How much protein do I need daily when training for a marathon?

The simplest and safest answer is ~ 1 gram (g) of protein per pound of body weight for all athletes during intense training. Exercisers and athletes generally have a higher protein requirement than their sedentary counterparts. Additionally, proper timing of protein ingestion around the workout (30 minutes before and immediately after) and spread evenly throughout the day can dramatically enhance exercise-induced results. This is especially true for recovery, which is most important to "in-training" endurance athletes. Using the dotFIT program, you can design ideal athletic menus individualized for you including proper protein requirements, meal timing and complete food plans. Simply fill in your personal statistics and create your program. As mentioned above, as a simple “rule of thumb,” if you consume 1 g of protein per pound of body weight, you will cover all your protein needs, and consuming more will not be helpful. So if you weigh 175 lbs, consume 175 g of protein spread evenly throughout the day including before and immediately after training.

Protein recommendations are based on the majority of energy requirements being met by dietary carbohydrates and fats. Below are the actual protein recommendations for exercisers and athletes (1 kg = 2.2 lbs):

Table 13—Protein Dosage Recommendations for Athletes

 Strength Athletes/Off-Season Bodybuilders Active Recreational Athletes Endurance Athletes

Minimum acceptable intake  1 g/kg/d 1 g/kg/d 1.4 g/kg/d

Adaptation period 1.6 to 2 g/kg/d 1.2 to1.8 g/kg/d 1.6 to 2 g/kg/d

The active recreational athletes' category also includes other competitive athletes not attempting body composition changes. The adaptation period is defined as significant physiological changes occurring due to participation in a new regime, progressive intensity, or high-intensity training. The adaptation period presumes that factors affecting protein requirements may be additive. Athletes participating in aerobic and anaerobic (mainly strength training) activities may need intakes at the upper end of the ranges.

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