What are the best proteins and how should they be taken?

Elite nutritionist Freddy Brown runs through the importance of timing and quality when using protein in our training diets and where we can find the best sources

12 November 2012    |    0 Comments

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To read Freddy's full healthy eating guide, click here to get yourself a copy of last month’s issue of Fighting Fit. To buy this edition via our app, please click here.

During periods of growth or weight loss, protein requirements may increase, making protein particularly important for a weight-categorised athlete. However, the maximum benefit is achieved from eating only 1.4-1.7g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day which is easily obtainable even in a vegetarian diet that contains sufficient sources of protein, such as grains, beans, nuts and dairy. Far more important than the overall amount of protein then is the quality and the timing - include protein at regular intervals, but there will be no real advantage to piling your plate high, unless you're simply trying to add additional calories to your diet.

Make sure you choose high-quality proteins. Although optimal amounts of protein are quite low, high-quality proteins such as meats, fish, dairy and soy have a high ‘biological value’, meaning more of these proteins are incorporated into your muscle. Certain proteins, such as those in milk and whey protein, release their amino acids particularly quickly.

PROTEIN POINTERS
Eat protein within minutes of training! Eating quick-release, high quality proteins (particularly liquid sources) within the first hour following training will improve their effectiveness, while consuming a little before training may offer additional benefits.

Eat Often. Eating small meals frequently has been seen to preserve muscle more effectively than eating the same amount in fewer, larger meals.

Don't just eat massive portions of protein. Easting protein in larger amounts will increase the propensity of your body to burn it as fuel whilst a 'negative feedback' mechanism means that after protein has been lingering in your body for too long, you become less sensitive to it and it actually down-regulates cell-signalling for muscle growth.

GOOD PROTEIN CHOICES
Dairy products
Meats
Eggs
Mixed vegetarian sources (e.g. beans, breads, couscous)
Nuts (but not too many)
Legumes
Fish

To read Freddy's full healthy eating guide, click here to get yourself a copy of last month’s issue of Fighting Fit. To buy this edition via our app, please click here.

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Fighting Fit is published by Newsquest Specialist Media, the world’s leading combat sport publisher. Other titles include Boxing News, The Boxing News Annual and The Boxing News Health & Fitness Series

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