Muscle Loss in Women: Foods That Can Help Build Muscle

Muscle Loss in Women: Foods That Can Help Build Muscle

Muscle loss, also called sarcopenia, affects how strong and well our muscles work. What's interesting is that while anyone can experience it, it's more common in women than in men.1

Sarcopenia is often linked with getting older, but it's not just something that affects older adults. Women of all ages, even as young as 30, can deal with muscle loss for several reasons, including hormonal changes, not being active enough, not eating well, and having certain medical conditions.2,3

Muscle loss is a big deal because it can make you weaker, cause problems with moving around, and make you more likely to get hurt.

In this blog, we explore why women are susceptible to muscle loss and uncover the power of certain foods that can help rebuild muscle.

Causes of Muscle Loss in Women

Before we explore the foods that can help you rebuild strength, it's important to understand why muscle loss can happen, particularly in women. This understanding helps us focus on preventing muscle loss more effectively.

1. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as autoimmune disorders, cancer, and chronic diseases, can also contribute to muscle loss.

2. Sedentary lifestyle: Not staying active or exercising enough can speed up muscle loss because our muscles need regular use to stay strong.

3. Poor nutrition: Not eating enough protein and essential nutrients that our muscles need can cause muscle wasting.4

4. Aging: As women age, they tend to experience a natural decline in muscle mass. This is primarily due to reduced protein storage and a decrease in the body's ability to build new muscle tissue, which is influenced by declining estrogen levels as they age.5

5. Hormonal changes: Changes in hormones, like estrogen, can play a role in muscle loss, especially when women go through menopause.6

Foods That Can Help Rebuild Muscle Strength

Eating a balanced diet with high-quality protein is essential for helping muscles grow, but just eating well isn't sufficient to build muscle. It's also important to be physically active.

If you don't engage in regular exercise and resistance training, your muscles can become weaker and less effective over time. This is where the saying "use it or lose it" comes into play— if you don't use your muscles, you may lose them. So, while good nutrition provides the basic materials, it's the combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise that's key to keeping your muscles strong and developing them further.

That being said, these seven foods, paired with physical activity, can play a role in rebuilding muscle strength:

1. Lean protein sources

This includes chicken breast, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of beef or pork. Plant-based options like tofu, tempeh, lentils, beans, and chickpeas are also available for vegetarians and vegans. Additionally, protein-rich dairy products such as Greek yogurt and cottage cheese can be included.

Incorporating these foods into your diet consistently can be challenging. You may consider adding protein supplements, including whey protein isolate or plant-based protein options.

2. Eggs

Eggs are a complete protein source, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids needed for muscle repair and growth. Additionally, they provide important nutrients like vitamin D, which is crucial for muscle function.

3. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is not just packed with protein; it's also loaded with calcium, which is vital for muscle contraction. Additionally, it contains probiotics that help keep your gut healthy, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients.

4. Nuts and seeds

Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are full of protein, healthy fats, and essential micronutrients like magnesium and zinc, which are crucial for keeping your muscles healthy. These foods make for convenient and nutritious snacks to add to your diet.

5. Leafy greens

Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are fantastic sources of vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium, which help support muscle function and overall health. Additionally, they contain nitrates that might enhance muscle efficiency during exercise, making them a great addition to your diet for keeping your muscles strong and healthy.

6. Berries

Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants that can help decrease inflammation and oxidative stress, which are essential for muscle recovery after exercise. Additionally, they provide carbohydrates, giving you the energy you need to power through your workouts. Incorporating these delicious fruits into your diet can support your muscle health and overall well-being.

7. Fatty fish

Salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and help with muscle repair and growth. Adding fatty fish to your diet can reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery after exercise.


It's important for women to maintain muscle strength for their overall health and well-being, no matter their age. By understanding why muscle loss happens and including nutrient-rich foods in your diet along with regular exercise, you can support your muscles and regain strength.

Make sure to get enough high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals to keep your muscles nourished and strong. Along with a balanced diet, regular exercise, especially resistance training, can support muscle health and overall fitness. By focusing on good nutrition and staying active, women can reduce the effects of muscle loss and enjoy better strength, mobility, and quality of life.7


1. Yang Y et al. PeerJ. 2022;10:e13678.
2. Hwang J et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(12):7232.
3. Rosa-Caldwell ME et al. Biol Sex Differ. 2019;10:43.
4. Carbone JW et al. Nutrients. 2019;11(5):1136.
5. Collins BC et al. Bone. 2019;123:137–144.
6. Ko J et al. Iran J Public Health. 2021;50(2):413–414.
7. National Institute on Aging. 2022. Accessed from 

This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a qualified healthcare provider with any questions in regard to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.

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