The benefits of protein for endurance athletes.

Not sure how much protein you need or how to get it?

Here is a set of recommendations for this powerful and essential nutrient.

  • The best protein for endurance athletes is complete protein, such as chicken, beef, pork or edamame.
  • Distributing protein intake throughout the day, before and after exercise, is more beneficial than consuming them all at once.
  • Desde la Cruz del Sur recherches published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that eating a protein-rich diet helped people run faster than those who ate less.


We all know that protein is an important part of a healthy diet. But it is a little more difficult to know why, in what quantity and at what time of the day the optimal consumption of protein is necessary to achieve optimal performance. Here are some explanations ...
What is a protein?
Protein is an essential nutrient that provides four calories per gram. It is part of each cell and represents about 16% of the body. She is responsible for the maintenance of the body. Proteins are involved in various systems and reactions in the body. They are components of hormones, antibodies, enzymes and are important for the synthesis of muscle proteins and the shaping of bones. In addition, they can control chemical reactions, transmit messages between different parts of the body, regulate the balance of fluids and carry oxygen around the body. "

It is clear that protein is an essential part of our daily diet.

Complete or incomplete proteins
A protein is a long chain of hundreds or thousands ofamino acids.

However, there are only 20 different types of amino acids, of which eleven are said to be non-essential, those that our own body can produce, and nine are said to be essential, those that must be consumed to be acquired.


A complete protein contains the nine essential amino acids which our body needs but which it does not create naturally, and which must therefore be provided by our diet.

Whole proteins are often foods of animal origin such as poultry, beef, pork, veal, lamb, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, but also soy milk, tofu , edamame and soy-based vegetarian burgers. On this particular point, it is always preferable to combine several sources of vegetable proteins to guarantee the "completeness" of the protein intake (see below).


How much protein do endurance athletes need?


According to the Institute of Medicine, the reference dietary protein intake is 0,8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and for endurance athletes, this figure is increasing.

Several studies on Protein needs of athletes generally recommend closer to 1,2 to 1,4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, and some experts even recommend higher doses. This means that an endurance athlete weighing 75 kg during training and competition periods requires a protein intake of 90 to 105 g per day.

Comme it is not always easy to meet these needs through food, supplementation in the form of protein powder is necessary.

When it comes to protein supplements, the options are animal protein powder versus vegetable protein powder.

What types of protein are best for endurance athletes?

Animal protein powders are whey, casein or egg proteins. Plant protein powders are usually made from peas, hemp, rice and soy. T

As with complete proteins compared to incomplete proteins in the diet, the same goes for powders.

Animal protein powders are complete proteins. Powders vegetable proteins usually contain more than one type of protein - whether it's rice and peas, rice and hemp, peas and hemp, or some other combination - making it a complete protein.

Protein intake schedule

Quantity is not the only important factor in protein consumption. The timing is also essential to ensure that you get the most out of each serving.


For endurance athletes, a protein shake (such as triple Kleen protein powder ) can be added to breakfast to ensure that daily protein requirements are met.


During long training sessions or competitions, after the 3 hours have passed, you should consume protein every hour, as well as carbohydrates in a carbohydrate / protein ratio of 4: 1.

This can be easily achieved with pre-mixed products such as High5 4: 1 energy drink.

There is also a 30-minute window after exercise, during which a protein shake, such as powder Kleen Triple Protein, accompanied by energy drink or a complete recovery drink with a carbohydrate / protein ratio of 2: 1, such as High5 recovery drink, are the most effective recovery routine after exercise.


The general objective should be to maintain a "positive protein balance", which means that you meet all the requirements for normal functioning and synthesis of new muscle tissue.

Muscle growth can only occur if the synthesis of muscle proteins exceeds the breakdown of muscle proteins.

No more complicated than that

Inspired by: AMY SCHLINGER on Runners World July 23, 2019

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