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Protein And Recovery 

Daily Protein Requirements 

Strength and Power Athlete 

1.8 - 2.0 g / kg / bw

Fat Loss Athlete

1.6 - 2 g / kg / bw

Endurance Athlete 

1.2 - 1.4 g / kg / bw

Weight Gain Athlete 

1.8 - 2 g / kg / bw

(William & Devlin, 1992; Williams, 1998; Tarnopolsky et al., Lemon,1992)

What happens if athletes do not Consume enough protein?

If the foods you eat do not provide you with enough protein (essential amino acids), your body quite literally breaks down protein-rich muscle tissues to access its required source of protein.

Therefore, the initial effect of low protein intake can be muscle wastage accompanied by increasing weakness and chronic fatigue, brittle hair and nails, pale skin and headaches.

There may also be an increased risk of infections due to lack of antibodies produced and athletes develop skin rashes.

Lack of protein can lead to some athletes to suffer with psychological issues, from emotional outbursts, crankiness, moodiness, problems with conflict resolution, depression, anxiety and lack of energy or desire to do anything. 

Why Do Athletes Need to Be Aware Of Their Protein Intake?

Van Loon (2011) states that protein intake of 0.75 g / kg body weight per day is inadequate for those who regularly participate in sports or exercise. However, the general ethos in sport science is that additional protein is required to compensate for the increased breakdown during & immediately after exercise, to allow for repair and growth of muscle mass. 

The greater the length and intensity of the exercise, more chance muscle glycogen will deplete and the body will then break down proteins into fuel. Athletes who regular exercise require higher protein requirements than the general population, with the Olympic Committee (IOC, 2010)  recommending 1.3 – 1.8 g/kg body weight / day. There are many variables to consider when recommending protein amounts, such as the goal of the athlete, phase of training, age, body type and other environmental issues such as occupation. 

Consuming more protein than you need offers no advantage in terms of health or physical performance. Additional protein will not be converted into muscle, nor will it increase muscle size, strength or stamina. Excess protein may be converted into glucose, but the majority will pass through your system as a waste product leading to gastrointestinal distress (Antonio et al, 2014) 

Foods Rich In protien to Add to Your Diet 

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Antonio, J., Peacock, C.A., Ellerbroek, A., Fromhoff, B (2004) The effect of consuming a high protein diet (4.4 g/kg/d) on body composition in resistant training individuals. Journal of the Internation Society of Sports Nutrition. 11- 19


International Olympic Committee (IOC) consensus statement on sports nutrition 2010. J Sports Sci. 2011; 29 (SI): S3-S4


Jeukendrup, A. & Gleeson, M (2010) Sport Nutrition (2nd Ed): An Introduction to Energy Production and Performance, Leeds, Human Kinetics.

Lemon, P.W.R (1992) Protein requirements and muscle mass / strength changes during intensive training in novice body builders. Journal of Applied Physiology. 73. (2) 767 - 775.

Tarnopolsky M.A., Gibala M., Jeukendrup A.E., Phillips S.M (2005) Nutritional needs of elite endurance athletes. Part I: Carbohydrate and fluid requirements. European Journal of Sport Science. 5: 3-14.

Williams, C and Devlin J.T (1992) Foods, Nutrition and Performance. An International Scientific Consensus. London. Chapman and Hall.  

Williams, M.H (1998) The Ergogenics Edge. Illinois: Human Kinetics 

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