Simone Allen, owner of Perth sports nutrition service Nutrition Works and a dietitian working with elite endurance athletes, says her male athletes need 1.2-1.4g of protein per kilogram of body weight each day – 50 per cent or more than a non-athlete. And just like a bodybuilder, an endurance athlete needs 20g of protein soon after training to aid recovery.
Allen works on a formula of 0.8g per kilo of body weight per hour of exercise for carbs, in conjunction with 20g of protein. So for a 70kg athlete training for 90 minutes, she’d prescribe a total of 74g of carbs with 20g of protein, split between a post-workout snack within 15-30 minutes of training, then the remainder about half an hour later. “By breaking up that total amount into smaller parts and consuming it every 15 or 30 minutes, rather than one bulk amount, you are actually able to utilise the nutrients better,” she says.
Protein isn’t such a priority before or during an endurance event or training. “That’s when we focus on other key nutrients, like carbohydrates, fluids and sodium,” says Allen. In fact, it’s only when you get up to ultra-endurance events of 13 hours or more that you’ll need to incorporate meals or snacks containing protein to ensure you don’t miss out on your daily intake. “That’s when we go for the more easily digestible, liquid forms, such as Sustagen Sport or an Up&Go-style of drink that shouldn’t cause any inner-gut issues,” says Allen.
Photo by Shutterstock Jul 30, 2012