Protein & Sports Nutrition

Proteins are linear combinations of amino acids that are needed in every process within the cells of a living organisms. For example: Growth and repair of our muscles, bones, tendons, the skin, and other tissues. In sports we often often only care about muscular development and recovery. That's why protein supply is so important for many athletes. The more intensive your training routine, the more protein you need. But you can also overload your body with protein, which can lead to nitrogen excess and harm your kidneys. There are 20 different amino acids, 8 of which are essential. Essential amino acids are amino acids our organism cannot synthesize on its own. If you eat meat (fish, pork, etc.) eggs and milk from time to time, you are usually consuming all of them in a balanced and healthy combination. Unfortunately a vegetable or a fruit never contains all 8 essential amino acids at once. That's why vegetarians have to find smart combinations in order to supply their bodies with all the essential amino acids. At the nutrition main page you can find more sports nutrition related articles.

Functions: Protein

  • Every process within the cells of a living organism. Growth, repair, etc.
  • Creation of enzymes. Enzymes are needed for metabolic reactions.
  • Immune system - Creation of antibodies
  • Creation of Hemoglobin which transports oxygen through the blood.
    Etc., there would be no life without proteins.

Recommended intake: Protein

  • Even if you are not working out, at least 10 percent of your nutrition should be protein. This percentage is taken from the total amount of calories. (not the grams) Keep in mind that the amount of calories in one gram fat, protein and a carbohydrates are not the same. (1g fat = 9 kcal) (1g protein = 4 kcal) (1g carb = 4 kcal)
  • Yes, you can overload your body with protein. Not much more than 30 percent of your nutrition should be protein. 2,8 grams per kg body weight = (6 grams per lbs) is usually the upper limit. However, most athletes only eat less than 2 or 3 grams per lbs.

What contains Protein:

  • Eggs - Especially the egg whites
  • Meat - Especially lean meat
  • Fish
  • Milk - Especially low fat milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese - Cottage cheese very rich in protein
    A rule of thumb: Smelly cheeses usually contain more protein.
  • Protein supplements - Protein powder and protein bars
  • Soy
  • Beans

Advice: Protein & Sports Nutrition

  • If you are working out, supply yourself with 15 to 25% protein. The more intensive your workouts, the more protein you need. A bodybuilder needs more protein than a marathon runner. The reason for this is that the muscles of a bodybuilder have to be repaired constantly and the goal of the sport is growth. A marathon runner on the other hand doesn't strain and destroy his muscles in every workout. His goal is endurance and small muscles - not growth.
  • The white bit of an egg contains around 3,6 grams (14,4 kcal) of protein. The rest is water. That's one of the purest, natural protein resources. The yellow bit has twice as much protein, but the problem is that it has almost 100 kcal, 70% of which is fat.
  • 100 grams of lean meat has around 20 grams of protein and fish even more. The rest is water and a few percent fat. (not carbohydrates.)
  • Protein shakes (powder) and bars are nice, tasty snacks and good if you don't have enough time for a real, natural dish. You should always prefer real food to flavored powders and bars. However, a protein bar is always better than a chocolate bar.
  • Learn how to calculate calories. Get yourself a nutrition resource book