Protein is an important part of your diet. This is especially true for athletes. There are a lot of different opinions on when to eat protein, what foods to get protein from, and how much protein athletes should consume. At SportsGrub we try to incorporate both meat-based protein and plant-based protein in many of our meals. We figured we would write a short guide on protein for student athletes. As a reminder, although SportsGrub is passionate about dietary research and news, we are not a source of researched information.
Where To Get Protein
There are many different foods that provide protein. Generally when you ask a student to think of a food that provides a good amount of protein, their first thoughts are meats. Chicken, fish, steak, and pork all provide protein. However, many meats also provide a substantial amount of fatand sodium. It is important to consider all of your macro and micro nutrients when choosing a meal. In fact, protein can also be found in dairy products like milk and a variety of vegetarian options like: peanuts & peanut butter, chickpeas, eggs, and beans. Of course there are also protein supplements include whey protein power.
Should You Use Protein Supplements?
This is an interesting question. Many high school and college athletes buy large tubs of protein power or protein drinks to supplement their protein intake. With any supplement it is always wise to talk to a nutritionist. An important thing to remember is that your body is only going to use what it needs. Although excess fat will be stored in the body in fat cells, excess protein will not. So, getting more than what your diet or exercise routine requires is not necessarily going to help improve your muscle mass or performance. We recommend tracking your protein intake in a dietary journal or an app. By tracking how much protein get, you can decide whether or not additional protein may be necessary.
When Should You Consume Protein?
Protein is beneficial for a training athlete. Although those benefits can be increased based on timing. It is recommended that protein is consumed directly after an intense muscle training. In the past many gyms and trainers recommended immediately taking in protein after a workout. The argument was that you had a 30 minute window after intense training where protein intake could be optimized. However, other research has shown that this window may be larger than the 30 minute golden rule. Generally, doing the right workouts and consuming the right amount of protein is more important than the timing, but if you can, you should try to consume protein heavy food after a workout.
Learn More From SportsGrub
SportsGrub exists to help student and young adult athletes eat healthy before their games. By combining portion sizing, nutritious ingredients, and delicious recipes, we help teams of athletes meal prep for their sporting events. We also beleive that it is imperative that students learn how their diets affect their bodies and their performance. That is why we have this blog to share ideas on nutrition. For more information or to set up a delivery of one of our meals, contact SportsGrub online.