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Protein Supplements for Endurance Athletes

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Protein supplements are common in endurance athletes. These days many of the athletes use protein supplements in order to enhance their performance.  There are different types of protein supplements available for this purpose. The right form of protein supplement can help you recover in a better way. This article discusses how protein supplements can benefits endurance athletes.

Protein for Endurance AtheletesEndurance training and Protein supplements

While exercising, the muscles are the primary source of energy. They serve as the energy reservoir for the athletes. This is applicable not only in endurance training but also in other exercises as well.  Muscles are formed of protein and thus protein supplements are essentials for trainers and athletes.  The question is how much protein the endurance trainers require. There are different factors that are important in this regard. The intensity of exercise, the duration of exercise and the body glycogen levels needs to be evaluated before taking any additional protein supplements.  Moreover, the need of supplements also varies from one person to another person but usually 2g per kg of body weight is taken per day to meet the additional requirement of protein.

Intensive Training and Protein Requirements 

Protein requirement increases when the trainer indulges in intensive and excessive exercising. Recently, a study was conducted on elite high performing cyclist and the results indicated that 20 g of hydrolyzed protein before during and after exercise helped the trainers to maintain immunity level in body.  This reflects that the need for additional protein may vary with intensity and duration of exercise undertaken.

Ultra Endurance Athletes and Protein Requirements

The ultra endurance athletes are athletes who indulge in very intensive exercises for longer duration i.e. 6 to 12 hours. During this period, the energy levels completely deplete in body and thus, the body needs excessive protein supplements to maintain the depleting energy levels.  In one study, it was found that endurance athletes required about 1g/kg/hour.

Endurance Athletes – suitable time for protein 

The timing of protein intake is very important in endurance athletes.  The protein supplements will be useful only if they are taken within a specific time period. Protein supplements works best when taken immediately after exercise as they help in post exercise recovery. The best time to take supplements after endurance training is between 15-30 minutes following training.

Best time to take Protein 

Another important aspect is to determine whether protein ingestion is beneficial before exercise or during exercise. Various studies have been conducted on this aspect.  In case of endurance exercise, it is more suitable to consume protein during exercise as during exercise the blood flow is increased to muscles. Anything consumed during exercise will be absorbed very quickly. This will lead to release of energy in body and thus, taking protein supplements during exercise is more beneficial for the endurance trainer.

Endurance Athlete Protein SupplementsEndurance Athletes – the best type of protein supplements 

It is very important to determine the best type of protein for endurance athletes. There is a huge market of protein supplements and each promise to provide best results. However, the decision to choose among all the market offerings lies with athletes.  The best form of protein available is whey hydrolysate. So if you are looking for best quality product, then go for it even though it is bit expensive but the results are worthy. Whey hydrolysate has many benefits including shorter recovery, quick replenishment of glycogen level in body and reduced soreness in muscles.

To conclude, protein is very essential for endurance athletes.  Protein supplements help endurance trainers to improve their performance, reduce muscle soreness, shorter recovery time and better glycogen levels in body.

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