I want to get stronger so that I can perform better at taking the basketball to the hoop strong. My teammates and I have been reading about muscle building protein in fitness magazines. To be honest the more I read the more confused I get. How much and what type of protein should I be eating?
Determining Your Protein Needs
- The recommendations for athletes are 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass (6-8 g/lb) with athletes in rehabilitation, trying to lose fat mass, or aiming to increase lean body mass requiring up to 2.0 g/kg (.9g/lb).
- To maximize muscle growth, consume around 20-30 grams of high quality protein (3 ounce chicken breast) after training and every 4 hours while you are awake.
- Eat within two hours after exercise to optimize muscle repair and growth.
- Animal-derived proteins (milk,eggs,meat and fish) are high quality because they have all of the essential amino acids (EAAs), which are building blocks for proteins in our body.
- some plant-based proteins (soy,quinoa,amaranth and buckwheat.) contain all EAAs while most plant-based proteins (legumes,grains,nuts and seeds) are generally low in 1 or more EAAs. a variety of these foods must be consumed in your diet to provide all the EAAs.
- Milk is effective at stimulating muscle growth following training exercise. consider drinking a low fat glass of chocolate milk after a workout.
Protein- Rich Meals:
- Breakfast: Eggs with milk and oatmeal.
- Lunch: Grilled chicken with vegetables and rice.
- Dinner: fish tacos with rice and black beans.
- Snacks: Greek yogurt, string cheese, edamame, almonds, peanut butter and cottage cheese.
Tips to Take With You
- Distribute protein and take evenly without the day by including high-quality proteins at meals and snacks.
- Choose a protein-rich foods. (milk,eggs,meats and nuts) and limit the use of protein supplements for convenience and tolerance after exercise.
- Remember, carbohydrate is the bodies primary fuel so make sure your eating enough carbohydrate (fruits,veggies, and grains).
- A Sports dietitian nutritionist can help determine your individualized protein needs.