Let’s face it one of the many questions we have as triathletes and endurance athletes is how much protein do we need daily and am I getting enough of it? To answer this we need a little bit of insider knowledge of what protein is? And what it does inside the human body?
What are Proteins?
Proteins are compounds composed of many Amino Acids linked together like a Chain by forming a peptide bond. This Chain of Amino Acids is then wrapped around itself to form many different types of structures. These relatively larger structures are then pieced together like building blocks to form tissues in the body such as muscles, skin, bone, and many more critical body parts.
Proteins role in the body:
Protein is the second most abundant molecule in the human body and is absolutely essential for survival. As tissues in the body break down or get injured you need dietary protein to repair or regrow these tissues this is especially important to endurance athletes. Not only does the human body use protein to grow and repair it will also use proteins as a source of energy through a process known as gluconeogenesis although this is not a preferred source of energy.
How much protein do I need?
There is much debate on protein requirements I personally feel that we already consume too much protein in our diets so this is what I recommend depending on your activity level.
• Recreational Endurance .36g/lbs
• Resistance Training .36g/lbs
• Moderate Endurance .54g/lbs
• Elite Female Endurance .53-.63g/lbs
• Elite Male Endurance .72g/lbs
• Muscle Maintenance .36g/lbs-.54g/lbs
• g/lbs= Grams per Pound
If I am a 180lb man that is a moderate endurance athlete I need about 97g (180lbs X .54g/lbs) of protein per day. What I recommend for this is to break those 97 grams up into 4-5 meals, so for each meal 20-25g would be adequate on a daily basis. Remember that a piece of chicken the size of a deck of cards is 20-25g of protein.
There are many sources of protein and meat is not the only source you can also find it in Beans, Nuts, Whole Grains and many more. I encourage you to go out there any try many different types of protein my personal favorite is from Pepitas also known as pumpkin seeds. This is not all there is to Protein I would need much more of your time to tell you that story but if you are interested in finding out more check this out. Click Here.