What endurance athletes don’t know about protein could hurt them

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Welcome back to The Feed on the Endurance QuickCast I am Coach Rob and will be your host today. Rafal will be joining us again very soon on a topic that all athletes will find beneficial in their training and day-to-day lives.

One of the topics that come up often when I talk with my athletes regarding sports nutrition and daily nutrition whether it’s for weight loss or for performance reason is protein. Such as, how much protein should I consume what kind, can’t I just get it from my diet, why do I need to worry about it, when should I be consuming it and is there a downside to consuming large amounts of protein? Just to list few questions!

Before we get started I have some notes to share.

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Ok back to the topic of the show…

The best definition I found that didn’t sound like it came from an advanced biochemistry textbook comes to us from medicinenet.com

Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order determined by the base sequence of nucleotides in the DNA coding for the protein.

Proteins are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s cells, tissues, and organs. Each protein has unique functions. Proteins are essential components of muscles, skin, bones and the body as a whole.

Examples of proteins include whole classes of important molecules, among them enzymes, hormones, and antibodies.

Proteins are one of the three types of nutrients used as energy sources by the body, the other two being carbohydrate and fat. Proteins and carbohydrates each provide 4 calories of energy per gram, while fats produce 9 calories per gram.


What do proteins do for us? Proteins can be described according to their large range of functions in the body

From the US Library of Medicine Genetics Home Reference

Antibody Antibodies bind to specific foreign particles, such as viruses and bacteria, to help protect the body. Immunoglobulin G (IgG)
Enzyme Enzymes carry out almost all of the thousands of chemical reactions that take place in cells. They also assist with the formation of new molecules by reading the genetic information stored in DNA. Phenylalanine hydroxylase
Messenger messenger proteins, such as some types of hormones, transmit signals to coordinate biological processes between different cells, tissues, and organs. Growth hormone
Structural component These proteins provide structure and support for cells. On a larger scale, they also allow the body to move. Actin
Transport/storage These proteins bind and carry atoms and small molecules within cells and throughout the body. Ferritin


Where is Protein found?

Protein is a macronutrient found in many foods such as red meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts, tofu, beans, seeds, and other sources.

Protein Supplementation is often a part of an athlete’s sports nutrition diet. We usually supplement with protein in an effort to recover from training, improve body composition and improve muscle strength. Protein supplements come in a variety of formulas, pills, powders, and ready to eat bars.

Protein supplements include Whey, Casein, Egg, Soy, Rice, Hemp and Pea Proteins


Do endurance athlete’s have different protein requirements?

“With adequate energy and carbohydrate intake, low to moderate intensity endurance activity has little impact on dietary protein requirements and 1.0 gPRO/kg/d is sufficient. The only situation where dietary protein requirements exceed those for relatively sedentary individuals is in top sports athletes where the maximal requirement is approximately 1.6 gPRO/kg/d. Although most endurance athletes get enough protein to support any increased requirements, those with low energy or carbohydrate intakes may require nutritional advice to optimize dietary protein intake.”

Is there an optimal time to consume protein?

So far everything I have read has stated that we as athletes are better off consuming some protein pre and post-training following the recommended dosing per weight.

Can too much protein be bad for our health?

Kidney damage, heart disease, ketosis, GI issues, weight gain, poor mood,

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