Often referred to as the building blocks for our bodies, protein provides us with all the ingredients our body needs to repair, recover and grow. Within sports performance, this becomes even more important as muscles are overloaded and need to recover and repair – and so we get stronger! How much is enough, and does it matter where it comes from, and when we consume it?
The general consensus for strength and endurance athletes, is around 1.2-2.0g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day (compared to guidelines for the general population of around 0.75g – 1g per kg of bodyweight).
Where do I get my protein from?
The essential amino acids are found in all animal proteins (however some high protein meats/dairy can also be high in saturated fat), and if a wide variety of plant proteins are consumed, the essential daily recommended intake of amino acids should be met.
When should I consume my protein?
For active athletes, it is beneficial to be consuming a portion of protein at each mealtime and spreading the protein intake out throughout the day, in addition, around 15 – 25g of protein should be taken immediately following exercise (with some carbohydrate to ensure you have sufficient energy to kick start the recovery and repair process).
Its a great topic to discuss, and we shall continue to develop our understanding of proteins for sports performance. But for now, use a nutrition app or similar to track your macronutrients, are you getting enough (quality) protein, and are you supporting your recovery and repair process following your training or racing?