How much Protein do we need as runners?

protein

This question comes up over and over in the world of running, and especially in plant-based world.. Lets look at the questions and then address some facts of the matter. Then you can think about that and how it applies to you.

PROTEIN? NEED MORE? WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN FROM? ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH PROTEIN? LOOKING A LITTLE SKINNY? ARE YOU VEGAN? OH THAT’S WHY… YOU NEED TO EAT PROTEIN BRO!

WHAT PROTEIN ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

Meat? Do you know that the “70%” lean ground beef has 82% of its calories from fat? (1)

Eggs? Do you know that eggs contain more than 62% of their calories from fat? (2)

Cheese? Do you know that cheddar cheese contains 72% of its calories from fat; cream cheese 88% fat? (3;4)

protein choice

That sounds more like a high fat diet to me… bro!

This is not breaking news and all health professionals know, but I’m gonna remind you again just in case: high fat and high protein diets are high acid-forming diets and are the main reason for health diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, cancer… (5;6;7)

Heart disease is the number one killer in the US. (8) I think we should focus on that instead of discussing wether or not eating too many bananas causes high potassium in your diet OR if you would be protein deficient going on a plant-based diet (please let me know if you hear of or know of any cases of protein deficiency in the US, I want to know).

clean protein

WHAT IS PROTEIN?

Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are used for building new tissue, including muscle, as well as repairing damaged tissues. Proteins, however, provide only a small source of fuel for the exercising muscles (being used as fuel typically only when carbohydrates and fat resources are low).

Do you know that a baby, that is building new tissues, cells, muscles, a LOT more than an adult, gets only 7% of its calories from protein in the mothers milk? (15) How can a baby getting only 7% of calories from protein grow that fast? Maybe it’s just because we don’t need 30% of our calories to come from protein to just maintain our body size! Don’t you think?

Many researchers have found that excessive intake of protein increases calcium excretion in urine. Since high protein foods are highly acidic, the kidneys draw calcium from the bones to maintain a proper pH balance in the body,(calcium is an alkalizing mineral) and then excrete this calcium in the urine. (9;10;11)

An overconsumption of protein leads to a higher risk of kidney stone formation from calcium in the renal circulatory system. It has been found that high animal protein intake, in healthy individuals, increases the probability of forming kidney stones by 250%. (12;13)

The reason a “high protein” diet has been shown in many studies to be linked to heart disease, (the number one killer in the US), is that these “high protein” foods from animal products come all packed with cholesterol. (14)

So are you more concern about protein deficiency, with not a single case in the US, or heart disease, the number one killer in the US, attributing to more than 611,000 deaths each year in the US alone? This is the question.

I do not want you to take my words as evidence, do your own research. I linked some of the studies that will get you started on the subject. It is a very important subject, as it involves your health and the health of your family members and friends.

Spread the truth, not the marketing BS. The cool thing that is as Plant Positive Runners we get plenty of protein from eating whole plant foods, not worrying about combining foods to get enough protein. 

When you cut out the junk and replace it with real whole plants, (like berries, bananas, sweet potatoes, greens, tomatoes, beans, lentils, oranges, etc)  you get everything you need to run at your top and stay super healthy!

- Coach Gwen

great series of videos on protein, sources, myths, etc. 

Sources:

  1. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/8004/2
  2. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/111/2
  3. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/8/2
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12148098
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2826524
  6. http://nutritionstudies.org/masai-and-inuit-high-protein-diets-a-closer-look/
  7. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9497187
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12936953
  10. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/120/1/134.extract
  11. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/22569495_The_Effect_of_High_Animal_Protein_Intake_on_the_Risk_of_Calcium_Stone-Formation_in_the_Urinary_Tract
  12. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2013/126929/
  13. http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/cholesterol-and-heart-disease
  14. http://www.parentingscience.com/calories-in-breast-milk.html