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Protein for Runners

protein for runners

With an active lifestyle it is important to make sure you properly fuel your body. In order to stay energised and build muscle we need to get the right food intake. Protein is a big part of that. We need protein for muscle growth, the transport of fat and oxygen, it helps us fight infections and repairs damaged cells. So that makes protein a very important part of our diet.

How much protein do we need?

There is not just one specific answer for this. The average for men is 56 grams per day and for women 46 grams. But taking into account an active lifestyle it is probably a little bit more then this.

To calculate this, as a runner you should take 1.2 -1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. (this translates to 0.5 to 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight)

So if you weigh 70 kilograms you would need 84 to 98 grams of protein.

Of course if you have a goal to gain muscle and are doing a lot of strength training, you would need more protein and the amounts go up to 1.6 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight. (this translates to 0.7 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight)

meat for proteins

So where do you get your protein?

There are two ways to get your protein.

Animal protein

- Meat

- Fish

- Eggs

- Dairy products

chickpeas for protein

Plant-based protein

- Beans

- Pumpkin seeds

- Peanuts

- Oats

- Tofu

- Chickpeas

- Corn

- Soy Beans

- Almonds

- Quinoa

(and more)

A lot of people tend to think it’s better to get your protein from meat, but this is not true. It might be easier to get it from meat, but in order to perform better as an athlete you don’t need to rely on meat for your protein. I may be a bit bias, since I don’t eat meat, but I guess that also proves it's true, since I run marathons on a plant based diet.

The best way to get your protein is to divide the amount of protein you take in over the different meals you have during the. After exercise is a good time to take in some extra protein, the right amount for this is around 20 grams of protein. So a protein shake or bar after a run is a great idea.

plant based diet for protein

In my diet I have a good mix of oats, nuts, beans and vegetables to get the right daily amount of protein. A hand full of peanuts is 25 grams of protein, that is a big part of my daily intake right there. A protein bar after my run puts me at already half my daily intake. So by watching what I eat during my meals it’s not even that hard to get my daily amount of protein.

I recently started drinking a meal replacement drink called Huel. Once I’ve tried it for a bit longer I will make a review about it and let you know how this could help with my protein intake.


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