  • 20g - 40g WPI protein powder in water with a piece of fruit 
  • High protein yoghurt and fruit 


Then sit down to your proper meal with 20g-40g protein and complex whole grain carbs. 

**Protein that has a high leucine content, egg whites, chicken, whey protein**


Why heavy resistance training? 

 When we lose estrogen, we lose the stimulus at the satellite cell of the muscle to be stimulated growth - lose anabolic stimuli.


With age and changes in hormones, there is a decrease in the amount of fat our body uses at rest, and by default, we store more body fat. 


To mitigate this and stimulate the use of fat through high-intensity work that uses a lot of carbohydrates during exercise, then use more free fatty acids at rest. 


Resistance training, the heavy intense work, creates an anabolic response to drive muscle growth.

We lose anabolic stimulus from hormones when they flatline; heavy lifting gives us external stress, which is a strong anabolic signal.


So if you can do anything now to set you up for that transitional phase in peri-menopause and menopause, it is this...

Eat your protein at 20g-40g spread evenly throughout the day with the importance of pre/post-training fuel. 


Start to resistance train and lift heavy it's never too late to start. 

Do you want to learn more about your hormones and how to optimise your training and nutrition early to set yourself up for an easier ride into peri-menopause? Join the Proactive Perimenopause Community.