Why is Protein Important for Recovery?
During exercise, proteins within the muscles are constantly being broken down. To maintain strength, athletes need to stay in a positive protein balance, meaning increased activity levels results in increased protein needs. Furthermore, to promote healing and recovery, adequate protein is required to regenerate the tissues and cells for muscle repair and growth. Amino acids (AA) are the “building blocks” of proteins – there are 22 naturally occurring AA, and together through various combinations, they form proteins.
To promote muscle recovery, ideally an athlete would consume protein within 30-90 minutes post-exercise – the sooner the better! Good quality protein powders and AA supplements are a convenient way to get protein in post-exercise. Homemade snacks like energy balls and protein bars packed with natural nut butters are another beneficial, convenient option. If you’re going to eat a meal soon after you exercise, make sure it contains some form of lean protein like: edamame, quinoa, chicken breast, salmon, tofu, or eggs.
Protein requirements differ greatly from one individual to the next. It depends on various factors like: sex, size, body type, and exercise routine. I’m here to provide nutritional guidance so that we can determine what’s best for you!
Have questions about nutrition? Get in touch with Allison