One question posed often by my track runners is about protein shakes. Do they really work? Will they work for me?
The truth is that, as a runner, you do need more protein than most people. In fact, you require about twice as much as the typical couch potato.
But an average runner doesn’t need as much protein as a shake holds. Muscle recovery demands about .7 grams of protein per lb. of body weight. Most people already get this much through their diet. Your chicken dinner, in addition to the milk from breakfast and the peanut butter sandwich you had for lunch, is sufficient.
Your body can absorb more protein than this in a day, but still only about 1 gram per pound of bodyweight*. Any protein beyond that point just leaves your body with urine. And if that protein comes form an expensive shake, you’re literally pissing your money away.
If you’re a runner and concerned about building muscle, where your protein comes from isn’t as important as when you pack it in. There’s a half-hour window after workouts when your body is craving carbs and protein. A turkey sandwich or peanut-butter covered banana will give it what it needs. And chocolate milk. God bless the inventor of chocolate milk.
*This excludes whey protein, which can be absorbed in greater quantities.Share on Facebook