Daily Dose of Coach #402: Protein Tips for Athletes

Protein is often a hot topic with athletes and parents, especially when it comes to increasing muscle and gaining weight.

Here are a few tips for you if these are your goals.

Tip 1: Athletes need to eat more protein than the average person, especially when trying to increase muscle mass. Current recommendations suggest 2.2g/kg body weight or 1g/lb of body weight.

Tip 2: Stick with the "anabolic window." This is the window of time (30min-2hours after a workout) that supposedly the muscle are more greedy for amino acids. I say supposedly because research as never really confirmed this. However, it works as a great reminder to hammer some protein down after a workout, so just do it.

Tip 3: Eat Quality Animal and Plant Protein. The higher the quality of protein, the easier it can digest. The easier it is to digest, the better the delivery of amino acids to provide growth. High-quality protein has a good ratio of essential amino acids. High-quality animal and plant proteins are organic or grass-fed lean meats (beef, pork, wild game), free-range poultry (chicken, turkey, duck), fish and seafood, free-range eggs and egg whites, cottage cheese or strained greek yogurt, quality protein powders, cooked lentil and beans, tempeh and tofu.

Tip 4: Get a high-quality protein powder. Protein powders are great for making shakes that are easily taken in after a workout or as a mid-day snack. Look for powders without too much junk in them, like sugar and artificial flavors. A few good ones are All Natural WheySmooth by dotFit, Whey Isolate by Thorne Research and Performance Nutrition, and proteins+ by Genuine Health. If you really want to step up your muscle-building regimen, take amino acid or essential amino acids during and after your workout.

Tip 5: Eat at least two palms of protein with each of your meals every day. Also, add organic milk, chocholate milk, and or Greek yogurt to your protein shakes.