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Protein Requirements of Pre-Menopausal Female Athletes: Systematic Literature Review

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This systematic literature review aimed to determine the protein requirements of pre-menopausal (e.g., 18–45 years) female athletes and identify if the menstrual cycle phase and/or hormonal contraceptive use influence protein requirements. Four databases were searched for original research containing pre-menopausal female athletes that ingested protein alongside exercise. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Quality Criteria Checklist was used to determine study quality. Fourteen studies, which included 204 recreationally active or competitive females, met the eligibility criteria for inclusion in this review, and all were assessed as positive quality. The estimated average requirement (EAR) for protein intake of pre-menopausal recreational and/or competitive female athletes is similar for those undertaking aerobic endurance (1.28–1.63 g/kg/day), resistance (1.49 g/kg/day) and intermittent exercise (1.41 g/kg/day) of ~60–90 min duration. The optimal acute protein intake and influence of menstrual cycle phase or hormonal contraceptive use on protein requirements could not be determined. However, pre- and post-exercise protein intakes of 0.32–0.38 g/kg have demonstrated beneficial physiological responses in recreational and competitive female athletes completing resistance and intermittent exercise. The protein requirements outlined in this review can be used for planning and assessing protein intakes of recreational and competitive pre-menopausal female athletes.

History

Journal

Nutrients

Volume

12

Issue

11

Article number

3527

Pagination

1 - 20

Publisher

MDPI

Location

Basel, Switzerland

eISSN

2072-6643

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2020, the authors