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Protein needs for being a Healthy Runner

The Benefits of having Proteins for our body

1.) Muscle recovery and healing

 Running can be a very intense sport that requires a lot of energy, patience and resilience. Many people who frequently run or run professionally are quite prone to getting injured from their heels all the way to their abdomen, especially if they don’t tread carefully. Proteins are considered the building bricks of our body, their main aim is to help repair and build the structure of our cells. They are extremely important for athletes because not only do they help in repairing soft cell damage but also help with muscle fatigue caused by intense exertion due to the buildup of lactic acid in our muscles.

Proteins also help in producing energy in the body especially if you are in the habit of exercising at high intensity levels for long periods of time. In this case the body will start using proteins to produce energy instead of carbohydrates and glucose.

2.) Improved and increased immune system

 The role of the immune system in our body is to identify viruses, bacteria and other harmful alien bodies that often attack our body. The antibiotic of the immune system will then capture these alien bodies so that your immune system can attack and destroy them.

Believe it or not, proteins actually help in improving your immune system as well; this is because a large part of your immune system is made up of proteins. Not only do the proteins create the antibodies of your immune system but also help in activating these antibodies whenever your body is fighting off a virus. If your diet is lacking proteins then the efficiency of your immune system will also suffer.

3.) Improve the functions of hormones in the body

 The hormones reside and are produced in our glands and their purpose is to send signals throughout our bodies through molecules that allow us to function and do activities on a daily basis.

Many hormones in our bodies actually rely heavily on proteins because they are made of proteins and are often referred to as protein hormones as well. Insulin is an example of a protein hormone that has the function of breaking down sugar levels in your blood to create energy. If you don’t include a sufficient amount of protein in your daily basis then there is a possibility that the hormones in your body will not be adequately supported and thus will not work at optimum level.

4.) Keeps you full for long periods of time

 If you’re on a journey to losing weight then we definitely recommend making proteins a primary part of your diet because they help you stay full for long periods of time. The scientific reason for why you feel so full after having proteins is because they have the ability to reduce a hormone ghrelin which is responsible for making you feel hungry and increases the hormone peptide YY that allows you to feel full.

5.) Improve enzyme performance

Enzymes have the responsibility of controlling and maintaining the chemical reactions in our bodies; these include speeding, slowing down or sustaining an ongoing reaction. Enzymes such as the ATPase are responsible for breaking down ATP that helps to release energy in our body. Lactose is another example of an enzyme that helps digest dairy products in our bodies.

Enzymes are basically proteins that help our body perform basic functions to lead a normal life.

6.) Builds Muscle Mass

 Muscles and especially leg muscles, that collectively create the biggest muscle part of our body, need proteins to help sustain and build them.

How much protein does a Healthy Runner need?

How much protein does a Healthy Runner need

It is advised that you should take proteins as per how much your body needs, not too much or not too less. As per research it states that an average person must consume at least 0.8 grams of protein per kg of their weight in a day.

However, a professional runner would obviously need more of this set amount to be able to perform at their best level, hence the advised amount of protein per day for a professional runner is 1.0g/ 1.6g of protein per kg of their weight in a day.

How to calculate how much protein you need

Here is a simple way you can calculate how much protein you need to take

Convert your weight in lbs by 2.2 to convert to kgs

Now multiply the recommended amount of grams you should have of protein per kg with your own weight (that has been converted to kgs)

The different forms of Protein you can take

Meat for our bodyMeat

Lean meat allows you to experiment with different types of meats that are high on protein, help protect your muscles against injuries by making them strong.

ChickenChicken

Chicken and especially breast chicken have high levels of protein in them, they help you stay full for long periods of time and also build and maintain muscle mass.

FishFish

Fish has a very low-calorie count and fat content, which makes them an excellent source of protein that will allow you to overcome hunger and stay full for long periods of time.

EggsEggs

Eggs are again a direct source of all protein that not only help to crave your early morning hunger but also help you to reduce weight.

Are protein shakes recommended?

This is an ongoing debate as protein shakes are shunned a little due to the simple reason that one must try to eat as many natural and organic things as possible. However, for those of us who lead a pretty busy schedule, can hardly find the time to change into our running tanks tops, can’t exactly wait too long or spare time to prepare proper meals after a workout, protein shakes are a lifesaver! They are pretty handy and convenient especially if you’re taking it within the first 30 minutes of exercising.

The first 30 minutes after running is known as the perfect hour to consume your proteins because it is in this time window that your body will be able to use up proteins most efficiently to help repair any muscle injury or muscle damage.

Healthy meal options for a professional runner

Although we have established the four most common and popular protein types that one can consume, we have compiled a list of options you can choose from to mix and match and prepare four meals of the day. Remember that proteins are not the only element that we need as a professional runner or any kind of athlete really, carbohydrates and fat are necessary as well.

Breakfast:

  • Eggs (boiled/ scrambled)
  • Peanut butter and toast
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Coffee
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal

Snack:

  • Granola bar
  • Berries
  • Protein Shake
  • Peanuts
  • Yogurt
  • Hummus
  • Celery

Lunch:

  • Fish or meat, or cottage cheese, pulses, lentils, beans or hummus, will all provide protein and are great in salads or with jacket potatoes.
  • Sandwich made of fish
  • Have lots of salad
  • Soup
  • Whole-wheat/ Whole-grain toast
  • Brown Rice/Brown noodles

Dinner:

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Chicken
  • Pulses
  • Cheese
  • Lentils
  • Beans

So, when you are pulling up those running jogger pants and busy preparing for that early morning running session, don’t forget to keep a check on how much protein you have

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