RECOMMENDED PROTEIN INTAKE FOR ATHLETES

RECOMMENDED PROTEIN INTAKE FOR ATHLETES

By SIS - Science In Sport | 11 May 2019

It is commonly believed that the more proteins you get, the stronger your body becomes.

But, as often happens in the sports world, you can not ‘measure out’ the reality as well.

Besides the amount, that has to be the right one, other factors need to be taken into account, that are the timing of protein intake and the type of proteins you get.

A healthy and sedentary person should get about 0.8 grams of proteins per kilogram of body weight per day. The developmental age person and the woman during pregnancy and breastfeeding should get more proteins.

According to recent studies, an athlete is not needed to exceed 2 grams of proteins per kilogram of body weight per day, but it is strictly necessary to get proteins at the right time.

PROTEIN NEEDS OF ATHLETES

INTENSITY ACTIVITY PROTEIN AMOUNT RECOMMENDED
Sedentaries (adults) 0.8 (g/kg/daily)
Recreational Exercise (adults) 1,0 – 1,4 (g/kg/daily)
Resistance Exercise (maintenance) 1,2 – 1,4 (g/kg/daily)
Resistance Exercise (hypertrophy) 1,4 – 1,8 (g/kg/daily)
Resistance Exercise 1,2 – 1,4 (g/kg/daily)
Intermittent high-intensity work 1,2 – 1,8 (g/kg/daily)
Weight Category Sports 1,4 – 2,0(g/kg/daily)

In order to achieve maximal stimulation of protein synthesis, it is important to take into account two factors:

  1. • Training should be IN LINE WITH THE GOAL YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE (strength, body mass).
  2. • From the AMOUNT and TIMING point of view, food should be IN LINE WITH your training and goal.

The maximum rate of protein synthesis is achieved during the following three hours after training; but after only 24 hours it is reduced by half and after 48 hours by one-third.

As shown in Table, protein synthesis does not occur immediately after training, but shortly after. Indeed,  the ‘protein catabolism’ (= breakdown of proteins), could persist also in the post-training.

The ‘protein anabolism” (= building up of proteins), after training, takes a while to start.

Since the protein synthesis may go on for as long as 10 hours, it is important that during this time muscles always are provided with ‘the bricks’ to make the protein synthesis possible. That ‘bricks’ are the amino acids come from proteins.

But it is important to take into account some factors:

  1. • In the human organism the amino acids are not accumulated: those that come from food are consumed within ten minutes approximately or they have been turned into other substances.
  2. • If you get so many proteins at once, the percentage of absorbed proteins tends to decrease.

Therefore, it is not worth taking large amount of proteins in one meal or two (lunch and dinner).

Specific products like protein powders, bars and above all the practices WHEY 20 protein bars, are undoubtedly a useful way to have a protein source always available to get.

It is recommended to  get them regularly throughout each meal, early breakfast, snacks throughout the day, and also before going to bed.

The “magic moment”, when you get maximum effects of the protein synthesis is the one right after the training, as said before.

During this “magic moment”, the anabolism phase of protein synthesis occurs (i.g. IGF-1) as well as the stimulation of protein that facilitates the protein synthesis (m-TOR).

In that “magic moment”, among other things, blood flow is maximum in the trained body areas, and it is important that muscles have all the amino acids necessary in order to protein synthesis occurs.

The best qualitative and practical product for this specific moment is the hydrolyzed protein WHEY 20 in cheer-pack and ready to use.

There are many different research studies on the right protein amount needed in that moment, probably 7-10 grams should be enough, better along with carbs (10 grams or more) that increase insulin levels in blood.

Research has shown that the advantages, in terms of strength and/or muscle mass, are even more if, along with carbs and proteins, a few grams of creatine and leucine are get.

Whey proteins are absorbed quickly and they are perfect in the recovery phase (they cause high aminoacidemia within 3 hours).

Casein, on the other hand, is absorbed slowly and it is perfect both to prolong aminoacidemia (up to 7 hours from intake), and to keep the protein need during the night.

The use of specific proteins, like whey proteins, casein or essential amino acids, should not be considered as a way to increase the daily protein portion, but as a way to take advantage of the physiological conditions (cellular and molecular) in terms of anabolism (hypertrofia), before, during and especially after training.

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