Protein: Your Muscle-Recovery Bestie
Protein is a macronutrient that helps with muscle recovery, and is also an energy source. There are nine essential amino acids, which humans need, that help with muscle growth and repair. When looking at whole-food sources of protein, you want to ensure that you are getting a “complete” source of protein, meaning it contains all nine of these essential amino acids.
Complete sources of protein include meat, eggs, milk and soy.
The recommended daily protein requirement for adults is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. If you are exercising regularly, or you are an athlete, you will need more protein in your diet. Most people don’t have trouble getting their protein through well-balanced meals throughout the day; meat and meat products contain more protein than most plant-based sources, but vegan and vegetarian athletes shouldn’t worry—you can get your daily intake of protein through a variety of foods.
A list below are some foods and their protein content:
Consuming a combination of simple carbohydrates and protein (3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein) within 30 minutes following a workout, either through a shake or meal, can improve your muscle-recovery time. The added carbohydrates help deliver the protein to the muscles, meaning that you’re ready to go for your next gym session sooner!
Snacks and meals that contain high-quality, low-fat protein (eg. chicken, fish, and egg whites) can help with with muscle repair. If you require a higher protein intake, there are many different supplemental protein powders you can use.
Wondering how protein can help with training and muscle recovery? It’s a bit more complicated than you may think as individuals vary on their requirements. You may use the above information as guidelines, but getting some specific guidance on this will help design proper quantities for you.
Meal planning services are now offered at our King Street and Rosedale locations. Contact us for your initial assessment.
• Campbell, B., et al. “International society of sport nutrition stand: protein and exercise,” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4:8 (2007)
• Kerksick, C., et al. “International society of sport nutrition stand: nutrient timing,” 5:17 (2008)