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Training and hyper-proteic diets: some myths to uncover

Proteins, sometimes defined as building blocks for your body, are essential macronutrients involved in the synthesis of body tissues and indeed are needed to build and keep your muscles mass. There is a wide spread belief that who train for endurance sports need a hyper-proteic diet, really eating more proteins than needed.

Everyone of use,  up to the elite athletes, has a need to a specific quantity of protein that can be calculated, at least to a good approximation, as a function of the personal body weight, muscle mass and training type and intensity.

Athletes do indeed need more proteins if compared to the average adult population, and this is true for strength training, to build and keep the mass, as well as for endurance training, as these latter activities do increase protein turnover, i.e. the re-building of muscular proteins due to the, possible, partial conversion of proteins into energy.

An average protein need, for a adult human being, defined as a function of body weight, has been set at 0.8 grams protein / kg of body weight. This can be increased to 1 g/kg for adults  doing regular physical activity two to three times a week. Athletes do need more, in a range that could be between 1.2-1.5 g/kg for endurance sports to 2 g/kg for strength training.

What is really important to consider is that the assumption of a bigger amount of proteins,  more than your real needs, will not give you any gain as your body would neither utilize the extra proteins nor keep and store them as it is possible with fats and sugars. The extra proteins will simply be eliminated.

This means that, if you follow a hyper-proteic diet you might simply feed yourself with extra proteins only to discard them.

Most recent studies indicated that, it  is extremely important not only to eat the correct amount of proteins during the day but to distribute that amount in small quantities,  say 20-25 g, during the day, within each meal, to get the best conversion into muscular mass.

Our suggestion is:

- to start the day with a breakfast, including some protein sources like soy or low fat yogurt, tofu or fresh cheese (ricotta, as an example)

-to have protein snacks like protein bars. 3Restore Peanut is so yummy and natural!

- to avoid big consume of animal derived proteins that are rich in saturated fats and that provoke pro-inflammatory action. Use plant-based protein instead: 3Restore Powder is an excellent plant-powered product, for example.

- to include some proteins in all your meals, giving preference to vegetable sources, like legumes, that,  together with cereals (think at beans and pasta!) will give you the balanced supply of all essential aminoacids. 

 

REFERENCES

Jäger R. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 20;14:20

Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Journal Of The Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics. March 2016 Volume 116 Number 3.

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