If you have big adventure goals, you must boost your athletic performance with high-quality protein in your diet. In fact, the right amount can lead to maximum muscle growth, tissue repair, and energy production. Notably, the amount of protein you need may differ quite a bit depending on your particular fitness goals and training.
There is a direct relationship between high-quality protein and athletic performance. To reach optimal performance, you must consume the right amount of protein at the best times. Additionally, it is crucial to provide your body with all the other macro and micronutrients. The main goal with nutrition and adventure is to eat nutrient-dense foods. These healthy foods provide your body with everything it needs to perform at the highest level. No matter the talent or experience, your body cannot perform without the proper fuel. In fact, if you want to take your adventure game to the next level, it all starts with your diet.
There are a ton of different diets out there. However, supplying your body with the nutrients needed for energy does not have to be a hard task. So, forget trying a complicated diet plan. These are difficult to follow in the long run. Instead, take the simple approach to consume nutrient-dense foods. These foods will fuel your body and enhance your athletic performance. Additionally, you will still get to enjoy your life with the occasional cheat meals. The key to diet is about balance.
Understanding the Basics
The proper nutrition boosts your energy, has you feeling better, increases your concentration, and enhances your athletic performance. So, now is the time to change your diet. It will impact all areas of your life. The difference can be incredible, especially with accomplishing your adventure goals. Performance is dependent on several categories. These factors include your intake of total calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fluids, and vitamins.
A healthy diet can be basic and easy to follow, while still tasting delicious. First, once you understand the basics behind providing your body with the right foods it becomes a breeze to meal prep healthy foods. All it takes is some research and time management. With this in mind, think about the times you make poor diet choices. Mostly, it is when you are rushing and do not have the right foods waiting for you in the fridge. Taking the time to meal prep can change the habit of eating out or consuming junk.
The three major nutrients you need in large numbers are carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. However, proteins are crucial for muscle growth and repair after a training session. Proteins are the foundation. Aside from your muscles, many other areas of your body rely on protein. For example, your connective tissue, metabolism, and oxygen transportation require the use of proteins. Your body needs protein each day to function properly. Typically, you will want 10% to 25% of your total calories coming from protein.
Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids, or building blocks. There are two different types of amino acids, essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids need to be consumed within your diet. The body is unable to make these. For you as an adventure athlete, it is crucial to consume a variety of protein sources to make sure all essential amino acids are in your diet.
As stated before, protein is used in other areas of the body aside from your muscles. Amino acids play a key role in hormone and metabolic processes, along with maintaining a healthy mental state. The lack of protein has a profound impact on your overall health. There are many processes waiting for the supply of high-quality protein.
Usually, carbohydrates and fats provide the body energy. As the last resort, protein will also be used as an energy source. However, then there is a lack of muscle repair and growth. In order to prevent this, make sure you are consuming enough carbohydrates in your diet.
A healthy diet geared towards athletic performance needs to have an adequate amount of protein. Avoid not enough or too much. Each has a negative impact to body composition and performance. In fact, you need to analyze the optimal amount for your specific training style and growth goals. One of the worst mistakes made in training is to consume too much protein because you think more is always better.
Healthy Protein Sources to Boost Athletic Performance
- Whole Eggs
- Meat (chicken, lean beef, turkey)
- Fish and Seafood (salmon, tuna, cod, mahi-mahi, herring, and shrimp)
- Greek Yogurt
- Whey Protein Supplements
*Eggs, fish, and meat contain all of the nine essential amino acids.
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, macadamia)
- Quinoa, Lentils, and Oats
- Seeds (flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin)
- Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts
- Tofu (soy)
- Brussels Sprouts
- Plant Protein Supplements
*Soy contains all nine essential amino acids.
Boost Your Athletic Performance with Protein
The battle to boost your athletic performance comes from supplying your body with high-quality protein. The daily intake of protein is needed due to your body’s inability to easily store it. In addition, your diet must contain all nine essential amino acids. Each amino acid has a particular function within the body. Therefore, the combination of different protein sources from both animal and plant sources are helpful.
In fact, the right amount is just as important as the source. The right amount promotes optimal muscle repair, growth, and performance is in response. Eat protein, but not too much. Also, if vegetarian make sure to consume enough protein. It is common to fall short. Especially, with the intake of all nine essential amino acids.
Protein Requirements for Athletes
Many factors influence the need for protein. For example, the duration and intensity of training will change the amount of protein you need for recovery. The right amount of protein, from a high-quality source, must be consumed at the right times throughout the day. Otherwise, recovery and growth will not happen. In general, the type of training will determine your protein needs. Here are the following requirements for athletes dependent on activity.
Normal Adult (mostly sedentary) 0.8 g per kg of body weight
Endurance 1.2 – 1.4 g per kg of body weight
Strength 1.4 – 2.0 g per kg of body weight
Weight Loss While Training 2.0 g per kg of body weight
The Key to Timing
The right high-quality protein sources is the first half of the solution. Second is timing. Protein must be eaten at the right times throughout the day to maximize athletic performance. Timing is key. Try to space out your protein throughout the entire day. Remember, your body is not able to keep large stores. So, it is important to give your body a consistent supply.
Small amounts frequently will have a greater benefit compared to large meals. Aim to consume protein with every meal. Additionally, a shake can be a great way to fill in between meals. The total amount of protein you want is highly dependent on your weight and training routine. Once you figure out the total, just divide the total into the number of meals you have on a typical day. For more information on the effects of protein on optimal performance check out Optimum Nutrition.