Protein is an essential part of everyone's diet, but for those engaging in endurance sports and weight training it is especially important and increasing intake is highly beneficial. Protein is responsible for building tissue, cells and muscle. As it is important to recover and grow muscles after exercise, it is recommended to eat some protein within 30 minutes. Endurance athletes should aim to eat 1.2-1.6g per kg of body weight whereas weight lifters and strength athletes should aim to eat 1.4-2g per kg.
There are plenty of protein rich foods, both animal and plant. Here are some of the best foods for consuming protein:
- Eggs - a medium size egg contains around 6g of protein and is an easily digestible option
- Milk - also contains bone building calcium
- Yogurt - contains a combination of casein and whey proteins
- Fish and Seafood - these high protein options are also typically low in fat
- Poultry - white poultry meats are a source of lean protein
- Soya - can lower cholesterol and may reduce risk of heart disease
- Nuts and Seeds - contain sodium and potassium, the electrolytes lost in sweat
- Pork - contains branched-chain amino acids which support muscle recovery
- Beans and Pulses - good source of iron fibre
Need help tracking your protein? MyFitnessPal is a great app that can help you do this, along with tracking any other nutritional intakes and exercise.