Protein contributions in the Athlete

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Robert Maurer

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Edited by Doctor Izzo Lorenzo

The amount of protein to be taken is calculated in relation to the body weight of the subject and it is considered that in an average adult individual the protein requirement is 0,7-1 g / kg bw (one gram of protein per kilo of normal body weight or ideal); in the child or athlete who carries out workouts with high muscular effort, the requirement increases up to 1,4-2 g / kg bw
In athletes and in subjects with physical commitment, the daily protein quota should be divided between foods of animal origin - about 60% - and foods of plant origin - about 40% -.
In muscle work the amino acids (AA) that are used are in particular the branched ones: leucine, isoleucine and valine, with an energy contribution from proteins equal to about 5-10%. The protein supplementation of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) is often used by athletes during intense training programs both to promote an increase in muscle mass and for energy purposes. However, strong doubts persist about the real efficacy of BCAAs as well as their absolute harmlessness at high doses for prolonged periods of time.
The calculation of the total energy must be followed by the calculation of the protein intake, in principle the nutritional recommendations recommend to consume one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight in an adult in good health and who performs physical activity normal. The same procedure is used in the athlete's diet.
After calculating the total energy share, it is necessary to evaluate the protein requirement which in this case depends on the anthropometric characteristics of the athlete and his training program.
Athletes who carry out effective training that involves greater athletic commitment have an increased protein requirement, as well as those athletes who need to increase their muscular endowment or who practice sports where it is important for the result. These athletes have a proportionately higher protein requirement also in consideration of the higher share of muscle protein wear specifically associated with sports practice.
The protein quota necessary for an athlete is no less than 1 g / kg bw up to a maximum of 2 g / kg bw for the most intense training periods, also because higher altitudes are not effective for modifying muscle mass.
On average it is recommended in athletes to give protein supplies of 1,5-1,8 g / kg bw; higher values ​​were found to be ineffective for the purpose of increasing muscle mass.
Protein inputs thus conceived usually fall within the limits of 10-15% of the ETG (total daily energy). The protein ration must be adequately distributed between animal and vegetable proteins (60% and 40%) with a preponderance of animal proteins for the biological value and in particular for the heme iron content.

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