I read with great appreciation your insight into the need for or lack of extra protein for athletes.

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I read with great appreciation your insight into the need for or lack of extra protein for athletes. As a high school coach, I fight this battle of supplements every day with young athletes. I keep trying to explain that there are no magic pills. A well-balanced diet with plenty of variety is best.

Currently, I am recommending that our athletes are 55-60% complex carbos with 1 gram of protein per kilo of body weight. I recommend about 15% fat in the diet with very little saturated fat.

Please let me know if there are problems with this. I have booked marked your site and plan on visiting often.

Bravo and congrats on sending good nutrition messages about protein supplements. Not needed by anyone! Keep pushing the Food Guide Pyramid (meat & beans, milk, fruit, vegetables, Grains, some fat, and sweets).

Your fat recommendation though is too low for adolescent athletes. They need around 30% calories from fat, especially to meet their high-calorie requirements. Young growing teens, especially males, cannot meet their calorie requirements on only 15% fat. Besides, the likelihood of eating disorders is much greater with a fat content of less than 25%.

If you recommend 55 – 60% carbs and 15% fat, then the remaining 25 – 30% would have to be protein which is still way too high. 0.8 gm of protein per kg body weight is the RDA for adults, slightly higher for adolescents. It is easier to figure protein as a percent of calories. After all, bigger people need more calories and have more lean muscles to build and repair. Large amounts of protein stress kidneys and some new research suggests that a high protein diet may increase homocysteine (non-essential amino acid) levels in the blood which is thought to cause arteriosclerosis, even in very young people.

Have you tried my Healthy Kid Calculator®? I designed it to work for newborns to 18 yr olds It will calculate healthy weights, BMI, calories for maintenance or gain as well as protein, vitamins, and minerals. Let your students try my Healthy Kid Calculator® to find out for themselves how much protein they should eat.