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Protein

Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
edited August 2007 in Training, fitness and health
I'm a vegetarian and approaching my target weight after a year of weight loss. I currently cycle about 110-130miles a week of varying intensities.

I don't think I get much in the way of Protein in my diet. Is this something I should be worried about, given the amount of cycling I do ? If so is there a guide to how much I should be getting ?

Nuts seem to be choc full of protein, but then the fat content puts me off while I'm still trying to loose weight. The Protein shakes that body builders use don't look particulary appetizing too. Any alternatives ?

Posts

  • skimmed milk, or soya milk makes for a good post ride protein intake. Have your tried Quorn mince in a chilli or spaghetti bolognaise? OK its not quite the same as beef mince but when spiced up in a sauce its perfectly edible. Granted Quorn chicken makes KFC/mcdonalds etc look like real food.
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    http://www.vegsoc.org/info/protein.html reckons I should be getting around 55g of protein a day, which I'm definately not getting. Should I need more than the 55g as a cyclist ?

    I like the idea of a having a glass of skimmed/soya milk post ride, would be easy enough to integrate into my diet.
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    Anita Bean's sports nutrition book says you should be aiming for 1.4 g of protein per kg of body weight per day, and that if you are trying to lose weight, you may wish to up that to about 1.6 g per kg. She may have something to say about how vegetarians can get their protein - I will have a look later.
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • thatlondonthatlondon Posts: 50
    I take protein supplements even though I eat meat, there are powders that are vegetarian friendly, the one that was recommended to me was whey protein supplement. I can't remember the make without looking in the cupboard i will have a look and post it later.

    My friend who is a nutritionist recommend me to take this, she has also just come back from a conference where they said to take the protein before exercise which is supposed to be more effective than the traditional after exercise.

    P.S. most of this stuff tastes quite nasty the chocolate flavor is one of the most palatable.
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    DaveyL wrote:
    Anita Bean's sports nutrition book says you should be aiming for 1.4 g of protein per kg of body weight per day, and that if you are trying to lose weight, you may wish to up that to about 1.6 g per kg. She may have something to say about how vegetarians can get their protein - I will have a look later.

    Christ, at 88kg that means 123-140g of protein a day ! I'd definately have to look at protein shakes if i had to get that much protein in, I can't see any other way of doing it
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,731
    protein shakes are actually ok to take, make sure you get a flavour like chocolate so you can add drinking chocolate powder to it if it doesnt taste good. Also take it with milk post ride for even more protein.

    Eggs are also a fantastic source of protein (i dont know whether you eat these or not...) Quorn mince as previously mentioned is a wonderful source of protein as well
  • I have read somewhere that we should consume about 1 gram to every kilogram of our body weight in a 24 hour period but one then has to be careful not to have too little carbohydrate as the protein can then cause potential irrepairable damage to our kidneys. Just like the Atkin's diet.
    Don't know if you have tried SOYA NUTS the Food Doctor produce them and they are available at most supermarkets. They taste good to didn't think I would like them but you wouldn't know they were Soya. They are a good source of protein and have an added bonus of reducing your cholesterol. FACT!
    Hope this helps
    Helen
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    You can get by on less protein than 1,4g/kg body weight - I think the WHO recommend less than a gram/kg but people exercisiing are thought to need more.

    Its not just for the obviuos things like muscles - the immune system needs a fair bit too for example. MAking sure you eat plenty of protein has several benefits when losing weight including a better 'full' feeling but as you point out it is often found in relativley fat rich sources of food - its no coincedence body builders live on lean chicken and tuna in water.

    So its easy to see why people watching their weight might turn to protein shakes. Choose one that fits your veg diet but remember that beans & pulses and low fat(unsweetened) dairy products are good protein sources too if you include them. White fish (cod haddock etc) is good too. remeber too that when working out how much you're getting meat & fish typically hold less than 20% of their raw weight in protein. ie 200g of fish might contain less than 50g protein.

    Finelli (Finnish food agency) has a really useful site (English version too!) for checking out what foods have what in them but I haven't got the link to hand.

    Good luck & happy cycling
  • HudsterHudster Posts: 142
    Try Quinoa. It's tasty and apparently full of protein.
  • buddhabuddha Posts: 1,088
    Here's irony for you.
    Being a veggie, I managed to get a gout attack recently. Despite having given up meat and alcohol years ago.
    My doc and a nutritionist at the local hospital put it down to exercising too hard and a high intake of protein-rich foods I'd been consuming. So I have to moderate my intake of veg such as spinich, peas, lentils etc as they are 'high' in protein. So you could overdose on these :wink:
    Quorn contains comparatively huge amounts of protein. There's also something called 'Dehydrated textured vegetable protein' which you can get in packets from health food shops, sainsburys do it too. On the downside, both of these can taste pretty dire!
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  • carlstonecarlstone Posts: 602
    Egg whites. Pure amino acids and all the fat and cholestrol is in the yolks. Drink them raw (mixed with something to take your mind off the snottiness :shock: ) or cook them up with somthing to make them less bland. You won't get a better source of raw protein. Vegetable and even fish protein is not as beneficial as animal protein AFAIK.
  • Off the top of my head, a sedentary person requires a very small amount of protein per day, IIRC, up 0.8 g/kg body mass.

