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Protein requirements for athletes to aid recovery

Protein intake targets for both strength and endurance athletes have been set at about 1.2-1.6 g/kg body mass per day. In order to stimulate muscle protein production high quality protein from animal sources (meats, eggs and dairy) are recommended. 20-25 g serving of protein would be sufficient to aid recovery and maintenance muscle mass. Any higher amount of protein is used as fuel.

Protein rich foods providing 10 g protein recommended by the Nutrition Working Group of the International Olympic Committee: [i]

  • 2 small eggs
  • 300 ml cow’s milk
  • 20g skimmed milk powder
  • 30g cheese
  • 200g yoghurt- try natural yoghurt with fruit or honey
  • 35-50g meat, fish or chicken, try grilling for a leaner option
  • 4 slices bread
  • 90g breakfast cereal- check the protein content on pack
  • 2 cups cooked pasta or 3 cups rice
  • 400ml soy milk
  • 60g nuts or seeds
  • 120g tofu or soy meat – 150g legumes or lentils
  • 200g baked beans
  • 150ml fruit smoothie with dairy or liquid meal supplement (soya milk is also a source of protein)

2 units of GlycoSource provides 11.4g of protein

The protein intake recommended by the IOC is just one small element of their Nutrition for Athletes document which we reference above. You can read the full document by following the link below:

[i] http://www.olympic.org/documents/reports/en/en_report_833.pdf

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