Most professionals use the simple and safest formula for figuring out an athlete's protein needs and that's ~ 1gm of protein per pound of body weight. More protein is unnecessary unless severely dieting for weight loss. Exercisers and athletes generally have a higher protein requirement than their sedentary counterparts, which is slightly less than .5gm/LB. Additionally, proper timing of protein ingestion around the workout (30 minutes before and immediately after) and spread evenly throughout the day can dramatically enhance exercise-induced results. This is especially true for recovery, which is most important to "in-training" athletes. Using the dotFIT program, you can design ideal athletic menus individualized for you including proper protein requirements, meal timing and complete food plans. Simply fill in your personal statistics and create your program.
Muscles and other body tissues are made up of proteins. Although protein contains the same amount of energy as carbohydrates, its primary function is the growth and repair of these tissues. Because it is not the body’s preferred source of energy, very little protein is used for fuel unless carbohydrate availability is limited or energy demands are extreme. In this case, protein is detoured from its main functions and broken down for fuel. Consuming adequate amounts of carbohydrates insures that protein is used for building and repairing tissues and preventing the loss of muscle; in other words, carbohydrate is protein sparing. General protein recommendations are listed below:
- Protein should make up approximately 15 to 25 percent of your total daily calories, which most young athletes meet with a typical diet.
- The daily protein requirement can be up to 1gm/LB of body weight.
- Lean meats, poultry (chicken, turkey) without skin, fish, eggs and soy products are excellent sources of protein. Other sources include beans, nuts and dairy products.
Good/Better Protein Meal Choices
-Beef (fillets, flank, ground, round, etc.)
-Most any fish Fried Meats
Shakes/bars when necessary
-Convenient fill-in when meals lack protein -Fish and chips
Beans, lentils, nuts & whole grains
Not So Great Protein Meal Choices
-Most fast food burgers
-Chicken including tenders, etc.
(Never consume any of these not-so-great choices within one hour of event.)