Is Protein Important For Athletes?

Why Is Protein Important For Athletes?

Protein helps repair and rebuild muscles after exercise and can also be used during exercise as an energy source, particularly when carbohydrate reserves are very low. Protein needs for most athletes can be met by a well-balanced diet. You should consume high-quality protein food or Supplements.

Strength training athletes or endurance athletes often need more protein, with recommended requirements of 1.2 -1.7g/kg of body mass per day. Protein supplements and shakes can be useful to achieve this. The supplements also supply fluid intake for the body.

What Is The Role Of Protein In Metabolism

The energy that you get from nutrition can be broken down as follows:

  • 50% from carbohydrates,
  • 35% from fats and
  • 15% from proteins.

The type of exercise you are undertaking determines your protein requirements and when you consider your food intake, attention must be paid to the type of food that you eat. Different foods have different values for protein and in an active or muscle-building exercise, you must ensure that you eat foods with high protein content. This is where Protein Supplements play an important role.

Protein is a special essential nutrient and is equally as important as energy for supporting the function of the body in sports. Protein provides amino acids to the body which the human body cannot produce itself. Protein has three important roles in satisfying the needs of cells and tissues throughout our bodies, not simply skeletal muscle.
As mentioned, protein from a variety of food sources provides a balance of amino acids, both essential and nonessential, to support cellular and tissue functions to repair and renew. It also helps build a defence against infections, disease, and injuries. Athletes who are building muscles through strength training need protein during these growth periods. but not more than is recommended. Recreational athletes will not need more protein because they need protein only for tissue repair and renewal.

Mixing animal proteins and plant protein provide more protein. The main concern about animal proteins is that they contain cholesterol and saturated fat. This can cause health issues like heart disease, diabetes and other diseases for athletes. No, protein must be consumed with one or more other proteins in a meal in order to obtain a mix of all the amino acids.

Plant proteins generally are limited to one or two essential amino acids and therefore a mixture of plant proteins will ensure a higher and richer protein quality. Soy protein has a protein quality equivalent to that of beef. Other legumes, peas, and beans, also have fairly high protein quality.

Vegetarian diets rich in plant proteins provide sufficient amounts of all amino acids needed by competitive athletes as long as a variety of foods are consumed and enough energy is ingested from carbohydrates.

Protein needs fats, omega-3 fatty acids to help to provide energy in the body. Competitive athletes need to maintain energy balance and therefore energy intake and energy used on a daily basis must be controlled. If you do not control your protein intake or omega-3 fatty acids and consumed them in large amounts, this can lead to too much acid in the body and muscles and can cause toxicity in your body and have side effects.

What Is Protein: Food Sources And Supplements

Whey, casein and soy proteins are all proteins found in foods that are consumed every day or in supplements. The primary source of Whey is dairy products. Soy protein is delivered from soybeans and used in a variety of products. There are also a variety of soy supplements and foods commercially available.

What Is Whey Protein?

Milk is approximately 87% water, with the remaining 13% as solids. The 13% solids are composed of 30% fat, 27% Protein, and 6% minerals. 27% of the milk is protein, 20% is Whey protein and 80% is Casein protein. By drinking whole milk or full cream milk you will ingest a larger portion of protein in the form of casein than whey. During the process of making cheese, whey protein is separated into a liquid and was originally thought to be a waste product. However, whey is now considered to be a good source of protein and is now commonly processed into protein powders and many other products. Whey protein contains all 21 amino acids it is an excellent supplement ingredient.

What Is Casein Protein?

Casein is the other, larger, protein in milk, it’s about 80% of the milk protein. Casein if the protein source of cheese and forms curds during processing. The clotting properties of casein cause it to be digested and released into the intestine slowly.

What Is Soy Protein?

Soy protein you get from soybeans. Whole soybeans are 40% protein with the remaining percentage of macro nutrition being fat, carbohydrates and fire. The carbohydrate in soybeans is made up of several sugars that our body cannot digest.

How Much Protein Do Athletes Actually Need

Now that we know and have a general idea of how protein is used to promote muscle growth, we need to find out how much protein you actually need to consume in order to get good results.

