Confused about protein and carbs?

July 20, 2023

Confused about protein and carbs?

Questions around eating protein and carbs may sound basic however it’s key you get it right!

Interestingly the two of the most common questions we receive from listeners are:

1.    How do I eat enough protein?

2.    What should my carb intake be?

Join us today as a refresher on these two important macronutrients.

If you have any questions you would like us to answer/discuss in this space then please get in touch with us at

Our Sponsors For This Show

A big thank you to our Show Sponsor AMAZING JANE ACTIVEWEAR

Please use COUPON CODE RHH10 to get 10% discount on ALL Purchases at


Confused about protein and carbs?


Why is protein important for a mid-life female runner?

When we exercise, muscle tissue breaks down and then the body activates muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to repair muscle.

The ratio of MPS to MPB (breakdown) determines whether muscle tissues are built or lost. If MPS is higher than MP Breakdown, muscle growth is achieved. If MPB is higher than MPS, the opposite occurs. When we eat protein, it’s digested and broken down into amino acids which are used for many functions including muscle rebuilding.


How much protein should mid-life women eat on a daily basis?

Midlife women have specific requirements for protein intake. Research indicates that protein intake for women in this group is between 1.2g – 1.6g/kg/BW per day.

We may not digest and absorb protein optimally as we age and ageing skeletal muscle has a reduced ability to respond to amino acid levels so that’s why we require to consume more protein daily than younger women.

As an example for a woman weighing 70kg – her daily protein requirements would be between 84g – 112g of protein per day.

If you don’t want to calculate your protein intake per day in grams then an easy approach is to have ¼ plate of protein at every meal so 3 times per day plus protein based snacks.


Should you eat all your protein in one meal or spread it across the day?

There is conflicting research regarding whether there are benefits to spreading protein intake across the day or eating all your protein in one meal.

Our view is it’s best to spread your protein across your meals and some snacks, we feel that digestion will be more effective in this way and as we know it’ll also support blood sugar balance and therefore even energy levels and body composition too.

OUR MANTRA is to eat protein with every meal or snack not only to promote MPS but also to manage blood sugar as protein slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. The key is to be consistent. Personally I’d never have a meal that didn’t include protein.


An example of daily protein intake is you’re an omnivore like Aileen.


An example of daily protein intake is you’re an vegetarian like Karen.


Plant based protein sources for vegans.


Are you ready to move away from DIY nutrition to personalised nutrition? Book a complimentary work with us call to find out more about our personalised nutrition programmes.


What should my carb intake be?


An overview of different types of carbs and what their role is for a runner.

  • LOW GL – Complex Carbs – Slow Release Carbs
  • HIGH GL – Quick Release Carbs


How much carbohydrate do I need?


What is the impact of over or under eating carbohydrate foods?


Aileen’s insights into following a very low carbohydrate food plan and the impact of health and on running performance.


The importance of eating enough carbohydrate – not too much and not too little and Aileen’s experiment using a blood sugar monitor.


An action step to get you started – see below

Female Factors

Midlife and post menopausal women have a higher protein requirement than younger women – aim for between 1.2-1.6 g/kg/body weight per day


An action step to get you started 

Portion control and plate balance is key for both protein and carbohydrate consumption.

Take a moment before you eat, check out your plate, ask yourself is the protein and carb portion right for you today? And if it isn’t, adjust the portion size. Either add something to your plate or eat a bit less of something.

Keep practicing and be mindful of what you are eating and your choices are impacting on energy, health, body composition and running performance.

Related Episodes:


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Remember we are available to support you if required contact us at hello@

If you’ve enjoyed our Confused about protein and carbs? article, click here to find more blog posts.

You can also find out more on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.