Nutrition Therapy Clinic
Jan Edmondsand Associates
There is a general misunderstanding about the protein needs of athletes.
Many athletes believe that large quantities of protein foods are necessary to enhance muscle growth
Amino acid supplementation is not necessary for body builders. Training techniques and genetics are the critical determinants of muscle size.
Extra protein in the diet (in the form of food or amino acid supplements) beyond what the body demands for rebuilding and repair doesn’t go to make extra muscle. Protein can’t be stored for later use. If the athlete gets more protein than it needs extra is broken down and stored as fat or used for energy.
Hight protein intakes have never been shown to uniquely benefit athletes.
Intakes of protein > 15% of total calories cannot be justified on a specific basis.
For an individual consuming 4000 calories per day 15% of calories represent 150g of protein or 2g per kilo of weight for a 70kg male (note RDA is 0.8g/kg body weight/day). This almost exceeds the requirement by 270%
Intakes > 15% or 2g/kg body weight are either burned for energy to support activity or are converted to fat.
In addition these processes result in residual nitrogen which must be discarded through the urine as urea or lactones.
This step requires the loss of water which is increases the athletes chance of dehydration.
Excess protein intake (5 times the RDA) can also cause a loss of bone calcium and also cause a strain on the liver and kidneys.
Protein is the toughest nutrient to digest. Your body expends a lot on energy just breaking down high protein foods. Therefore high protein foods should be avoided before training.
Before embarking on high protein diets for sports training and muscle building talk to our sports nutritionist to guide you and support you in your efforts.
Jan Edmonds (Principal)