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Athletes and Nutrition

Meeting Protein Needs

Think only body builders need protein? Actually, both strength and endurance athletes have increased protein needs. Protein, composed of chains of molecules called amino acids, plays an important role in the building, maintenance, and repair of the tissues of the body, including muscle.

Protein requirements are very individualized and depend primarily upon body size. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for the average sedentary or lightly active adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. For most people, this is more than enough.

But some authorities believe that protein needs for athletes may range from 1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for the highly active adult athlete. Diets should also be high in carbohydrate to ensure that protein is spared for those activities it does best: the building and repairing of muscle and other body tissues.


Understanding Essential Amino Acids >>