Protein for Cyclists

When you train exceptionally hard, whether it is in the gym or sprint training, you are effectively breaking down muscle tissue and the repair process can be quite painful. Your muscles also use some of their own protein as energy for maximal effort work so unless you replace that protein with similarly high quality protein all your training will be to no avail.

Your body’s proteins will come to the rescue to rebuild your broken down muscle tissue. It is a breaking down and rebuilding process that power athletes want for muscle growth. As protein is not stored in your body like you can with carbohydrates, you will need to take quality protein regularly for the muscles to absorb and aid recovery.

A sprinter will require around 3.3 grams of protein per kilo body weight per day. This means that a 75kg rider will need around 250 grams in total per day.

But amount is only half the story. The protein must be highly quality “first class ” protein. This means it can be utilized easily by the muscles for repair, regeneration and building new tissues. This applies even if the rider is not looking to increase muscle bulk. The best form of first class protein is supplements based on milk whey protein. These should be used to supplement quality low fat animal protein such as chicken, fish and egg whites. Steak and other animal meats (and egg yolks) are quality protein but they are associated with high saturated fat levels which are undesirable.

To make up the proteins needed in your diet will require a fast acting supplement, as well as solid type foods like chicken, steak and Tuna fish, but remember the body cannot absorb more than 25 grams at any given moment so spread the supplement out if you want the best results. I use “Whey” Protein as it is absorbed better than egg or milk protein powder and take whey with water not milk.

Written by Padraig Marrey. 

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