Female team athletes may need more protein for optimal recovery than previous research has suggested, according to a new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine’s flagship journal. This study looked at six women engaging in variable-intensity intermittent exercise, the activity style common to most team sports. Authors found the athletes needed about 1.4–1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for optimal recovery—well into ACSM’s recommended range of 1.2–2 g/kg/d and much more than the National Academy of Medicine’s minimal requirement of 0.8 g/kg/d.

Of course, a study of six women is hardly representative of the entire population and does not warrant changing general guidelines. But it is worth
noting as another data point in our efforts to determine the best nutrient intakes for athletic performance.