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Protein Requirements For Athletes

| January 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

There is much debate about the amount, type and quality of protein and required for athletes.  The amount of protein required to maintain nitrogen balance is approximately 25 g a day.

The average American diet contains more than 100 g of protein a day.  The short version of this post is that most people will never have to worry about getting enough protein.  The highest demand for protein is during pregnancy and growth.  The following table is one recommendation for protein requirements in individuals:

Activity Level                                     Grams of protein per kilogram of body weight

Sedentary                                           0.8 g/kg

Recreational activity                       1.0-1.4 g/kg

Resistance training                          1.2-1.8 g/kg

Endurance training                          1.2-1.4 g/kg

muscle performance

There are side effects from eating excessive amounts of protein.  One of these is dehydration, which can be reversed by increasing water intake.  Because excess protein is not stored it must be broken down by the body.  Proteins are broken down and then excreted by the kidneys, so if an individual takes more protein than their body requires it does add stress to the kidneys to get rid of that excess.  Individuals who have kidney disease or liver damage should avoid excessive intake of protein.

Proteus can come from multiple sources.  Typically people think of red meats, dairy and eggs.  However animal proteins are also high in cholesterol and has been shown to increase risks of cancer with increasing consumption.

High cholesterol has been linked to heart disease and stroke which are two of the biggest killers in America.  Soy protein is also a high-quality source of protein that lacks the risks associated with animal proteins.  Other sources of plantar proteins include being worse, brown rice and nuts.

Most plant proteins lack one of the essential amino acids, but when eating a balanced diet of multiple proteins sources individuals can obtain all of the essential amino acids that they need.



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Category: Diet

Christopher Burton, M.D.

About the Author ()

Christopher Burton, M.D. is a physician, speaker, coach and trainer, practicing in Pensacola, FL. He specialized in Physiatry - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), which is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions - particularly those of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems - that may produce temporary or permanent impairment of function. In addition to his practice, he actively lectures on health, nutrition and exercise for healthcare groups, colleges, schools and travels internationally discussing treatment and rehabilitation of athletes.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Burton you can view his personal website at:

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