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  • Writer's pictureBarbara

Extra proteins for athletes: what's the real deal?

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

Are extra proteins really necessary?

You have been working fanatically with your personal trainer for a while, and you are already making good progress. Time to step it up a notch! If your eye falls on a slick ad for protein shakes especially for extra muscle growth, your interest is quickly aroused.

The promises of the manufacturer are not wrong, your mouse is already hovering over the button to throw the powders into your shopping cart. But how much do you need now? And, do you really need it?

Is it really necessary to knock down a protein shake before, during and after your workout? Or is there a huge marketing campaign going on here from all protein powder suppliers?

Various studies* have found that under varying circumstances, there is no added value to an intake of more than 1.6 grams of protein per day per kg of body weight. There are even studies that indicate that a much lower intake is enough.

Suppose you weigh 80 kg, then you do not need to consume more than 128 grams of protein per day. More proteins then no longer provide benefits for your muscle growth or your strength development.

These numbers don't change the more or "harder" you train than usual. This study studied bodybuilders who trained 6 days a week, 1.5 hours a day. The results were also the same for this target group and there appeared to be no benefits of a higher protein intake in terms of muscle growth or strength development.

However, there is a correlation between the intensity of your training and how much protein you need. If your workouts are not too intense and muscle growth is moderately stimulated, you need less protein for maximum muscle growth and you can therefore reduce protein intake.

Are you an advanced athlete? Then your body is trained to deal more efficiently with the proteins present in your body. The breakdown of proteins by training is then inhibited by your body. This explains why you suffer less from muscle soreness the more used to training!

Because there is now less protein breakdown, less protein needs to be supplemented for optimal results.

Interested in working with our personal trainers on a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body? Try a free trial lesson personal training at your home, or just outside for a wonderful workout in the open air.

Would you like the best possible workout, tailored to your body and your goals? Our trainers are specially trained for this and come to your location when it is most suitable for you. This can be at home, or on a location outside, such as during your lunch break at the office or in a park nearby. Our trainers are certified, and speak both English and Dutch. And especially for women we have ‘Ladies Only’. Sports coaching for women, given by women. Also for guidance during a pregnancy or after childbirth.

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