We all have meathead mates who think they know what's good for us when it comes to nutrition.
Fortunately, the verdict is pretty much out when it comes to protein, the only macronutrient yet to be villified by the greater masses. So here's some hard guidelines and facts on how to consume the building blocks of life, especially for us grapplers.
What is protein?
Protein is a long chain-like molecule that is made up of small units known as amino acids, joined together by peptide bonds. So when you hear someone in the gym mentioning 'aminos" or BCAAs, they're referring to Branched Chain Amino Acids that are broken down forms of protein which are readily absorbed.
Protein is in each of the trillions of cells in the human body. There could be no life without protein. The only other substance more plentiful in the body is water. Approximately 18-20% of the body is protein by weight.
Protein intake per day
For every kg of body mass, try to consume between 1.2-1.5g of protein for males and for females this number is 15% lower. This is based on someone who grapples for roughly 1 hour each day.
The protein window
The timing of protein intake is important for skeletal muscle response, especially after acute strength and endurance training. Aim to consume at least 20g of high quality protein immediately after to promote protein synthetic response.
The protein in eggs is the highest quality of protein found in any food. Beef protein is actually some of the lowest in protein parts per gram, while chicken is some of the highest.
The aging muscle myth
Biologically speaking, there is no change to the maximum synthesis rate to protein in older populations. Meaning, when you become older your rate of synthesis in regards to protein converting into muscle doesn't change.
However, the demand of protein to maintain muscle mass does. To be perfectly accurate it doubles, therefore older athletes need to consume twice as much protein as their younger counterparts.
In summary, you don't lose muscle mass when you get older, your demand for it doubles.
Follow our bog entries for more dietary ideas!
Eades, Michael, M.D., and Mary Dan Eades, M.D. The Protein Power Lifeplan. New York, NY: Warner Books, Inc., 2000.
Larsen, Laura, ed. Diet and Nutrition Sourcebook (Health Reference Series). Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 2011.
Salk Institute for Biological Studies. “Why Do Cells Age? Discovery of Extremely Long-Lived Proteins May Provide Insight into Cell Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases.” Science Daily. February 3, 2012. Accessed: October 23, 2012.