Healthy Eating: Busting the Protein Myth

This is the second article in a multi-part series about athlete nutrition and eating for performance.  These articles are written by Katie Mazzia, Clinical Dietician and Diabetes Educator at the Vail Valley Medical Centre in Colorado.  Katie is part of the Golden Ultra family and a fantastic runner herself.  As a multiple time podium finisher at the TransRockies Run, she knows a thing or two about healthy eating as an athlete!

MYTH: You need large amounts of protein to build muscle mass

TRUTH: any excess protein beyond what the body needs is burned for energy or stored as body fat.

The amount of protein required by a healthy individual is based on the type and frequency of exercise.  As a general guide, select the type of activity (below) that best describes you and calculate your protein requirements. Choose a mix of proteins from real food and reserve nutrition bars and powders for convenience or that quick fix right after a hard workout.

Type of Activity          * Grams of Protein Required Per Each Pound of Body Weight
Sedentary                                                   .4-.5gm/day 
Endurance Sports                                      .55-.7gm/day
Weight Training                                         .6-.9gm/day
*The protein requirements vary because this information is based on separate studies from different researchers
Example: 150 lb per person in Endurance Sports= 150lb. x .55-.7gm = 83gm-105gm protein per day.

The Golden Ultra is a three-day stage running race (or relay) in Golden, BC, Canada.  Runners may participate in all three stages as a solo or part of a relay, or may register for any single or combination of two stages separately.