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Protein - a key nutrient for training success

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 25ga 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.

EXAMPLES AND PRACTICAL TIPS

If your body weight is 80kg, approx. 25g of high-quality protein per each serve spread over the day might be right for you:  

25 grams of high-quality protein is provided by approx.

- 240g greek yogurt, nonfat
- 200g low-fat cottage cheese
- 4 eggs (M-size)
- 120-150g fish, grilled
- 90g lean beef steak
- 110g chicken breast, skinless
- 280g Tofu
- 250ml (1/2 bottle) of PowerBar PROTEIN PLUS Sportsmilk

If your body weight is 55kg, approx. 15g of high-quality protein per each serve spread over the day might be right for you:  

15 grams of high-quality protein is provided by approx.

- 400ml low-fat cow’s milk or soy drink
- 3 tablespoons of parmesan
- 2 eggs (M-size)
- 70-90g fish, grilled
- 70g lean beef steak
- 70g chicken breast, skinless
- 100g (uncooked) Quinoa
- 1 PowerBar PROTEIN PLUS 30% bar


© Corinne Mäder Reinhard, Senior EU Sports Nutrition Manager PowerBar. International Olympic Committee post-graduate Diploma in Sports Nutrition

References:

Areta, J. L., et al. (2013). Timing and distribution of protein ingestion during prolonged recovery from resistance exercise alters myofibrillar protein synthesis. J Physiol, 591:2319–30.
Tang, J. E., Moore, D. R., Kujbida, G. W., Tarnopolsky, M. A., & Phillips, S. M. (2009). Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. J Appl Physiol 107(3):987-92
Volek, J. S. et al. (2013). Whey protein supplementation during resistance training augments lean body mass. J Am Coll Nutr, 32(2):122-35.

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