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