This article talks about protein requirements for a cyclist as it is an essential macronutrient for the process of muscle protein synthesis. Protein is important for recovery, and without this, you may not be able to see effective results. So the next question is how much protein does a cyclist need to consume?
For athletes who train and break down muscle, they need protein to rebuild so they require almost 1.2 grams to 2.2 grams per kg of body weight /day. Protein intake should be more towards the higher end of this range to ensure that you are eating enough protein for muscle repair and recovery. Please take note that it is important to distribute your protein intake equally throughout the day as your body cannot use more than 20 grams of protein at a time.
Protein supplements are loaded with a range of amino acids that provide efficient and quick recovery. As it can be very difficult to reach your daily protein requirement, protein supplements come in handy where they can be mixed with water or milk with minimum fuss and provide maximum nutrition.
Benefits of Protein:
• Reduces Calorie intake: They help to keep us full for a longer period and increase satiety. If you eat 15-20 grams of protein per meal, then it can reduce your total calorie intake by 300-600 calories.
• Reduces cravings: High carb meals spike up our blood sugar levels followed by a sudden dip which increases our cravings for sugary foods and makes us feel lethargic. Avoid added sugar and white carbs in your training diet and choose whole grains.
• Increases energy expenditure: Your body burns more calories to digest proteins than carbs thus increasing your energy expenditure. Also, it supports lean muscle tissue so the more good lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn.
• Increases sleeping metabolic rate: A person whose protein intake is almost 30% of the total calorie intake shows an increase in the sleeping metabolic rate.
• Improves body composition: To help yourself climb a hill with more power try to reduce 500 calories from your maintenance calories and increase the intake of calories from protein. It will result in more body fat reduction in comparison to cutting calories on a carb dominant diet.
Although protein is very important you need to pay attention to other food sources as well. It is important to choose healthy carb sources and avoid simple sugars in your training plan to achieve optimum performance.