by Kate Guilmette, Nutritionist – Malchar Wellness Center.
Protein is right behind carbohydrates when it comes to important staples in runner’s diets. While carbs give your body the energy it needs to complete your workouts protein provides your muscles with nourishment. Protein helps in the post run process by aiding in the repair of your muscles and tendons. This means that having good sources of protein in your diet (and consuming enough on a daily basis) is essential to your recovery. Protein not only helps with muscle and tendon repair but also hormone regulation, which is important especially in female runners. We want to make sure we are eating proteins such as chicken, beans, eggs, nuts, fish, etc. and only using protein bars or shakes if necessary. We should be including a protein source, whether it be a meat or vegetarian product, with every meal. We also need to make sure we are eating the proper portion of protein (4-6oz for chicken, ½ cup cooked beans, etc.). When running long distances a good rule of thumb is to have about 1.5 g of protein for every kilogram of body weight.