Protein in the athlete's diet

Protein in the athlete's diet

Protein in the athlete's diet
Protein in the athlete's diet

It's no secret that sports success depends directly on the contents of the plate. But it's not just about the calorie content of meals. To develop muscle mass and endurance, training alone is not enough. The diet needs to be reconsidered.

Eating before you go to the gym and after you have taken the formation of beautiful biceps seriously are two different things. The diet should be varied, balanced, and the food should replenish the energy expended. As physical activity increases, so does the need for nutrients. These are mostly proteins. They are the basis of the athlete's diet. Scientific  studies  have shown the importance of proteins in sports nutrition.


Proteins or proteins are also called growth foods. It is the main building block for muscle tissue, cells and organs. In their absence, recovery and muscle growth slow down and an acute deficiency can lead to atrophy. In addition to the building function, proteins accelerate the biochemical processes in the body, the metabolism depends on them. In addition, proteins protect our immunity and normalize hormone levels. They also  help calcium retention, which is essential for bone. A protein-rich breakfast can help you feel full for a long time. Lack of protein in the body will not only affect the physical shape, but can also lead to dysfunction of internal organs such as the liver and pancreas. This will also affect energy metabolism.


Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are the "building blocks" for building muscle tissue. At the same time, proteins are the only source of essential amino acids - 9 of them. They are not synthesized in the human body and enter it only with food or as part of special supplements. Three amino acids - leucine, isoleucine and valine - play a major role in the fight for strong muscles. They are usually grouped under the acronym BCAA. This essential triplet is absorbed very quickly by the body and each of these amino acids plays an important role.

Leucine  is the main material for building muscle, this amino acid is more active than others in promoting protein synthesis.

Isoleucine  - not only participates in protein synthesis, but also helps muscles convert glucose into energy, thus maintaining its normal level in the blood. It also increases endurance and promotes skin renewal.

Valine  is also responsible for protein synthesis, protects muscle cells from destruction and supplies them with energy. This is especially valuable for those athletes who take on extreme loads. In addition, this amino acid has a beneficial effect on the nervous system.

For those who do not do sports, as a rule, the amount of these amino acids that comes with food is enough. But BCAA-deficient bodybuilders will have a hard time. There is not enough endurance during training and after that the muscles will recover for a long time, the appearance of the coveted biceps will have to wait a very long time. BCAAs are recommended for use after prolonged training and strenuous physical activity.


Collagen is worth mentioning separately. It is the basis of connective tissue, its building protein. Skin, tendons, cartilage, joints, bones - this is needed everywhere. Collagen provides elasticity and strength to tissues. Increases endurance, helps speed recovery from injuries and improves skin elasticity. But with age it becomes less and less in the body. Athletes need collagen twice, their production of this protein decreases due to exercise. Collagen can be obtained from food - undergo jelly meat and beef broth. But collagen is found in small amounts in foods. It is possible to compensate for its deficiency with the help of food supplements.


Athletes need more protein than people with normal or low physical activity. For those who gain muscle mass or want to maintain it during drying, the rate of protein per day is usually calculated by the formula 1.5-2 g per kg of body weight. Published dosing recommendationsInternational Society for Sports Nutrition. Where to look for protein? Most of them are found in animal products. These are meat, eggs and dairy products. One egg, for example, contains 6 grams of protein. In addition, this protein is very well absorbed. 100 grams of chicken contains 20 grams of protein. A portion of cottage cheese weighing 150 grams is 25. Tuna and salmon have a lot of protein. The main proteins are found in plants. These are legumes, as well as vegetables - spinach and parsley. Protein is found in whole grain breads and nuts. Sports nutrition will also help maintain a daily protein intake.

As repeated studies show, there is a lack of protein in the diet of the Russians, but a diet rich in carbohydrates predominates. Thus, according  to  VTsIOM, bread and cereals are in first place in terms of cost - 85%. Meat is eaten regularly by 71% of respondents, fish - only 47%. Calculating KBZhU will help monitor the amount of protein in the diet. And the protein needed for strong muscles, you can get not only with the help of products, but also with food supplements.