Nutrition

Protein is mainly used for structural roles in the body, for muscles and cell membranes as well as being used as part of many enzymes and for transport of nutrients around the body.

Proteins are made up of 20 different amino acids, 8 of which are essential, the remainder can be synthesised in the body. The only product to naturally contain all eight essential amino acids are eggs. The eight essential amino acids are:

valine
 leucine
isoleucine
 lysine
threonine
tryptophan
methionine
phenylalanine
histidine (in babies)

  

As with carbohydrate, for athletes it is difficult to assign a standard amount of protein required as a percentage of the total energy intake for each day. Therefore, protein requirements are also calculated in grams per kg of body weight per day.

Approximate requirements are as follows:

Type of Individual g/kg
 Sedentary 0.8
 General training 1.0
 Endurance training (moderate to heavy) 1.2 - 1.6
 Extreme training prior to competition 2.0
 Strength (heavy training) 1.2 - 1.7
 Adolescent athletes - with development needs 2.0

Athletes can gain all the protein needed from the diet. There are some cases where athletes may require a supplement, for example, vegetarians or vegans. Supplements provide a large amount of protein with little of anything else. If a supplement is required, a protein carbohydrate mix is the best way forward.

The following provide 10g protein:

2 small eggs 50g grilled fish
30g cheese 50g canned tuna/salmon
70g cottage cheese 250ml soya millk
40g lean chicken 120g tofu
35g lean beef 100g soya 'meat'

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