Recovery & Nutrition For The Midlife Woman

Have you noticed a reduction in your ability to either train hard or recover from hard training?


In our 30s and even most of our 40s, we can train hard and diet hard, and maintain muscle and lower body fat. But as we get older this is not necessarily the case. Training can feel harder and recovery can take longer, especially if we are still training like we did when we were in our 30s and most of our 40s.


This is when nutrition becomes all about eating for recovery and less about eating for weight loss. Not that we can completely ignore the need to lower total body fat if we are feeling heavier than we want to be, this is not the point of this post. What I am really wanting to share is the notion that recovery after exercise is more important now than ever and when we prioritise recovery by eating the right types of food, we can influence our muscle mass more effectively (ie increase muscle mass) and lower body fat as a side effect.


"Muscle loss can leave women at risk of insulin resistance (inability to take glucose into cells) and osteoporosis and we definitely want to avoid this as we age".

At midlife, the changes in a woman's body see women becoming better at long slow distance movement and in fact, many women go on to become excellent long-distance athletes in their later years. BUT (there is always a but), we are at the same time losing strength and power as a result of muscle loss. Muscle loss can leave women at risk of insulin resistance (inability to take glucose into cells) and osteoporosis and we definitely want to avoid this as we age.


So what can we do?


This is when training for strength and power becomes so important.


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There needs to be some exercise stress that leads to muscle growth and an increase in strength and power. Think lifting heavy things, jumping, skipping and multidirectional movements that challenge the joints to be strong and resilient.


"When calorie intake is below energy needs, we risk losing muscle mass and reduce our ability to recover from the exercise stimulus".

This doesn't mean an end to your long-distance performance dreams, but it may mean a rethink of your training that incorporated some more powerful movements and heavy strength sessions appropriate to your fitness level.


This is also the time when nutrition for recovery becomes even more important.


In order to build muscle, we need sufficient calories and lots of protein. When calorie intake is below energy needs, we risk losing muscle mass and reduce our ability to recover from the exercise stimulus.


Protein recommendations for midlife women are about 2g of protein per kg of bodyweight.


Spread your protein intake evenly across a day with an emphasis on consuming about 40g of protein around heavy training sessions. This can be split into 15g of protein prior to training and 25g within 30 minutes of completing your session for best effect. (Dr Stacy Sims 2020).


Have any questions or want more support?

Send me a message.






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Melanie Briony is a fitness and lifestyle coach who supports midlife women (over 40) as they move into the peri and post-menopause years. This is a huge time of change for a woman, nothing is as it used to be. The restrictive diets and hard exercise regimes that worked in your 30s just won’t cut it anymore. Melanie is here to show you how your changing hormones are impacting on your body and what you can do to take back the reins and bring about positive change. At midlife, a woman has to learn how to work ‘with’ her body. This includes - managing stress, eating the right foods at the right time, sleeping longer, saying no more often and taking back her power. “You are not about to disappear into the mist of old age, you have the strength and courage to move through this transition and come out the other side as a stronger and wiser version of you”. Contact Melanie to find out more about how she can support you.

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