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The Flipping 50 Show

Let's start Flipping 50 with the energy and the vitality you want for this second half! I solve your biggest challenges and answer questions about how to move, what to eat, and when, along with the small lifestyle changes that can make the most difference in the least amount of time. Join me and my expert guests for safe, sane, simple solutions for your second (and better) half!

May 11, 2023

“Why am I bloated?” It’s a conversation starter for many of the clients and students I’ve worked with. First, this. Midlife gut issues are common, not normal. Ironically, some of the healthy habits you have may be getting in the way of your optimal absorption of nutrients, digestion and or elimination. 

In a recent previous episode, Protein Supplements: What, When & Why to Exercise for Women 40+ (make this a live link)

Why Whey Protein Doesn’t Work for Many at Midlife 

What’s important to keep in mind is that whey is notoriously the go-to. However, of the many whey protein powders on the market a very high percent were found to have toxins, sugars, or significant heavy metals (mercury and lead) and weren’t third party tested before reaching the shelf.

The advantage of whey and reason it’s been so widely used by body builders is the rapid absorption – making it easy to digest pre and or post workout. It supports muscle repair and recovery and glycogen replacement very well. 

It is dairy, however. A known inflammatory (especially if you have an autoimmune issue like arthritis, lupus or Hashimoto’s) dairy is one of the first things that removed will improve health and decrease aches and pains and reduce inflammatory markers. Many women in midlife find with hormone changes – related to the hormone influence on the gut – dairy causes bloating, constipation, diarrhea, skin or joint pain, when it hadn’t before. 

Soy Protein for Women in Menopause

Soy is another ingredient or protein option whether in powder or as milk, tofu, or other source. It however has a history as an obesogenic, goitrogenic, and estrogenic. That is, respectively it causes fat storage, disrupts thyroid function, and confuses the body to think it’s estrogen. 

Egg Protein Powder or Scrambled for Muscle Building?

Less popular, but also on the shelves are egg protein powders. Eggs, though categorized differently than dairy, can also be highly likely to be food sensitivities. Occasionally, eggs may work. Daily though this is where the gut is subject over and over to a type of assault that will make it hard to heal from any existing gut issue. Even little bits of the right medicine make you well. By the same token, little bits regularly of the wrong food can make you sick or interfere with your optimal health. 

You will find brown rice protein powder as well. This isn’t a complete protein, will have more carbohydrate. But is cheaper, for a reason. I think of this as “filler.” If it’s a part of protein powders, you want to check on the amount. Where is it listed in the ingredients.  

What Are Non-Allergenic Protein Powder Options for Women Over 40?

So, that leaves a hydrolyzed beef option for animal protein (complete essential amino acids but fewer than even a plant protein and a little bit more like collagen) and a plant-based option like Pea, pumpkin, or hemp. Pea, pumpkin and hemp are all complete proteins, meaning they have all the essential amino acids in them. 

My choice for muscle is a Pea-based protein powder with added collagen and hemp hearts.

Your best bet is of course animal protein and with it you’ll reach a high amount of 3 particularly important EAA, called Branch Chain AAs. Those are leucine, isoleusine, and valine. The greatest of these is leucine. Ideally, you want 2.3-2.5 minimum of leucine per meal of 30 or more gm of protein. With animal protein that’s easy. With plant it’s not as easy. For older adults as well as for body builders and endurance athletes – three populations with greatest demand for protein for muscle preservation or building – high or at least adequate leucine levels are scientifically tied to better results. 

Should you supplement with BCAAs..

For women not eating adequate calories or protein, the first step would be to take EAA. You need them all. 

If you’re eating all the protein you need in a day, the next step if you’re struggling to gain muscle would be BCAA. If you skip from a low protein diet, or completely from plants to BCAAs the other building blocks of muscle aren’t there. That’s a shaky foundation. 

Plan your meals around high quality protein. Plant or animal sources can all count. Consider what’s missing. Is there a way to add this with food? Do you want or need to consider supplementation either in a powder – adding a shake to your meal, or in tablets – based on the feedback your body is giving you? 

Track the Results of Supplements on Your Body

Track your muscle. Track your body composition. Pay attention to digestive and elimination issues you may be passing off as “normal.”

Keep in mind too that at 70 adults have about 10% of the stomach acid they did at 20. That is the very thing that helps you digest food. Eating stressed, rushed or doing 3 other things while eating? Even if you’re not 70, there’s a high chance you’re not going to digest well. 

A few things CAN help. 

First, take a few deep breaths before you eat. 

Turn other stimuli off. 

Try bitters sprayed on the tongue or apple cider vinegar in water just before a meal to stimulate your own stomach acid. 

If those don’t help you, consider taking Betaine HCL before meals. The caps go in, then help stimulate gastric juices so you breakdown the proteins in foods and digest better. Many notice within days they experience less bloating after meals. That’s betaine HCL, it's not a brand name, it’s the only ingredient. 


Smart Scale:

Betaine HCL

Women’s Exercise 40+ Event:

Other Posts You Might Like: 

Protein Supplements for Muscle Building:

What to Know About Creatine Supplementation: