Why Proteins?

No matter what type of exercise is carried out – be it strength, power or endurance – the body needs to build new proteins, in order to grow, repair and adapt muscles. This is a key part of training the body to meet the sport demands. Prolonged training can cause damage to the muscles which need to be repaired and the muscles need to adapt for the next sessions.

What is leucine?

Proteins are made up of small building blocks called amino acids. There are some amino acids that are essential in the diet as the body cannot make them itself (essential amino acids). The most renowned amino acid in sports nutrition is leucine, as this branched-chain amino acid ‘switches on’ muscle protein synthesis and is important for the body building new muscle.

How much protein should you take?

The timing of protein intake, particularly for those training every day and even more can influence recovery and performance. Recovery should start in the first 2 hours after finishing a workout, particularly if you are training every day or more than once a day. The two hours after training are when the body is most open to building new muscles and restocking its carb stores, so this is the perfect time to ingest protein in the form of whey powders which would instantly provide with the essential amino acids. In terms of amount, 0.3g protein per kg body weight should cover your post workout needs. This generally works out around 20-25g protein. We are moving more towards the Western diets which involve eating most protein in the evening and least in the morning. Spreading it more evenly throughout the day, thereby regularly supplying the body with amino acids, can be beneficial. Easy ways to do this include is by adding eggs, beans or yoghurts (especially higher protein ones like Greek yoghurt) at breakfast time.