Strength athletes have used protein to fuel their workouts for as long as we can remember, however, a lot of runners don’t realise the benefits it has for them too. Protein is just as important for those who run as it is for weightlifters. Protein allows your muscles to recover properly from running, aid in tissue repair, prevent injuries, help with immune function and the production of red blood cells. All the important stuff to make sure you’re in tip top shape for your next run!
There are many ways to get your protein in after a workout, like a bowl of protein porridge or peanut butter on toast, but a lot of people struggle to eat food immediately after exercising - this is due to gastro-intestinal struggles. For runners who suffer with this problem, protein shakes, bars or balls are the best alternative as they’re small, packed full of nutrients and convenient for on the go!
But how much protein is enough?
It’s generally recommended that the average adult is to get 0.36 grams of protein in per pound of body weight, but this isn’t actually enough, especially if you are regularly active. Runners should consume between 0.5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight every day.
For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you’ll need to consume between 80 to 160 grams of protein per day.
If you’re a short distance runner, aim for 0.5g per pound of body weight but if you’re someone who is running quite a few hours a week, you’ll probably need to aim for 1g per pound.
Is there a specific time you should take it?
Although the main goal is to get the adequate amount of protein in overall during the day, consuming the protein within 30 minutes is optimal.
A study in Nutrients discovered that consuming a protein immediately after a marathon did not alter recovery in the first 24 hours post-race, however, it changed their perception of fatigue and muscle soreness over the following days. They also recovered faster than their counterparts who only consumed carbohydrates after a run. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872751/
Benefits of Whey Protein
Whey protein contains all of the essential amino acids in order to build muscle. It’s also high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) which promote muscle growth and immune system-boosting glutamine.
Benefits of Plant-Based Protein
Plant-based protein is typically higher in fibre, disease fighting phytonutrients and is naturally low in cholesterol and sodium.
Benefits of Egg White Protein
Egg white protein is easily absorbed by the body and is cholesterol free. Eggs are a high-quality source of protein full of vitamins and minerals.
Why protein balls over shakes?
Protein shakes are a brilliant way to easily get your protein in, however, sometimes it can be hard to find a flavour you like. With protein balls you can pick from a wide variety of flavours while actually eating something rather than drinking your calories. Protein balls are also a lot more convenient from shakes as you can put a packet in your running belt and you’re all set.
Article written by Phoebe