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Protein Applications in Sports Nutrition—Part I: Requirements, Quality, Source, and Optimal Dose

McLain, Trisha A. MS1; Escobar, Kurt A. MA1; Kerksick, Chad M. PhD2

Strength and Conditioning Journal: April 2015 - Volume 37 - Issue 2 - p 61–71
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000128
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ABSTRACT PROTEIN, A KEY MACRONUTRIENT, IS NEEDED BY THE BODY TO REPAIR AND BUILD NEW CELLULAR STRUCTURES. EXERCISING INDIVIDUALS PARTICIPATING IN BOTH AEROBIC AND ANAEROBIC ACTIVITIES REQUIRE GREATER AMOUNTS OF PROTEIN (1.2–1.6 G·KG−1·D−1) IN THEIR DIET. PROTEIN QUALITY IS EVALUATED PRIMARILY BY ESSENTIAL AMINO ACID CONTENT (8–12 G) AND DIGESTIBILITY CORRECTED AMINO ACIDS (PDCAA) SCORES (1.0–1.2+). FLESH (BEEF, PORK, POULTRY, AND FISH), DAIRY (WHEY, CASEIN, MILK, AND CHEESE), EGG, AND PLANT (VEGETABLE, SOY, ETC.) RANGE IN QUALITY (PDCAAS: 0.74–1.2+) AND OTHER PROPERTIES THAT FURTHER IMPACT HEALTH. OPTIMAL DOSING (∼20–25 G; 8–12 G ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS) IS IMPORTANT TO MAXIMALLY STIMULATE MUSCLE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS AND PROMOTE A POSITIVE MUSCLE PROTEIN BALANCE.

1Department of Health, Exercise and Sports Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and

2Department of Exercise Science, School of Sport, Recreation and Exercise Sciences, Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Missouri

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors report no conflicts of interest and no source of funding.

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Trisha A. McLainis a PhD student in the Health, Exercise, and Sports Science Department at the University of New Mexico. Trisha currently serves as a student representative for the NSCA's Nutrition, Metabolism and Body Composition Special Interest Group and the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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Kurt A. Escobaris a PhD student and teaching assistant in the Department of Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences at the University of New Mexico.

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Chad M. Kerksickis currently an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science in the Exercise Science department in the School of Sport, Recreation and Exercise Sciences at Lindenwood University.

© 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association