As part of our Stay Active with Rowing Ireland, we will be providing daily nutritional tips and recipes!
A well-balanced diet with plenty of key micronutrients is important to the normal functioning of our immune system, but no specific food or supplement will prevent you from catching COVID-19.
There are 3 main nutrients in our food; protein, carbohydrates and fat. These are known as macronutrients and they all play a vital role in our keeping us healthy.
Today our focus is on Protein.
What Is Protein?
Proteins are molecules that our cells, and therefore our bodies, need to function properly. They are made up of amino acids and the combination of these amino acids determines the protein’s role e.g. enzyme, antibody, messenger, structural, transporter.
Why Do I Need Protein?
There are 20 different types of amino acids. Our bodies are only capable of making 11, so we have to make sure that the remaining 9 are in our diet; these are referred to as essential amino acids.
For someone who is active, the key processes that proteins are needed for are:
- Muscle Growth – growing muscles
- Muscle Repair – recovery after training or during injury
- Muscle Maintenance – during injury or periods of inactivity
- Bone Health
How Much Protein Do I Need?
- 15-20% of your total daily calories
- The Magic Number…0.3g/kg per meal/snack (1.5g/kg per day)
i.e. If you weigh 70kg you would need 21g protein per meal (105g/kg per day)
Most people following a western diet, even athletes, can meet their needs without taking supplements. Ensure your diet includes high-quality proteins such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cottage cheese. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet you can still meet your protein needs by eating foods such as beans, lentils, nuts and tofu.
Should I eat it all at once?
No, you should have some with every meal or snack. Spread your protein intake evenly throughout the day, this will also help you to feel full for longer.
20g of protein could be:
- 1-pint milk
- 6 tbsp of yoghurt
- 1 fillet or a small tin of fish
- 3 eggs
- 1 large tin of baked beans
- 80g of nuts
- 1 small tub of cottage cheese
- 200g tofu
- 1 large tin of chickpeas
- Half a chicken breast
Keep an eye on Rowingireland.ie over the next couple of weeks, our Rowing Ireland Nutritionist will be posting tips, recipes and advice.
If you have any suggestions or queries please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org