Protein’s Importance To Runners

As stereotypes go, runners are focused on carbohydrate intake and bodybuilders are all about protein. But for the well-rounded athlete, sports nutrition shouldn't be an all or nothing choice. A study conducted on 44 participants in the TransEurope Footrace 2009 revealed that runners who completed the 2 month 4,500 kilometer (2,796 mile) journey that began in southern Italy and ended in northern Norway lost 50% of their body fat along with 7% of the muscle volume in their legs. These findings were presented November 29th at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

True Strength Moment: While the diets of these endurance athletes was not reported, researchers noted that fat is the first body tissue to be affected by running, and new runners experience more profound fat reduction than long-time runners. Under extreme conditions like this cross-continent footrace, the body also uses amino acids from protein – like those found in muscle tissue – to fuel the grinding effort. Active individuals of all types can supplement with whey protein or BCAAs to help protect muscle tissue from excessive breakdown during exercise.
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Andrew H
Dec 19, 2010
Very helpful. Thank you.