The Importance of Protein for Top Performing Olympic Athletes

Britain skeleton teamNutrition is a vital part of the British Skeleton team’s training regime and GB Bobsleigh and Skeleton team nutritionist Freddy Brown explains how recent research has once again highlighted the importance of protein in athletes’ diets, and why BEEFIT Biltong works so well in a busy training schedule.

Research updates previous advice on protein recommendations

“The recent publication of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Position’s Stand on protein and exercise has given a much-needed update to traditional protein recommendations (Jager et al., 2017). In short, the agreed consensus within the sports science community acknowledges larger protein demands, a greater number of benefits and a greater importance of protein to athletes than ever before. From enhancing recovery to improving body composition, the importance of proteins is continually emphasised. Such benefits highlight the important role of convenient, yet high quality foods such as BEEFIT Biltong.

Protein kick-starts athletes’ recovery pre- and post-exercise
While much has been made of protein timing post-exercise, emerging evidence suggests that eating an adequate daily intake is by far the most important factor to enhance muscular growth. Current guidelines have increased, acknowledging that athletes in heavy training may get stronger and leaner with protein intakes of 2-3 g/kg. However, for many athletes, snacking on fruit or cereal bars is far more practical than cooking meat, or lugging around litres of milk.

A 35g bag of BEEFIT Biltong meets athletes’ daily protein quota

The athletes at British Skeleton enjoy the freedom to be able to take a light-weight, non-perishable source of protein to the gym or the track to kick-start their recovery process. This helps them more easily achieve their daily protein targets, while benefits to recovery (due to enhanced levels of protein synthesis) are derived from high quality proteins eaten either pre- or post-workout. General recommendations are 0.25 g of a high-quality protein per kg of body weight, or an absolute dose of 20–40 g. For many athletes, this is as little as a single bag of BEEFIT Biltong!

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Supplementing a wholefood diet with healthy convenient snacks

Recent recommendations have also emphasised the importance of convenience more than ever before. Consumption of whole foods is recommended, but supplementation is highlighted as “a practical way of ensuring intake of adequate protein quality and quantity”. Importantly for elite athletes, BEEFIT Biltong provides protein from real food, negating the need for batch-testing and the risk of contamination that is present when using supplements. Beef will also provide vitamin B12 and iron, essential for health, performance and adaptation in athletes.

Recovery is a continual process for top athletes

While protein guidelines have often been primarily concerned with recovery from weights-training, these latest set of recommendations has acknowledged the important role of protein for the whole spectrum of athletes. Sprinting, changing direction, and long-distance running can all cause muscle-damage. In such athletes, the addition of protein to training snacks may help to offset muscle damage to promote recovery. As the Skeleton requires strength, power… and speed, the importance of protein for their recovery cannot be overstated.

BEEFIT Biltong provides the complete protein package!

Most importantly, not all proteins are created equal. The effectiveness of proteins for recovery depend upon their content of leucine and a balanced array of the essential amino acids (EAAs). While most vegan sources contain only a selection of EAAs, BEEFIT Biltong is a “complete protein” with a high “biological value” (or quality). BEEFIT Biltong provides exactly what our athletes need in a convenient and timely manner to keep them training harder, recovering faster and pushing faster.”

BEEFIT Snacks wish the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton team every success in Pyeongchang, and we hope that our Biltong gives them the extra edge they need to bring back the medals!

If you would like to find out more about BEEFIT Biltong, please do not hesitate to call our team on 01243 216196.