You Need Protein!
Going Long, Going Hard, Getting Fast, or Getting Strong?
BY LOREN MASON-GERE
Everyone, athlete or not, needs sufficient protein. The more active you are, and the greater your athletic ambitions, the more important this becomes. While every type of athlete—from ultra runner to Crossfitter—must meet their needs, the role of protein varies slightly for each.
For endurance athletes, protein rebuilds muscles damaged during training and helps the body rebuild what was cannibalized over long durations. For strength and power athletes, the primary role is rebuilding broken-down muscles, facilitating hypertrophy and the correlating changes in body mass and strength. Regardless of sport or intention, Hammer has the premium proteins you need—regardless of dietary preference, flavor preferences, or sport type.
If you engage in aerobic exercise beyond two or three hours, some degree of muscle cannibalization is inevitable. At these durations, upwards of 10% of your hourly caloric needs are met by protein. While some of that can be supplemented in your fuel, it can never be entirely avoided. In order to prevent muscle wasting, loss of power, unfavorable changes in body index, and reduced immune system function, sufficient protein must be consumed.
Unfortunately, this is an aspect of fueling and recovery that many endurance athletes neglect. Given the historical emphasis on carbohydrate consumption for exercise performance, and the abundance of carb-only (often actually more like “sugar-only”) fuels for use during exercise, far too many people see their strength, performance, and body composition decline as their volume climbs. This is far from an acceptable outcome, but if properly addressed, the body will rebuild what was lost while simultaneously strengthening the muscles you stressed. If not, breakdown will occur.
Strength training, on the other hand, is all about breaking down muscles and rebuilding it stronger and bigger than before. Athletes who strength train are generally attentive to their protein needs, and even inadvertently overconsume per sitting, while neglecting the importance of bioavailability. That’s because, as a rule, the human body can process only 30-35 grams at time. Instead of consuming unrealistic quantities of protein, athletes should instead pay keen attention to the quality of their protein sources.
Mediocre whey protein concentrates, for example, full of casein and dairy fat, may have bioavailability as low as 70, while pure whey protein isolate—like that found in Hammer Whey—boast a score of nearly double that at 135. That means that of the protein you ingest, your body can essentially do twice as much with it.
Additionally, whey protein isolate is virtually free of lactose (97%), which makes it suitable to all but the most sensitive diets. It is also derived from hormone- and antibiotic-free, grass-fed, U.S. raised cows, so not only is it the most absorbable protein around, it’s also the cleanest of sources.
However, if you prefer non-animal sources of protein, or cannot tolerate milk products at all, Hammer Vegan protein is the perfect fit. The blend of plant-based sources, while not as quickly absorbed as whey, combines to make an amino acid profile far superior to other vegan options. Learn more about each option at the following pages: Why Whey and Getting Protein Right
Regardless of the source, make sure you meet your needs. See the chart below to find your optimal daily intake; but remember, like any food, it’s not just “total grams” but quality of source that matters. That’s why we make our proteins—and everything else—to be the best you can find on the planet. We know you deserve it.
|lbs||aprx. kg||Off season and/or light workouts*||In-season and/or long workouts*|