How high protein diet can help athletes with best health and weight loss

4 min read

Every day hundreds of people visit our nutrition clinic and ask us advice on protein. Is protein important? Do I need to take more protein? Will having a high protein diet improve my performance? Are some of the most common queries. Protein is the building block of life. A lot of people thinks that they are eating enough protein to meet daily requirements but when we do dietary recall, their protein intake is substantially missing.

A child requires 1gprotein/kg body weight. For adults, the requirement is 1.5g/kg body weight and for athletes, it is 1.8g/kg body weight. So an athlete who is 60kgs of bodyweight will require 108g of protein in the diet. This protein intake should be consumed across 4-6 meals in a day. From sports nutrition perspective a pre work out and post work out meal has to have a significant amount of protein. A lot of athletes do the mistake of consuming the protein in one go, well that’s not going to work.

Types of High protein diet

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A high protein diet includes a large serving of proteins balanced with healthy carbs and fat sources. Athletes’ body requires their brain and muscle during physical activity. Protein breaks down into amino acids to fuel muscles for better performance. Source of proteins can be different based on eating preferences.

Vegetarian High Protein Diet

Field bean

Cow Pea

Green gram dal

Lentil

Rajma

Non-Vegetarian High Protein Diet

Eggs

Fish

Chicken

Vegan High Protein Diet

Hemp seeds

Green peas

Spirulina

Chia Seeds

Also Read | Best Sports Nutrition Tips For Peak Performance Of Athletes

How Much Protein to take?

Weight loss, Muscle gain, Stamina, Recovery, all individuals have varying needs. Their body functions differently, their blood chemistry is not identical & their genes are unique. Hence it is advisable to not to follow someone else’s diet plan. It may prove to be more harmful than beneficial. Take into consideration below points before you start taking protein

What is weight ratio: Fat % & Muscle %?

Weight includes both fat & muscle. BIGGEST MISTAKE athletes do is in order to shed some weight they end up losing muscles. Yes, your weighing machine shows that you have lost a few kilos, but have you lost the muscles or have you lost the fat? To enhance performance athletes need to lose fat while ensuring that their muscles reservoir remain intact.

What is a resting metabolism rate? 

Resting Metabolism Rate (RMR) is the rate at which the body burns energy being at complete rest. People with higher muscle ratio will have higher RMR.

What is the activity factor?

The activity factor takes into consideration an individual’s energy intake, energy expenditure, age, sex, weight, height, and physical activity level.

Once you answer all these questions the resulting requirement will be different for all. Which is why following a standard nutrition plan fails. Hence you need to discover your “QUA”

Time schedule of high protein diet

Each athlete should focus on to get a customized nutrition plan for themselves. Their calorie requirements, physical activity level, food intake quantity & time, the source they are getting this protein from will all differ. Hence following standardized or generalized advice is not in the best of their interest. Just to give an idea on high protein diet I am sharing a general schedule. however, I don’t endorse it. If you want to get your eating habits right for superhuman body performance contact my team on 97-4343-0000.

Best form of protein intake

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Protein can be included in your meal, snacks or could be taken in the form of supplements. In either of the case, it is imperative to know the actual requirement. Based on requirement protein intake needs to be planned over 4-6 meals in the day & “IF REQUIRED” supplements can be added to. Self-prescribed supplements intake can lead to liver & kidney damage. I always advocate protein intake through your regular bhojan, khana, sapad or oota. Supplements can enter once one master the art of eating for performance.

High Protein Diet in Packed Snacks

Boiled eggs

Doesn’t get spoiled easily and its nutritional value remains intact throughout the day.

Protein bars

A lot of protein bars is available in the market now. Look for protein bars that are low in sugar content.

Dry Fruit Laddu

A quick fix charger for athletes. Preserved, easy to carry and no preservatives make it the rockstar food for athletes.

Milk

Milk delivers all essential nutrients that are required by athletes. Chocolate milk is an excellent recovery drink.

Benefits of high protein diet

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High Protein Diet helps in quicker recovery

Decrease calorie intake

Foods rich in protein provides with the feeling of satiety and filling. Consuming high protein food will help decrease calorie intake and manage weight.

Muscle building

The body requires amino acids to repair and grow muscles. Coupling high protein diet with training can stimulate lean muscle building in the body.

Quicker recovery

Protein help rebuild and repair muscles post strenuous training which allows proper recovery for the body. Chances of injury occurrence will significantly be reduced if recovery is taken care of.

Increase in strength levels

Muscle building and quicker recovery will result in increased strength levels. Athletes’ would be able to drive more out of their training.

For expert and personalized guidance on protein nutrition, you can contact Qua nutrition, India’s best nutritionists.


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Ryan Fernando is an award-winning celebrity sports nutrition coach with 2 GUINNESS world record and 2 Olympic medals under his belt. He is the CEO & Chief Nutritionist at Qua Nutrition Signature Clinics. He is also the author of the book “Eating Secrets of Champions”, a leading sports nutrition book in India.

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