    People who exercise moderately (likely the OP) on the other hand require slightly more protein, ~ 0.8 - 1.2 g/kg per day. People who train ~ 12 hrs/week, will need about 1.2 to 1.5 g/kg per day. Riders in events such as a Grand Tour (e.g. Giro, TdF) requre ~1.8 to 2.0 g/kg per day. Grand Tours require the greatest protein intake of any sport (as well as the greatest carb intake)

    These protein requirements are actually quite small, and generally very easy to meet (unless your diet is somewhat bizarre, e.g., you're a fruitarian, or just consume energy drinks). Western cultures generally place an emphasis on protein in the diet and are very often above the (minimum) protein requirements for their needs. This includes people who are vegetarians.

    On the other hand, as a comparison, the requirements for carbohydrate are far higher, for e.g., someone who is training ~ 12 hr/week would need about 6 to 8 g of CHO per day.

    Having previously conducted many dietary analysis using a weighed food diary over 7 days, i've yet to find a single person who undereats protein (including vegans). Many foods that we typically think of as carbohydrates, often include ample amounts of protein (e.g., pasta, legumes, bread, etc).

    If you are a vegetarian (as i am) you need to remember to sometimes combine foods to get a full compliment of amino acids, such as beans on toast. As neither the bread nor the beans contains all the essential aminos.

    To the OP, i'd be surprised if you didn't meet the minimum of protein, unless your diet is very restrictive, or severely energy deficient.

    The last time i checked my diet i was consuming (as a veggie) 2.5 g/kg of protein per day (without trying -- i was actually aiming for a high carb intake). I immediately decreased my protein intake.

    It's thought that continued high intakes of protein >2.0 g/kg per day may lead to kidney disease/complications.

    As regards meat eaters (or indeed veggies) consuming protein supplements, there is little evidence to suggest that this is required. In fact, the American Journal, Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise has a Position Stand stating that protein supplements aren't required except in certain cases (e.g., aggresive weight loss, very restrictive diets).

    Off the top of my head there's no evidence to suggest that in an iso-caloric diet that protein is required prior to exercise, or is ergogenic in trained or elite athletes (but if anyone can point me to something that says otherwise please let me know).

    In terms of post-exercise food intake, again, protein isn't a huge requirement. Jentjens and Jeukendrup showed that although protein post exercise caused a greater hormonal response, it did nothing to improve recovery or performance (above a carbohydrate drink).

    as regards immune system function, David Nieman is the leading researcher in this sphere, and the vast majority of the data shows that it is carbohydrate intake immediately post exercise that is most important in preventing e.g., respiratory tract infections (~1.5 g per kg body mass).

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    Hi

    I'm also a veggie. I don't take any protein supplements. I just try to follow a healthy, well-balanced diet. I just eat a lot more than the averge person.

    The usual recommendation is 60% carbohydrate 25% fat and 15% protein.

    Bin

  • In terms of post-exercise food intake, again, protein isn't a huge requirement. Jentjens and Jeukendrup showed that although protein post exercise caused a greater hormonal response, it did nothing to improve recovery or performance (above a carbohydrate drink).

    as regards immune system function, David Nieman is the leading researcher in this sphere, and the vast majority of the data shows that it is carbohydrate intake immediately post exercise that is most important in preventing e.g., respiratory tract infections (~1.5 g per kg body mass).

    Ric

    Ric, are you saying the carbs are preferable over protein even for a rider who is trying to lose weight? I had assumed in very simple terms that the body will refuel glycogen stores from Carbs, Protein and Fat. If you provide it with enough protein to prevent matabolising muscles tissue, and minimise carbs, then the body might draw more from its fat reserves. Possibly an oversimplification maybe...? Either way if I'm doing it wrong then I'd like to know!
  • domtylerdomtyler Posts: 2,648
    edited March 2011
    I eat a fair bit of meat in my diet as well as other sources of protein like nuts and seeds and so on. I can only say that since I started having a Whey protein shake for breakfast every day about two months ago that my muscle definition and mass has changed radically for the better with no other change in training, accompanied by a drop in fat levels of two percent according to my bathroom scales down to seven percent. I have actually put on about four pounds in weight in the past two months at the same time! Pretty amazing really for thirty quid. Doesn't taste great though, I blend mine in the mixer with half soya milk, half water, a banana and some freshly ground nutmeg and that comes out quite nice.
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  • In terms of post-exercise food intake, again, protein isn't a huge requirement. Jentjens and Jeukendrup showed that although protein post exercise caused a greater hormonal response, it did nothing to improve recovery or performance (above a carbohydrate drink).

