|Lean muscle mass, it is what gets us to the finish line or to the top of the hill (as theses legs from the 2010 Tour of Bright winners clearly show you)|
- It forms cell membranes
- In the blood proteins have important roles such as carrying oxygen (you may have heard of haemoglobin...the oxygen carrying protein)
- In the form of antibodies, protein help to get rid of bacteria and viruses from the system
- Proteins in muscle help with muscle contraction and the movement of our muscles (pretty important as an athlete).
|Different types of exercise require different amounts of protein.|
Studying protein requirements is an interesting task in itself. Our diet needs to be looked at as a whole - NOT JUST PROTEIN OR CARBOHYDRATE
Our bodies are quite smart in being able to manufacture the things that may be inadequate and there are differences in requirements.A 25 year old bodybuilder, who effectively is causing muscle damage each time he pushes his boundaries with weight lifting - muscle repair is the key to “building” muscle, is going to have different requirements to say a 16 year old female dance student who trains in endurance type work for 6 hours a day. But there is a way to calculate your requirements.
The recommended daily amount is 0.8g per kg of body weight per day.....but HANG ON .. athletes need more! Are you an athlete? Do you participate in regular exercise? Then read on:
Strength or power athletes (bodybuilders) 1.4-1.8 g/kg/day
So work out your daily requirement using the estimate above....An 80kg endurance athlete (hey that could be a cyclist) would need 96-112g of protein per day.
WHERE TO FIND PROTEIN IN "REGULAR" FOOD
|Don't underestimate the amount of Protein|
in Dairy - Try to choose low fat dairy where possible
|So this 263gram chicken breast fillet will give you|
approximately 78g of protein. It adds up quickly
|Read the labels, here we can see that 100g of tuna has 24.0g of Protein.|
WARNING.- Be careful when reading the "serving sizes"
as sometimes they are a lot less (or more) than you might
personally eat in a serving