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As athletes, our bodies need the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fluids to fuel our strenuous activity. Food alone can’t offer all of the protein, vitamins and minerals necessary to build and tone lean muscle and provide bursts of energy on demand. More…

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Athletes Need Additional Nutrients to Recover from Intense Physical Activity

Whether boxing, lifting weights, or long-distance cycling, athletes expend more energy than the average person. Our bodies need additional nutrients to recover from the intense physical activity of our workouts and sport.

Protein plays a critical role in our diet. We need it to repair and strengthen muscle tissue. This is why high protein diets are so popular. Particularly if your goal is a lean, well defined physique.

How Much Protein is Really Necessary?

Although protein is needed to build muscle mass, more is not always better better. Eating large quantities of lean protein is not always needed to achieve a toned body.

To establish your protein requirements, it's important to look at your overall diet. Athletes who consume appropriate levels of carbohydrates and fats use less protein for energy than those who on a high protein diet. As a result, the body uses the protein to build and maintain lean body mass. Simply put, we need to ensure we get enough carbs and fat, not just protein.

Muscle Growth and Endurance Comes with Both Exercise and Diet

Studies show that timing of protein intake is key. Eating high-quality protein (e.g., meat, fish, eggs, dairy or soy) within 90 to 120 minutes after exercise — by itself or with a carbohydrate — enhances growth and reduces repair time.

Are Powders and Supplements Needed?

Most athletes can get the amount of protein they need through food alone. Protein powders and supplements offer convenience, but are not necessary. When you need immediate protein, right after a workout and don't have time for a meal, supplements work. That said, whole foods are always best.