So you just finished a long hard workout, the question always asked over and over is do I need carbohydrates or protein? You actually need both! If you work out long and hard in the gym and we’re not talking just an hour on the treadmill or elliptical machine, then your body needs both carbohydrates and protein. Let’s explain here.
Once consumed, carbohydrates are stored in the muscles as glycogen. Glycogen is actually used by the body to supply energy for bursts of power. The longer and harder the workout, the more glycogen your body will require. And we’ve all felt what it is like to run out of glycogen, right? Your energy level will drop, you don’t feel as strong and it will become harder and harder for you to contract the muscle. For the more intense workouts (2+ hours), the rule of thumb in the industry is three to four grams of carbs per pound of body weight is required each day. Without enough carbohydrates, your body will make muscle to use as “fuel.” Definitely not what you want! Instead, just eat the “good” carbs. What are some of them you might ask? Try some whole grains, maybe a vegetable, a fruit or even some beans or legumes. No leftover pizza from the night before! Note: Personal carb requirements depend on your workout intensity as well as your body size and will vary from person to person.
Protein, on the other hand, helps to “rebuild” your muscles after your intense workout or training session. The rule of thumb here (from the USDA) for strength and weight training, is to consume the average 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day, not to exceed 2.0 grams per pound per day. Too much protein will not make any difference so don’t overdo here. And spread out your protein intake throughout the day. Your body can only process around 30 grams at any one time, so spread your carb intake out over your five or six small meals that you are already eating every day.
What foods contain Protein? They are actually broken down into several categories: plant-based proteins such as beans, peas and nuts; fish and seafood, poultry and chicken; most cheese and eggs.
I, personally, can’t eat that much food so I mix protein supplements and shakes into my daily food intake to get the maximum protein I need. If that is you, check out the supplements market to get the protein you want and need.
Source by Bob Livingston