Protein has a wide variety of functions in the body that are imperative to reap the benefits from your training, including:
- Improves outcomes of training as it promotes training gains (e.g. muscle growth) during recovery from key training sessions
- Essential for repairing damaged muscle tissue during recovery process
- Fundamental for increasing and maintaining high level of muscle mass for optimal muscle strength & power
- Fundamental for healthy bones
THE RIGHT PROTEIN INTAKE IS CRUCIAL!
1. Choose high quality protein sources
Proteins are comprised of individual components, called amino acids. Some are classified as “essential”, which means the body cannot make them on its own so they must be regularly provided by diet. Therefore choose high-quality protein sources including all essential amino acids like eggs, (low-fat) dairy products, lean meat, poultry and fish. Soy products (e.g. tofu, soy drink) and quinoa are excellent plant protein sources for vegans and vegetarians.
2. More isn’t better when it comes to muscle building
20-25g of high-quality protein per serve seems to be sufficient for the maximal stimulation of new muscle protein during exercise recovery for young athletes. If you are smaller than 80kg you may need a little less than 25g per occasion. If you are a larger athlete, you will need a little more. To be more precise: A serving size of 0.30g high-quality protein per kg of body weight (potentially a slightly higher amount for plant based protein sources is recommended as suggested in emerging research).
3. Time your protein during the day correctly
For best results, maintain a good spread of protein intake over the day. Include the right amount of high-quality protein at breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and immediately after training sessions. To maximize muscle build and promote overnight recovery after resistance exercise, an additional protein serving just before bed might be right for you.