Posts from the ‘training, physical activity and health’ Category
Rosana Cortés. Graduada en Genètica per la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona i la Universitat de Cambridge | Estudiant del Màster en Entrenament Esportiu, Activitat Física i Salut a la FPCEE Blanquerna per la Universitat Ramon Llull.
Protein powder consumption has become a routine among both elite and amateur athletes, a trend further promoted by sport companies and mass media; including sports press. And, in fact, we still don’t know which effects such behaviour might pose to health in the long term.
Due to the inflicted damage to their muscles by extenuating training, professional athletes may require a higher nutritional intake than for most population. However, protein shakes may be unnecessary, or even dangerous, in the fitness world. On the amateur sport field, training is rarely quantitatively measured and real nutrient requirements (including protein, carbohydrates, fat and water) are unknown.
To clarify, proteins are (i) amino acid strings or clusters of such strings (ii) with a particular structure, (iii) what gives them functionality. They play a role in tissue turnover, immune reactions, enzymatic activity (enzymes are protein clusters), substance transport and energy production. Adults require no more than 0.8 to 0.9 g of protein per kilogram of body weight every day day to satisfy their protein needs. In fact, protein requirements follow a normal distribution, needing most of people just 0.66 g/kg·day1. Following EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) 2015 data, protein needs in European population are 0.83 g/kg·day for adults and healthy elderly2 (Figure 1).
To help you have an idea of real protein content in food, Table 1 shows the quantity of protein per 100 grams of different example foods, reported by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)3. Table 2 shows an example of an appropriate protein intake for a person of 75 kg, who needs 62.88 g of protein per day. Total caloric intake is not adjusted, as it will depend on energy demands and physical activity. The heavier a person is, the bigger their servings are, so protein content will increase proportionally. It is of highly importance to include a high-quality protein portion in main meals4 (Table 3).