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How much protein does a weight-lifter need to get an optimal response from exercise? --Is it an absolute amount or grams per kilogram body weight?

 

Speaking at a symposium spononsored by PINES (www.PINESNutrition.org), protein researcher Daniel Moore PhD of the University of Guelph in Canada reported that for generalized advice, 20 grams of post-exercise protein does the job for the average athlete. More is not better. In a study that compared 20 and 40 grams, the higher 40-gram dose offered minimal additional benefits for muscle protein synthesis. Don’t waste your money on supplements, and also don’t fill up on protein while ignoring your needs for carbohydrates to refuel your muscles. You want to consume three times more carbs than protein!

 

For more personalized advice, the best bet is to determine post-exercise protein needs according to body weight. Moore recommends targeting about 0.25 g protein per kilogram body weight (that’s about .11 gram per pound) to maximize muscle protein synthesis. This means:

-- a 50 kg (110 lb) female would need approximately 12.5 grams protein post-exercise

--a 100 kg (220 pound) man, would need about 25 grams protein post-exercise.

Any excessprotein primarily gets burned as fuel or stored as fat.

 

You want to offer your muscles a continous supply of protein, so enjoy repeated “doses” throughout the day. Most athletes do this naturally with meals and snacks.

 

 

 

For more information:

Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Chapter 7: Protein to Build and Repair Muscles

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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!

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