Getting your Protein

Now that you are into endurance training, consider your recovery from workouts. You need between 0.55 and 0.65 grams of protein per pound of body weight [1]. A 160 pound runner needs 88g to 104g of protein per day. Optimally you want 20g of protein immediately after a workout, mixed with carbohydrates in a 4:1 ratio (80g to 120g carbs) [2]. Most people cannot convert more than 30g at a time, and the excess may be converted to fat stores [1].

A variety of protein sources is a healthy choice, so mix it up. Note that chocolate milk has a 4:1 carb/protein ratio in a handy container. For a solution that does not need to be kept cool, bring a bottle with pre-measured protein powder that just needs water added. Here are some other options:

  • 1 egg = 6g protein
  • 6oz salmon = 34g
  • 1 cup quinoa = 8g
  • 1 cup lentils = 18g
  • 1oz almonds = 6g
  • half cup cottage cheese = 14g
  • 1 cup milk = 8g
  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal = 6g

References:

  1. Matthew Kadey M.S., R.D. on a Competitor.com article “The Skinny on Protein”
  2. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, from the same Competitor.com article.

And some additional reading:  http://running.competitor.com/2014/02/nutrition/protein-intake-and-performance-for-runners_22711