Protein After Exercise

Suggested protein requirements.
Endurance and high Intensity exercise - 1.2-1.4 grams per kilo of body weight.

Training to maintain Muscle size - 1.0 grams per kilo of body weight.

Training to increase muscle size - 1.4-1.8 grams per kilo of body weight.

To maintain muscle mass consider the above suggestions. Protein bars are an easy immediate source after exercise unless you can eat real protein foods. Soya milk is also another good protein source and is easy to take straight after training. This all depends on your lifestyle.

Protein can be obtained from beef, chicken, eggs, fish, milk, yoghurt. Vegetarian foods that contain protein include almonds, baked beans, cashew nuts, chick peas, kidney beans, lentils, peanut butter, Soya milk, spinach, sunflower seeds, tofu and nuts.

Herbal life products are also natural and they have a great selection of shakes which we have found to be very useful. The full range was used for the training build up for the Iron Man Switzerland 2008 to great effect.

Protein synthesis (breakdown) occurs during and shortly after exercise, endurance and weight training. When the liver notices falling blood glucose from exercise either caused by little food before exercise, no carbohydrate drink during resulting in low levels during exercise a break down of muscle protein can occur. Taking in adequate protein and carbohydrate afterwards from 15 minutes to 4 hours from finishing exercise stops lean muscle loss. Some loss of muscle protein is required for the body to learn to re build.

Eating two large steaks after exercise rather than one will not double the muscle growth getting the balance right is individual.

The most protein daily amount consumed per kilo (2.2lbs) is considered to be 1.7grams per kilo of body weight. For example an athlete of 154 lb (69.85 kilos x 1.7 = 118 g) will need 118 grams of protein per day.

The experts disagree on increasing protein needs on heavy training days and decreasing on easier or rest days. The safer option is to take up 1.5- 1.7grams per kilo (2.2046 lbs = 1 kilo) of your body weight daily rather than more on heavy training days and less on rest days. On rest days especially the day after a hard session your body is still recovering and still needs protein.

AFTER EXERCISE. Aim to have 25-50 grams of carbohydrate for the 1-3 hours after exercise. Example 500ml of Gatorade has 30 grams of carbohydrate. Also replace lost fluid with caffeine free drinks, Juice, Milk sports drinks soup and natural mineral water with food.