The Importance of Protein for the Vegetarian Endurance Athlete

The Importance of Protein for the Vegetarian Endurance Athlete

How many vegetarians do you know that do not get their minimum requirement of protein?  Me, I can think of many.  Granted most of my friends who are endurance athletes know the importance of protein consumption along with weight training to benefit thier sport.  There is no reason you cannot choose to not consume animal proteins and still excel at your sport.  The key is to be smart about food combinations and nutrient timing.  

There are several sources of protein that vegetarians can consume in place of beef, chicken, fish, and turkey.  Sources such as eggs, cottage cheese, beans, soy products, nuts, greek yogurt, or cheese sticks are good soures for the active vegetarian.  For an endurance athlete, you should strive to consume about 55% of your bodyweight in lbs, in protein.  It is also important to spread your intake throughout the day as opposed to consuming a large meal of protein during the day.  Post workout protein consumption is one of the most important times.  For recovery, you want to consume carbohydrates along with your protein, to allow your body to refill your carbohydrate stores and use te protein for muscle recovery.  

Ensuring proper protein consumption AND being smart about spreading your meals throughout the day will allow you to recover properly as well as keep from burning through necessary lean muscle mass.  

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