Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian, nor do I have a degree in nutrition. However, I have two coaching certifications and educate myself as best as I can on science-based nutrition principles. If you have any questions, I suggest contacting your doctor or a registered dietitian (I recommend Jen, Emma, and Sam).
As we move into April, we’re now chatting about nutrition as part of Running Coaches Corner. Both of my coaching programs (Revolution Running and NAASFP) had sections on nutrition. Instead of trying to discuss all aspects of nutrition, I’m going to break it down into the three macronutrients: fat, protein, carbs (not necessarily in that order), and close off April discussing race day nutrition and recovery.
What is protein
Protein is a macronutrient that is essential to building muscle mass.
Protein contains 4 calories per gram.
How much protein do runners need?
The amount of protein required will vary depending upon the source you use.
NAAFSP recommends 13% of your daily caloric intake should come from protein. For a 2,000 calorie diet this works out to 65g of protein per day (personally, I feel like this is on the low-end, but I am a person who feels best when eating a bit more protein).
Other sources recommend 0.8-1.2g per kilogram of bodyweight.
Jen’s nutrients for active people recommends 1.2/g/kg-1.4g/kg for endurance activities, and up to 1.7g/kg for strength training.
When should runners consume protein?
I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s certainly worth commenting on again: Your body can only synthesize 20g-40g of protein at one time.
Ideally, this means you should be spacing out your protein requirements throughout the day.
A runner weighing 150 pounds should consume 80g-90g of protein in a day (using the 1.2-1.4 recommendation above). I prefer to space my protein out as evenly as possible throughout the day with 20g-30g at each breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It is also recommended to consume some protein within 45 minutes of working out to help rebuild muscle tissue and to prevent your body from breaking down muscle tissue for fuel. Our bodies are lazy and it takes less effort/energy to break down muscle tissue than it does fat, so while skipping food after working out might initially sound like a good idea, it’s not.
It’s not necessary to consume a protein powder after a workout, but I find it the easiest way to get some quick protein in me since I like to shower first, and then cook dinner. If I skip the shake, I can easily go 90+ minutes after a run before I eat. Trust me, this is not a good thing.
A day of food
For kicks, I tracked my food yesterday (except it wasn’t really what I ate yesterday since I forgot my lunch at home, but this is what I would have eaten had I grabbed the correct bag when I left my house).
1c 2% plain greek yogurt with 1c of berries.
1/4c trail mix
1/2 sweet potato, kale and roast chicken
Manitoba Harvest hemp smoothie with almond milk
I was provided with all three flavours of the new hemp smoothie from Manitoba Harvest and was pleasantly surprised with the flavour and texture. I’ll admit I’m quite picky when it comes to protein powders and I enjoyed the powder as a boost in overnight oats and they also seem like they’ll be amazing for baking!
If you’d like to try the hemp smoothie for yourself you can use hempsmoothielaunch16 to save 15% off until April 30!
Sweet summer kale salad with roast chicken
Protein: who cares, but probably some from the peanut butter
Total daily protein: 88g
I focus my food efforts on protein and vegetables because I will very quickly eat only sugar if given the chance.
[Tweet “How much protein to runners need, and when should you eat it? #runchat #hempproteinsmoothie”]
How much protein do you consume? If given the choice, what do you eat?
Linking up for Wild Workout Wednesday with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced , Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Nicole from Fitful Focus.
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