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Active Expert: Nancy Clark RD CSSD

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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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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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