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Do runners and body builders need the same amount of protein?

Yes—when you calculate protein needs based on body weight. A more-than-adequate intake for both types of athletes is about 0.75 grams protein per pound body weight (1.5 grams protein per kilogram). While this need will be slightly higher if the athlete is restricting calories or in a growth spurt, 1 gram protein per pound (2.0 g pro/kg) is the maximum needed per day.


Let’s do some math:


140 pound runner = 106 g protein per day


240 pound body builder – 180 grams protein per day


Either of these amounts of protein is easily obtained by enjoying a protein-rich food with each meal. Here are three easy ways to meet your protein needs:


Cottage cheese, 1 cup           30 g

Tuna, 6-ounce can                35-40 g protein

Chicken breast, 6 ounces       50 g


Because a 240-pound body builder can easily devour a 16-ounce (two cup) tub of cottage cheese, a few cans of tuna (for a mere snack), and two chicken breasts, he’ll match his protein requirements without needing supplements.


For more information:

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Chapter 7. Protein to Build and Repair Muscles

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Are you struggling to find a helpful gift for your active friends? Here are a few suggestions (admittedly self-serving)!


For your friends who like to bicycle:
     Cyclist's Food Guide: Fueling for the distance (hot off the press!)


For new runners:
    Food Guide for New Runners: Getting it right from the start


For novice and experienced marathoners:
     Food Guide for Marathoners: Tips for everyday champions


For soccer parents and players:
     Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and recipes from the pros


For anyone who loves nutrition books:
     Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook


For hungry athletes who need quick and easy recipes:
     For iPhone recipe app: Recipes for Athletes


If you are a health educator and want to yourself a present, consider these ready-made teaching tools. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel!
Ready-made PowerPoint Presentations (with script)
            SportsNutrition for Student Athletes NEW!
            EngineeredSports Foods
            SportsNutrition: Fueling for Performance
            Dieting,Weight & Exercise: Finding the Right Balance


Ready-made sports nutrition handouts - set of 16 popular topics for activepeople


     Online Sports Nutrition Workshop --or take a trip to LA, San Fran, or  Phoenix for the live workshop
     For RDs: 25 homestudy credits for Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook


Please see my website for more information and to place your order:


With best wishes for a happy holiday season, a healthy 2012--and many thanks for your support of winning with good nutrition,



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Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Member since: Jul 8, 2007

Hi! I specialize in nutrition for exercise, and help active people figure out how to manage food, weight, exercise, energy and enjoyment of eating. Let me know if you have any questions!

View Nancy Clark RD CSSD's profile