PROTEIN - PROTEIN How much do athletes need By NancyClark...

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PROTEIN: How much do athletes need? By NancyClark, MS, RD Posted on on May 18, 1999 THE ATHLETE'S KITCHEN So how do you properly balance protein into your diet? Here are some tips to alleviate the confusion. · Protein needs vary from person to person, depending on whether you are building muscle, dieting (a calorie deficit increases protein needs), growing (such as teenage athletes), or doing exhaustive exercise. Protein needs for athletes should be calculated according to appropriate body weight--not by percent of calories. Appropriate protein targets are: Description Grams protein per lb. body weight Current RDA for a sedentary adult: 0.4 Recreational exerciser, adult 0.5-0.75 Competitive athlete, adult 0.6-0.9 Growing teenage athlete 0.8-0.9 Adult building muscle mass 0.7-0.9 Athlete restricting calories 0.8-0.9 Maximum usable amount by adults 0.9 Example: If you weigh 160 pounds and want a high but acceptable protein intake (0.9 gms pro/lb), you'd need 144 grams of protein--an amount you could easily consume from 1 quart of skim milk, 1 can of tuna, and 8 ounces of chicken breast. . · Very few athletes need to spend money on a protein supplement. Even vegetarians can get enough protein through foods. I recommend commercial protein supplements only in a few medical situations, such as for malnourished patients with AIDS or cancer. Protein supplements are also helpful for my clients with anorexia who claim to be vegetarian (a politically correct way of eliminating yet-another source of calories from their diets) but really are just fat-phobic non-meat eaters. For example, one "vegetarian" student refused to eat animal products and also disliked tofu and beans. Her only acceptable source of protein was a fat-free protein supplement. This case contrasts to the 160 pound protein- aholic who eats a 6-egg white omelet for breakfast, a can of tuna for lunch, two chicken breasts for dinner, and drinks skim milk by the quart--totaling more than 160 grams of high quality protein--and wonders if he needs a supplement. He's already getting more than 1 gram of protein/lb of body weight. He needs more carbs for optimal muscle fueling, not more protein! · Powerful advertisements from the supplement industry try to convince athletes more
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PROTEIN - PROTEIN How much do athletes need By NancyClark...

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