Why do you need protein?
Protein is an essential nutrient in the diet which has a number of very important functions including building tissues such as ligaments and tendons, cell membranes and muscle cells as well as acting as enzymes or mechanisms of transport.
Proteins are made up of sequences of 20 amino acids. 8 of which must come from the diet as they can’t be made in the body.
Do different sports require more protein?
Depending on what sport you are doing the amount of protein required will vary. Endurance athletes carrying out heavy training require extra protein to cover a small amount of the energy costs and also to help with repair and recovery following exercise.
Strength athletes who are looking to gain muscle mass, require more protein in the early stages of intensive resistance training. However, it has been shown that strength athletes muscle adapt well to the stress of resistance exercise, meaning the protein requirements in a very well trained athlete is only slightly greater than that of generally active people.
Is it important when you eat protein?
Yes. Although it can be a challenge to fit in a recovery after a workout or competition it is very important that you make sure you do. By consuming protein immediately after exercise it enhances muscle uptake, retention of amino acids and promotes a more positive protein balance. Following exercise your body has a heightened state of protein metabolism which lasts for around 24 hours which means it is important for you to look at the spread of your protein intake throughout the day as well as the period immediately after exercise.
By planning ahead and making sure you have something on hand to eat as soon as possible following exercise to give yourself the best possible recovery.
Can you have too much protein?
Yes. High protein intakes has been shown to increase the amount of calcium that is excreted in the urine which may cause proteins in people who are at risk of weakened bones – for example, female athletes with low energy intakes. High protein intakes are also known to speed up the progression of a pre-existing kidney disease.
Not only does an excessive intake of protein tend to be expensive due to the fact supplements tend to be the issue, but a major concern with focussing too much on high protein foods is they may displace other valuable foods – e.g. fruit and veg.
Should you use supplements?
Generally, you can obtain all of your protein requirements from a well balanced diet. Supplements tend to be very expensive due to the amount of marketing that goes with them to try persuade people to buy them. They usually provide very large amounts of protein but very little other nutrients.
Judging by the amount of protein you are able to get from everyday food sources I find it impossible to justify the excessive cost of supplements and would say there is really no need for the amount of protein that is provided in these products.
To make sure you have the right amount of protein for your sport. Contact Craig to help achieve your goals.