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How much protein does an athlete need?

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How much protein does an athlete need?

Good morning,

i go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, i have to take some protein powder or to integrate somehow protein? I am almost 40 years old and in good health.

Thank you


He answers Clare Matilde Ferrarinutritionist biologist, Scientific supervision of the Umberto Veronesi Foundation, with reference to the Notebook Sport activity. Food advice

More and more Italians resort to the consumption of food supplements. In general, who practices sport at an amateur level non it has the need to increase energy supplies, but to balance all the nutrients even better, following a varied diet of the Mediterranean type. The athletes that follow a plant-based dieteven more so if vegan, they will need to supplement vitamin B12.

Even for competitive athletes what the physique needs can be achieved through well-planned nutrition, without the use of supplements. The possible need for protein supplementation can be assessed by a specialist based on the workload and characteristics of the athlete.

Where to find proteins and what are they for?

Not only meat, eggs, milk and derivatives, but fish and legumes combined with whole grains. It is through these food sources that the athlete ensures adequate quantities of proteinnecessary to regenerate cells and ensure the regular performance of the body’s vital functions. For athletes, especially for those who practice power sports (throws, jumps, weight lifting), there is a clear parallel between intense and protracted physical effort and regeneration of body proteins, not just muscles.

How much protein does an athlete need?

Over the course of a training for a power sport, approximately 2-5% of energy comes from protein. The percentage is greater the longer the session, the lower the level of training and the less glycogen there is in the muscles. THE protein needs of this category of athletes can exceed the normally recommended values, they can be increased slightly in proportion to the extent of the physical exercise, without exaggerating. Even those who aim at increase muscle mass e which therefore needs more protein than endurance sports, must not exceed the quantities of these macronutrients. Whereas the average protein requirement for humans it is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight ideal, for those who train to increase muscle mass this requirement can grow up to 1.5 g maximum 2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day. What does it mean, if we think about the daily diet? That, in general, by providing a protein source at each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) the daily protein requirement is satisfied. It must be considered that proteins are also found in cereals and derivatives and by including this food category at every meal, there is no risk of having a protein-deficient diet.

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Sport activity. The food advice of the Veronesi Foundation


Because too much protein is useless

It has been shown that, once the maximum requirement in training is met, any extra protein non are converted into muscle. Proteins, in fact, are structural molecules that do not have “storage” systems if they are taken beyond the requirements, as instead happens for example for carbohydrates (which are stored in the form of glycogen especially in the muscles and liver) and for fats (stored in fat cells). The proteins we take in excess of our real needs will not therefore build up additional muscle mass, but the amino acids that make them up will be eliminated, after an intense work by the kidneys and liver, partly in the form of urea.

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