Originally, I planned to write an essay explaining why endurance athletes don’t require protein shakes, but sports supplement. Protein shakes have some very excellent reasons to be consumed by cyclists, runners, and triathletes, but they are also frequently misused, utilised for the wrong reasons, or used in place of better options. Consider the following benefits and drawbacks if you use or plan to use protein powder to increase your protein consumption.
Pro: A higher protein intake is beneficial to older athletes.
Growing research suggests that higher protein intake benefits older individuals (50+), particularly older athletes. The RDA for protein is.8 g/kg (about.5 g/pound) for non-endurance athletes and 1.2-1.6 g/kg for endurance athletes. The recommended daily protein intake for Masters-aged endurance athletes rises to 1.6-1.8 g/kg. (2019, Desbrow) Athletes who are proactively striving to increase muscle mass and athletes who engage in high-power, high-intensity exercise (e.g. sprinting) may benefit from ingesting up to 2g/kg/day, but there is no evidence that consuming more over 2g/kg/day provides significant extra advantage.
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Maintaining muscle mass gets increasingly difficult as athletes become older. Doering et al. fed senior triathletes (avg 53 years old) and younger triathletes (avg 27 years old) the same regulated diet and put them through the same high-intensity downhill running sessions for three days in a small 2016 research. After the workouts, they consumed 20g of isolated protein, and their controlled diet supplied 1.6g/kg of protein per day. Despite eating twice as much protein as the RDA, older triathletes had considerably poorer muscle protein synthesis than younger triathletes, according to the researchers.
Although the Doering research used a very high training load (3 days of intentionally muscle-damaging exercises), it implies that older athletes might benefit from protein consumption at the higher end of the range (1.6-2.0g/kg/day). As a result, if older athletes require more protein, protein powders make it easier to take more, unless…
Con: Supplements aren’t necessary to obtain adequate protein.
It’s not difficult for a 70-85 kg (154-187 pound) athlete to ingest 126-153 grammes of protein per day, which is near to the upper end of the recommended protein consumption (1.8g/kg of bodyweight per day). Athletes who consume a variety of foods, such as meat, fish, and dairy, have an easier time, but nutrition-conscious vegetarians and vegans have no trouble getting enough protein. For your convenience, here’s a list of high-protein foods (from both animal and plant sources):
- Greek yogurt: 23 grams per 8 ounce serving
- Cottage cheese: 14 grams per half cup
- Lentils – 9 grams per half cup
- Tofu – 10 grams of protein per cup
- Tempeh – 12 grams per cup
- Hemp Seeds – 13 grams in 3 TBSP
- Black Beans – 8 grams per half cup
- Chickpeas (or hummus) – 8 grams per half cup
- Almonds – 7 grams per cup
- Quinoa – 8 grams per cup
- Soy Milk – 8 grams per cup
- Peas – 8 grams per cup
- Peanut Butter – 8 grams per 2 TBSP
- Black Eyed Peas – 8 grams per half cup
- Edamame – 8.5 grams per half cup
Pro: They’re practical.
A protein powder shake is quite convenient for many busy athletes who are exercising hard.
Pro: Protein powders don’t provide the same spectrum of nutrients as entire meals.
My greatest issue with protein powder is that it frequently replaces actual food in an athlete’s diet, causing them to miss out on all of the other beneficial elements that those meals would have provided. Other protein isolates (whey, casein, and so on) aren’t included in the chart. And many protein powders are fortified with extra (and often huge) amounts of vitamins and minerals. Athletes who rely on supplements, on the other hand, pay less attention to the quality and diversity of their dietary options, which is always bad in the long term.
CON: Many protein isolates are high in sugar and other chemicals.
Unless you add flavour and sugar, most protein isolates taste terrible. In other situations, this means adding as much sugar as a candy bar, soda, or a large slice of birthday cake per serving. If you choose to avoid sugar, you can substitute artificial sweetener, which isn’t a suitable substitute. Then there are the vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as, more significantly, the ergogenic aids that many manufacturers include. Some ergogenic aids (such as coffee) are both effective and legal, whereas others are neither.
Then there are the vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as, more significantly, the ergogenic aids that many manufacturers include. Some ergogenic aids (such as coffee) are both effective and legal, whereas others are neither. Because of the Food and Drug Administration’s lax restrictions on dietary supplements, there’s no way of knowing exactly what’s in that powder. According to the Clean Label Project, 50 percent of the protein powders they tested contained dangerous amounts of pollutants, including heavy metals, in 2017. Since then, their findings have been the subject of scholarly dispute, but even if they exaggerated the scope of the problem. Contamination in protein powders is regrettably nothing new.
Pro: For athletes seeking to shed weight, protein powder provides a concentrated protein source.
One of the reasons bodybuilders use protein powder in addition to eating a lot of protein-rich meals is that eating a lot of whole food protein sources involves consuming a lot of overall calories and a lot of food. Then there are the vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as, more significantly, the ergogenic aids that many manufacturers include. Some ergogenic aids (such as coffee) are both effective and legal, whereas others are neither. Then there are the vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as, more significantly, the ergogenic aids that many manufacturers include.
Some ergogenic aids (such as coffee) are both effective and legal, whereas others are neither. Because of the Food and Drug Administration’s lax restrictions on dietary supplements. There’s no way of knowing exactly what’s in that powder. My advice to the athletes I deal with, especially those over 50, is to focus on getting the protein they need from complete foods. And to make modifications to their dietary choices if required to boost protein consumption. Protein powders, in my opinion, are a last option, and there is nearly always a better method to meet an athlete’s protein needs.