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Todays Date
13 December 2017

Protein & Fats for Exercise


Protein Structure

 Essential amino acids: These can’t be made in the body and therefore it is vital that we get them in our food

 Conditionally Essential amino acids: these amino acids are not always required in the diet but are essential in certain circumstances

 Non- Essential amino acids: These amino acids can be readily made in the body and so are not necessary in the diet

 Branched Chain amino acids (BCAA’s): They make up 1/3 of muscle protein and are a vital substrate for 2 other amino acids, glutamine and alanine – which are released in large quantities during intense aerobic exercise. They can also be used directly as fuel by the muscles, particularly when muscle glycogen is depleted.


Protein Function

➢ Amino Acid Metabolism: 10-15% of total energy production

➢ Used as fuel in aerobic metabolism

 Protein Requirements

 Protein needs of athletes and regular exercisers are higher than those of average individual

 Protein needs also differ depending on aims and type of sport


Sources of Protein

High Biological Value- when a protein contains the essential amino acids in a proportion similar to that required by humans

Low Biological Value: when the protein is missing one or more essential amino acids are scarce

Too Much Protein?

 No advantage for performance

 Recommended protein intakes (up to 2g/kg/day) are not harmful in healthy individuals

 Once needs are met additional protein will not be converted to muscle

 Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

 Increased risk of osteoporosis through calcium excretion??

 Largely unfounded


Storage Fat

 Carbohydrates and fat are the main sources of fuel for exercise

 Fat is stored in: adipose tissue and intramuscular

 Adipose tissue- muscle fuel- 70,000+ stored calories

 Intramuscularly- 1,500calories stored within muscle cells

 Fatty Acids provide more ATP per molecules

 Body can’t burn fats as fast as carbohydrates


Fat in the Athletic Diet

 No RDA set for total fat intake

 Focus is on hitting CHO and PRO targets

 Fat then makes up calorie balance

 Consumption of fat should not fall below 15% of total energy intake

 Restricting fat may impair performance



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