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Paranoid about Protein

zammmmozammmmo Posts: 315
I've always been very careful about getting enough protein when doing weight training (obviously) but also when doing exclusively endurance sports, as I now am. This is a mix of running and cycling. If I go out on a long road ride (>50 miles) or long run (>10 miles) I take High5 4:1 carb/protein drink, and then after I will have a large smoothie with 20g of whey. I try to ensure a good mix of protein/carbs with each proper meal and if I've trained hard that day will ensure I have something light with protein in before bed and then again I'll ensure my breakfast has a decent dollop of protein.

The question is - how much is too much? I know excess protein will be excreted by the kidneys but I do wonder whether I am being too paranoid and am really eating a bit more like a strength athelete.

BTW - anyone take High5 4:1 and know how to prevent it foaming up so much? On long runs its a nightmare at the concentration they recommend.


  • mrc1mrc1 Posts: 852
    Having made the move to cycling from rugby after university I had a similar problem at first as I was used to having around 1gram of protein per lb of body weight each day (constant protein shakes and tins of tuna etc) when weight training.

    From the above it sounds like you are having too much protein if you are solely doing endurance sports. I would go with drinking a recovery drink with some protein in after you finish then follow a healthy carb/protein rich diet - there shouldnt really be a need to supplement this with whey powder etc.

    Supplementing your diet with extra protein would only really be necessary if you are doing explosive cycling such as track sprinting etc which would mean you were also lifting heavy weights at the gym.

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  • zammmmozammmmo Posts: 315
    The whey is more a convenience thing...and the good thing about it is that its fairly neutral on the acid/alkali scale compared to other high protein sources such as tuna, and that is better following a hard workout when the body is more acidic.
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    1-1,5 g / kg body weight is ok. More is not better. Less might leave you open to infections etc especially during periods of exercise increase.
    0,8kg/kg bodyweight i WHO minimum for malnourished people.
    or so I've been led to believe
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Depends on the type of training you're doing.

    4 hours of sprinting and hill climbing will need more than 6 hours of easy riding on the flat.

    I've just tailored how much I need from experience over the last few months - If I wake up the next day and my legs hurt, and i've drank enough water/eaten enough carbs/got enough vitamins/minerals/sleep, etc, i'm (probably) not getting enough protein.

    Sometimes, after 5 hours of 95% effort sprints and out-of-the-saddle climbing, i'm on 2.3g/Kg body weight just to make sure! I'm sure I shouldn't be having that much but I feel I need it because it's usually just enough to get my muscles feeling better the next day.

    Not very scientific, I know, but I have tried the recommended amount before but it just wasn't enough! I felt like censored ! :?
  • If you eat a pretty decent endurance diet (porridge, pasta, rice, lean meats, fruit etc) you probably only need to supplement it with a maximum of 2 whey smoothies/milk shakes a day, one immediately after exercise and one before bed for instance.

    Obviously the more you train the better your body comes at repairing/refueling itself. However, if it works for you stick with it.
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