Strength Training And Diet - Protein And Strength Training

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Strength Training And Diet - Protein And Strength Training
Strength Training And Diet - Protein And Strength Training
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Video: What makes muscles grow? - Jeffrey Siegel 2023, February
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Diet & strength training

In strength-based sports, the focus is on muscle percentage and growth. While many would like to make the body more defined and athletic by adding more muscles, others focus on the preventive aspect of strength training, e.g. to prevent postural problems or back pain. But also with javelin throwing, rowing or shot put and other strength sports it is primarily about the performance of the muscles and how you can increase it or keep it at a high level…

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  • Myth: weight training & protein
  • More protein doesn't make you more muscular
  • Carbohydrates are anabolic
  • Energy requirements are often overestimated
  • What strength athletes should look out for

As different as all the disciplines are, the following applies to all of them: muscle growth only occurs through overloading the muscle (training) and the anabolic processes in regeneration. However, the influence of protein and amino acids is rather overestimated in this regard and too high a priority is given to it. Numerous protein bars, shakes, drinks and protein diets for strength athletes nourish the misconception of a high protein requirement in weight training.

Myth: weight training & protein

It is true that the muscle depends on protein for the growth and repair of small muscle injuries. The protein components (amino acids) are building materials for cells and various tissues, as well as muscles. It is also true that an adequate intake of protein and amino acids is required as a foundation for post-workout gain. In order to meet these requirements, however, no special intake of protein or amino acid preparations or an excess of protein-rich foods is required. The protein requirement of a strength athlete can easily be covered by a balanced diet.

More protein doesn't make you more muscular

If the protein intake is above the requirement, i.e. if you eat too much protein, neither strength nor muscle gain can be improved. Rather, excessive protein intake is a burden on the body and is even converted into body fat if it is too high.

Protein recommendations for weight training of two to four grams per kilogram of body weight are still circulating. This would correspond to 2.5 to 5 times the amount of the normally recommended protein requirement of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight (DA-CH reference values).

For safety reasons and because there are no data for a long-term increase in protein intake, the upper limit for protein intake is set at 2.0 grams per kilogram / body weight.

Note The protein intake in Austria is on average 1.1 grams per kilogram of body weight and thus already above the recommendations (Nutrition Report 2012).

The body of a strength athlete is supplied with an appropriate amount of protein via a balanced mixed diet (see Austrian food pyramid). If you still want to pay special attention to your protein intake, you can consciously integrate high-quality protein-rich foods into your menu. The focus here should be on quality over quantity. The quality of the ingested protein can be improved by skillfully combining different protein sources.

Good sources of protein in food are:

  • Animal foods such as eggs, poultry, meat, fish, milk and dairy products. Prefer the low-fat variants. High-fat sausages and cheeses contain unfavorable accompanying substances such as purines and cholesterol.
  • Plant-based foods such as cereal products (bread, pasta, cereals), legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soy) and potatoes.
  • Good protein combinations are, for example, omelette with cheese, cereal flakes with milk or mashed potatoes with milk.

Carbohydrates are anabolic

Particularly in weight training, carbohydrates are not given enough attention due to the focused view on protein - but they are no less important in weight training. Because through the compensatory release of insulin (blood sugar lowering hormone), they have an indirect effect on the muscles, because insulin has an anabolic effect, i.e. it builds muscles.

It is therefore advisable to consume carbohydrates and protein at the same time within two to three hours after strength training. Recommended after strength training are, for example, rice pudding, egg dishes with bread, banana milk, muesli with (butter) milk.

Energy requirements are often overestimated

After strength training you are really exhausted, because you are almost going to extremes - this is the only way the muscles grow and become stronger. It is particularly tempting to grab a lot of food after training. But be careful, the additional energy / calories required by strength training is relatively modest and is easily overestimated. For example, one hour of strength training on equipment (including breaks, effective load 15 minutes) only consumes 200 kcal (men) or 150 kcal (women). In comparison, an hour of running burns about 600 kcal, depending on gender and running speed.

What strength athletes should look out for

  • Even with intensive strength training, no high amounts of protein or amino acids are required. An intake of 15 energy percent of the total calorie intake is deemed to cover requirements, which corresponds to 1.0–1.5 g / kg body weight / day.
  • If you have a high protein intake, make sure you drink enough fluids.
  • The protein requirement in weight training is covered by a balanced mixed diet - an additional supply in the form of special protein or amino acid preparations is almost always unnecessary. When choosing food protein, quality should come before quantity. Be careful with high-fat sausages and dairy products - they contain high amounts of purines and cholesterol.
  • The upper limit for protein intake of 2.0 grams per kilogram / body weight should not be exceeded.
  • An excessive increase in protein intake has no positive effects on muscle growth or strength performance.
  • Carbohydrates have an anabolic effect in the body through the release of insulin. It is therefore best to eat carbohydrates and proteins at the same time and shortly after training (within two to three hours).
  • The energy consumption of strength training is often overestimated. Endurance training burns significantly more energy than, for example, strength training or other strength-based sports.

Further information is available from:

  • Lose weight in problem areas
  • Nutritional supplements in sports
  • Calculate energy requirements

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