Total calories /g of Protein: 4 calories per 1 gram of protein

  • The average intake of protein in normal diets: 1.2 – 1.7g protein/kg of body weight
  • Strength and speed athletes: 1.2 – 1.7g protein/kg of body weight
  • Endurance athletes: 1.2 – 1.4g protein/kg of body weight

Protein Before Events And Training

  • Older athletes have greater protein needs, to compensate for anabolic resistance and hypermetabolic disease
  • older athletes may also have decreased intake due to age-related appetite loss, medical conditions or financial limits
  • An optimal intake of at least 1.0 to 1.5g protein/kg a day is recommended. Individual needs depend upon the severity of malnutrition risks.

Generally, we need to eat during and after workouts with the following three goals in mind:

  • Replenish energy stores
  • increase muscle size and/or muscle quality
  • repairs any damage caused by the activity

Eating before training or competitions helps the athletes to feel energetic and help to maintain blood sugar levels. Fluid intake is also important to prevent dehydration. You need to drink about 1 litre per hour in a two-hour training.

Protein is not a stored nutrient and all protein exists in the body in a functional form. Protein is involved in tissue building and forms part of the key enzymes and hormones that carry out functions at rest and during exercise. Protein is a key component of antibodies that protect the immune system. It is important to remember that an adequate protein intake is important at all times.

Eating for Recovery And Feel Great After Exercise

Your focus during recovery should be on carbohydrates, especially within 15 to 30 minutes after the activity, when cells are especially receptive to the uptake of glucose. During this time, you should consume 1.0 to 1.5g/kg of a rapid-acting carbohydrate or a ratio of 4 grams of carbohydrates to 1 gram of protein. After 30 minutes, your focus should be on a mixed meal with adequate carbohydrates, protein, fat and fluids.

Donovan Will – Ironman, Jan 2016 Herbalife24 supplement user

Protein intake has other important uses after exercise. Protein provides the amino acids necessary to rebuild your muscle and tissues that are damaged during intense, prolonged exercise. It can also increase the absorption of water from the intestines and improve muscle hydration. If you are looking for the best way to refuel your body after long, strenuous endurance exercise then an approved Sports Nutrition drink and hydration drink is suggested. I use Herbalife CDR7 Drive because it is quick and easy to mix and cannot go bad or lose nutrients while exercising or in humid areas.

“Diet significantly influences athletic performance. A diet that provides adequate energy from a wide range of commonly available foods can meet the carbohydrate, fat, and, micronutrient requirements of training and competition” 2010 – IOC Consensus Statement.

Why Do Supplements Play An Important Role?

Do not take the risk of trying to get a competitive edge that could ruin your athletic career. Keep your Performance Supplements CLEAN.

As an athlete, the responsibility lies with you to know whether a medication you have been taking for years, a new protein powder or any supplement is safe and suitable to eat or drink. It does not matter whether you compete as an athlete or recreational athlete, you alone are ultimately responsible for ensuring that anything you consume is safe and not on the WADA prohibited substances list.

Supplements WILL NOT make up for the lack of training, poor nutrition or inadequate rest. They are what they are called. They supplement your diet.

Protein Supplements can be a practical way for athletes to meet their increased protein requirements quickly or if some people experience exercise-induced poor appetite after high-intensity exercise, protein shakes may be better than whole food.

Some evidence and research indicate that the use of whey protein supplements may improve recovery and exercise performance during intense exercise. However, the overall evidence base is insufficient to prove their effectiveness.

An investigation by the UK Medicines board found that 84 sports nutrition products on the market contained dangerous ingredients including steroids, stimulants, and hormones which can result in; kidney failure, seizures or heart problems.

Side effects of over-the-counter protein supplements include:

Buttocks injury – sportswoman in pain
  • dehydration
  • constipation
  • increased bowel movements
  • nausea
  • cramps
  • bloating
  • reduced appetite
  • fatigue
  • interaction with medication

Now, Protein Supplements are not always nutritionally balanced and could lead to unwanted weight gain. As some protein supplements also contain carbohydrate and fat they can have a high-calorie content which can lead to weight gain it exercises levels are not high enough.

If you compare the cheapest protein shakes to the cheapest workout snack, the shake will cost roughly more than an Unhealthy McDonald’s Cheeseburger. You need to decide how serious you are about your nutrition. If you are serious about your nutrition, watch this video about the science behind the supplements that I recommend.

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All Herbalife24 Sports Nutrition come with research and advice, with no banned supplements in their products. They are safe for use by all athletes, young and old.

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