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Protein and amino acids for athletes

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The main determinants of an athlete's protein needs are their training regime and habitual nutrient intake. Most athletes ingest sufficient protein in their habitual diet. Additional protein will confer only a minimal, albeit arguably important, additional advantage. Given sufficient energy intake, lean body mass can be maintained within a wide range of protein intakes. Since there is limited evidence for harmful effects of a high protein intake and there is a metabolic rationale for the efficacy of an increase in protein, if muscle hypertrophy is the goal, a higher protein intake within the context of an athlete's overall dietary requirements may be beneficial. However, there are few convincing outcome data to indicate that the ingestion of a high amount of protein (2-3 g · kg−1 BW · day−1, where BW = body weight) is necessary. Current literature suggests that it may be too simplistic to rely on recommendations of a particular amount of protein per day. Acute studies suggest that for any given amount of protein, the metabolic response is dependent on other factors, including the timing of ingestion in relation to exercise and/or other nutrients, the composition of ingested amino acids and the type of protein.
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Keywords: amino acids; hypertrophy; muscle; protein; strength; training

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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