Today’s standard American diet, is a diet deficient in some of the essential nutrients necessary for proper bodily function, athletic performance and recovery, one of those nutrients being protein. Adequate protein intake is essential for athlete to make sure they have the necessary building blocks to recover and adapt to the stimuli put on them from the demands of their sport and training. Protein requirements increase depending on the amount of activity an athlete participates in, as well as the goals of that athlete, i.e. build muscle.
The benefit of protein is that you can never get too much. There have been studies showing that an athlete can consume 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day (5.5x the RDA) and only increase lean body mass, and not increase body fat, all the while all markers of health/organ function do not change. While you may be able to over consume protein, many athletes find it hard to ingest and eat the baseline 1 gram of protein per pound bodyweight per day recommended for athletes.
I am a big proponent of eating high quality non-processed whole foods, however, if an athlete has trouble eating enough protein, due to appetite or convenience around trainings, than supplementation with a high quality protein is quite useful. A whey protein can be used right before, during or immediately after a workout, depending on an athlete’s ability to have consumed a shake prior to or during exercise. Whey protein is a fast acting protein, it is digested quickly and is available to the body to start using right away. Casein protein is a slower digesting protein and useful in supplying protein to the body to use for longer periods of time. Casein would be useful in the morning between breakfast and lunch time, or between lunch and dinner, when a high protein snack may not be possible or before bed to keep the protein balance in the body to the positive muscle building side while the athlete sleeps.
You can walk into any store and purchase protein, but in my mind not all proteins are made the same, and in fact, some companies have been sued for spiking their protein. When I look for a protein brand or blend, I look for a reliable brand based on consumer reviews and third party testing that does not use artificial sweeteners, that tastes well and mixes well and is fairly priced. One of the reasons we sell Ascent Protein is due to the high quality products the company carries. I personally like the Ascent whey because it is a blend of whey concentrates and isolates, each providing a different benefit, it has a full complement of essential amino acids, it tastes great, and mixes very well. I use the whey around exercise to enhance my recovery. I also use the Ascent Casein protein. With the casein, I mix each scoop with 5 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk in a small container, shake it and chill in the refrigerator. It makes a pudding which I use as a mid morning and/or mid afternoon snack (I usually do two scoops at a time). It is a tasty treat, and one I send my two boys (pre-school and first grade) to school with as they love how it tastes.
Sports nutrition and supplementation goes much farther than protein intake and is all encompassing. For optimal sports performance, the fuel an athlete ingests is just as important as the time spent in the playing arena and in training. One on one sports nutrition consultations and programs are available if interested. Please email us at Parisispeedschoolri@gmail.com to set up an appointment for you and your young athlete.