    as regards immune system function, David Nieman is the leading researcher in this sphere, and the vast majority of the data shows that it is carbohydrate intake immediately post exercise that is most important in preventing e.g., respiratory tract infections (~1.5 g per kg body mass).

    Ric

    Ric, are you saying the carbs are preferable over protein even for a rider who is trying to lose weight? I had assumed in very simple terms that the body will refuel glycogen stores from Carbs, Protein and Fat. If you provide it with enough protein to prevent matabolising muscles tissue, and minimise carbs, then the body might draw more from its fat reserves. Possibly an oversimplification maybe...? Either way if I'm doing it wrong then I'd like to know!

    I wasn't saying that (carbs are better for weight loss), however, that *is* most likely what i would say (but also add that protein and fat are also important in anyone and everyone's diet).

    It's also worth noting that carbohydrates are protein sparing.

    For weight loss, all that is really required is that there is a negative energy balance (so theoretically, from a weight loss NOT a health point of view, you could consume all your dietary intake in lard butties or Mars bars - so long as there was a negative energy balance). Of course, i do NOT expect anyone to follow such a recommendation (lard butties or Mars bars as a sole source of nutrition) as they would have a deliterious effect on your health (e.g., cardiac disease, dental careys, etc).

    Lastly, it's worth noting the Attwater values for the macronutrients plus alcohol
    1 g of carb is 4 Kcal of energy
    1 g of protein is 4 Kcal of energy
    1 g of alcohol is 7 Kcal of energy
    1 g of fat is 9 Kcal of energy

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • This is the product that was recommended to me, I dont think it has carbs in it like the SIS recovery. Its glueten, and wheat free and suitable for vegitarians

    Still tastes pretty nasty tho :D

    http://www.nutrisport.co.uk/estorepro/p ... tid=1&oc=0
  • ClemClem Posts: 546
    domtyler wrote:
    I eat a fair bit of meat in my diet as well as other sources of protein like nuts and seeds and so on. I can only say that since I started having a Whey protein shake for breakfast every day about two months ago that my muscle definition and mass has changed radically for the better with no other change in training, accompanied by a drop in fat levels of two percent according to my bathroom scales down to seven percent. I have actually put on about four pounds in weight in the past two months at the same time! Pretty amazing really for thirty quid. Doesn't taste great though, I blend mine in the mixer with half soya milk, half water, a banana and some freshly ground nutmeg and that comes out quite nice.

    I can vouch for similar effects. In my case I've been sticking a scoop of whey protein in a 700ml bottle and taking it to the gym and using Allsports Endurofuel (mainly carbs but with a little protein) on two-hour rides).

    I think most people who exercise hard would benefit from more protein but I can understand worries about overdoing it. If you start to smell ammonia in your waste/sweat/breath you've definately done this - and your partner won't like the hard sticky out bits much either. Probably.

    Digestive enzymes (available in veggie, tablet form rather than scary bovine stomach acid formula) might help make things eaiser for the body to use (carbs and protein) but I haven't ready much about this.
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    skimmed milk, or soya milk makes for a good post ride protein intake. Have your tried Quorn mince in a chilli or spaghetti bolognaise? OK its not quite the same as beef mince but when spiced up in a sauce its perfectly edible. Granted Quorn chicken makes KFC/mcdonalds etc look like real food.

    I ended up buying some soya milk, it's a bit of an acquired taste isn't it :lol:
  • Ste_S wrote:
    skimmed milk, or soya milk makes for a good post ride protein intake. Have your tried Quorn mince in a chilli or spaghetti bolognaise? OK its not quite the same as beef mince but when spiced up in a sauce its perfectly edible. Granted Quorn chicken makes KFC/mcdonalds etc look like real food.

    I ended up buying some soya milk, it's a bit of an acquired taste isn't it :lol:

    I prefer Tescos healthy version: the unsweetened stuff is yuk, and alpro standard is too sweet. Alpro light is ok too
  • mh130mh130 Posts: 19
    Steve

    I'm not a veggie, so no great advice I can give - but 220 Triathlon magazine has a veggie nutrition special this month. Might be worth a look.

    matt
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    Man, I wish the C+ user fatbee would turn up to this one...
    Le Blaireau (1)
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