Including protein in an athlete’s diet helps build, maintain and repair muscle. Eating protein does build and repair muscle especially after breaking them down in tough practices or work-outs, but adding more protein than the body can use will not build larger, stronger muscles. If an athlete includes healthy proteins in the appropriate amounts as a part of their regular snacks and meals, they will be getting enough and shouldn’t resort to using protein supplements.
Because it takes more work for the body to digest proteins, it satisfies the feelings of hunger so including small amounts of lean, low-fat proteins with a high-carb snack or meal every couple of hours will fuel muscles well and keep an athlete from constantly feeling hungry and overeating and adding unwanted weight.
• It’s best to have several small meals a day that are high in carbs with added protein.
• Don’t eat protein within a couple hours prior to practice, but follow practice with a carb + protein snack.
• Choose lean meats and low-fat, non-greasy sources of proteins.
Whole wheat breads
Peanut or almond butter
Nuts (especially almonds)
Lb of body weight X .54-.95gms= daily protein
15-25% of daily calories
Research shows, according to the American Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that most athletes are already consuming more protein than their body can use. Taking protein supplements or powdered shakes doesn’t guarantee the building of stronger muscles and may be contaminated with banned substances which could both be physically detrimental as well as put an athlete in the position of testing positive for prohibited substances causing serious consequences that would not allow them to continue competiting at higher levels of their sport.
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