Protein Consumption for Optimal Physical Condition

4th September 2019
Protein consumption is one of the main nutrients that an athlete’s diet has to include. The nutrients protein provides are essential for high performance.

Protein consumption is essential to achieve an optimal physical condition. This nutrient is the basis for almost every kind of diet, especially vegan. Although every person needs protein, it’s athletes who have to ensure they consume it in the right amounts.

Regulating your protein consumption helps you to achieve your goals. Therefore, it’s normal for those who practice sports to have a diet rich in protein and to ingest protein supplements.

However, it’s difficult for many athletes to know the exact amount of protein they should take. This is important since excessive protein consumption could be as harmful as a deficit. Although in different ways, the two will prevent you from reaching your goals.

To prevent this from happening, you need to know what makes protein consumption so important for athletes. But even if you don’t practice sports on a regular basis, you should be aware of how much protein you should be consuming.

In this article, we’ll explain the simple rule with which you can calculate the amount of protein you need in order to achieve optimal physical condition. As you can see, this article comes loaded with both interesting and practical information.

Protein consumption: why are proteins important?

We already know how important it is to maintain a balanced diet, in which all food groups are present. Proteins shouldn’t be eliminated from your diet, especially if you’re considering becoming a vegan. You have to eat proteins every day in order to stay healthy.

But, you probably know that already. Now, do you know how proteins work inside your body and how its consumption affects your body? Keep reading to discover the benefits.

Protein consumption: contributing to the formation of body tissues

Proteins repair and form muscle tissues, so they’re essential for those athletes who want to build muscle and increase their volume. Beyond the specific goals an athlete has set for themselves, proteins are also extremely important as it has a deep impact on the cellular structure of our bodies.

protein consumption in female athletes and women who train daily

A source of energy

When we think of the types of food that provide energy to our bodies, the first ones that come to mind are carbohydrates and fats. Although this is totally true, you should also know that proteins provide plenty of energy too.

When the body lacks both carbohydrates and fats, it uses proteins to gain energy again. Athletes’ bodies often burn protein after a long training session, but this process can also happen in people who don’t exercise regularly.

The distribution of nutrients

Protein consumption has a direct impact on the athlete’s performance because it acts as a vehicle to transport other nutrients. These nutrients are, mainly, oxygen and glucose, all essential for high-level performance and to obtain optimal physical condition.

Protein consumption: intake in a regular diet

As we have already said, proteins are essential for anyone.  Usually, it’s athletes who pay special attention to eating foods rich in this nutrient. Despite this, it must be in everyone’s food.

If you don’t practice sports or just practice sport sporadically, your protein intake doesn’t have to be as high as that of athletes. This is because both your goals and the needs of your body are different.

It’s best to take one gram of protein for every kilogram you weigh. That is, if you weigh 60kg, you have to eat 60 grams of protein throughout the day. Divided among the four meals that most people consume per day, would equal 15 grams in each.

protein shakes and fruits

Protein consumption for optimal physical condition

In the case of athletes, protein is used at a faster rate than in sedentary people. That’s why protein consumption should be higher than that of anyone else.

Coaches and specialists recommend athletes should take a maximum of 1.8 grams of protein for every kilo that they weigh. That is, if you weigh 60kg and practice sports, you should take 108 grams of this nutrient per day. Spread throughout the day, it would result in 27 grams at each meal.

Maybe this number is familiar to you? It’s because many sports nutrition manuals often state that an athlete should take a maximum of 30 grams of protein per meal. You can calculate how much protein you should be taking by doing this very simple equation.

With this rule, you can make sure that you eat the amount your body needs. Of course, we insist again that an excess of protein will never result in an optimal physical condition. On the contrary, consuming more protein than the body needs can lead to being overweight or having high blood sugar levels.

Rivera, V. M. R. (2008). Propiedades de las proteínas. In Bases de la Alimentación Humana.