If you are planning to start or already started a running program, without factoring in the amount of protein you consume, it’s time to wake up. Protein is a popular topic for conversation among body building community already as it is the building block of muscle. It helps with faster muscle recover and muscle fatigue. Running also engages large to small muscle groups in the body, especially lower body part and it needs to be well feed. Protein is also great because they provide fewer calories per gram and makes you feel full quickly, and helping you in portion control.
Apart from being a component of every cell in the body, they make up for approximately 17 percent of body weight. It checks the regulation and maintenance of the body and plays a role in blood clotting, fluid balance. It is also involved in hormone and enzyme production, and cell repair. So it makes all the more sense that runners consume more protein as the harder they exercise, the more they burn, and the more fuel they need — Hence, more protein.
For men, the general recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein is 56 grams. For women, it is 46 grams. When consumed before running, proteins can help prevent muscle soreness by increasing blood amino acid levels. The athletes who are into running long distances must consume 0.5 to 0.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Rounding it up for males, it comes up to 84-119 grams for males and 66-94 grams for females. You might notice that this amount is nearly twice the RDA of protein for the average diet.
When we talk about the quality of protein intake, of course we refer to the healthy ones. Considering the options available, the best sources of proteins are – fish, poultry and beans. In case you’re a really busy person and don’t get much time to cook a healthy, protein-rich meal, make up a smoothie or a protein shake, though you’ll have to take care about the protein amounts. They are many types of protein supplement available in the market which include protein bars, whey protein powder and protein chips. It is advised to read the content/ingredient of each and depending on the amount of protein you need, make a wise choice. Try and choose the ones which are generally high in pure protein and low in carbs/fats/cholesterol etc.