As triathletes, we’re all about the carbs.
And there’s no getting around it - Carbs are the body’s preferred source of fuel for those long sessions and hard efforts.
Unfortunately though, that means a lot of the time, protein is forgotten about.
Now, I know you’ve probably heard a thousand times over how important protein is.
But still, in our experience here at Brownlee Fitness, most triathletes tend to see protein as an afterthought, rather than really giving it the attention it deserves.
Which is a mistake.
Because not getting enough protein means you simply won’t recover as well as you could.
And when you don’t recover as well, you can’t train as hard or as often.
Plus, those sore muscles are going to stay sore for a whole lot longer.
Which, let’s face it - isn’t much fun.
Especially if you’re pounding up hills, or nailing some hard intervals on the track.
But how much protein do you actually need?
Well, according to a study from the PLOS One Journal, endurance athletes need around 1.2-1.4 grams per kilogram of bodyweight, per day. (1)
This means a 75kg athlete should be eating between 90 and 105 grams of protein per day.
And some studies even go as high as 1.6 grams per kilogram, so 120g for our 75kg athlete.
That’s a fair bit more than the government’s standard recommendation of just 45-55 grams per day.
Trouble is, outside of an evening meal (and maybe your lunch,) most of us just don’t get that much protein throughout the day.
How can we rectify this?
Well, the 2 easiest ways are as follows:
1. Grab some protein at breakfast.
Seeing as most people’s breakfasts are protein deficient, getting some extra in here is an easy win.
Opt for some Greek yoghurt (fat-free or low-fat if you’re watching the calories,) a couple of eggs, or even some lean bacon.
Try not to rely on things like nuts and seeds for protein, as while they do contain some protein, they’re not nearly as high in it as low-fat dairy, meat, and fish, and the calories can add up fast.
2. Add a recovery shake.
Adding protein to your post-training shake is so simple, yet can give you an extra 20-30g of protein in literally seconds.
Either go for a pre-mixed drink that has protein as well as carbs, or simply make up a protein shake to neck within half an hour of finishing your session.
Or stock up on a few protein bars and munch on one of these instead.
Ultimately, protein is a supporting cast member to carbohydrates which play the leading role in your performance and recovery.
But that doesn’t mean you can forget about it.
Hopefully today’s email helps with that.
If you’re interested in reading that study in more detail, here’s the link:
And if you need a hand with your nutrition, just drop me a reply to this email.
We have some great guys on our team who are more than happy to help out.