Everyone knows growing bodies need balanced nutrition for optimal growth. A blend of carbs, fats, and proteins is required for proper physical and mental development and to reach your greatest potential.

 

Because of intense physical routines, teenage athletes require enhanced nutrition to hit their targets and compete at their best.

 

Whether you’re looking to run fast, jump high, lift more or simply outperform the competition – adequate protein intake is a key component of your success.

 

Most people don’t know how much protein they need to maximize muscle gains and training potential.

 

Today, we’ll explain exactly how much protein teenage athletes need to become bigger, faster and stronger.

 

How Much Protein is Recommended?

healthy protein for teen athletes

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for the average sedentary individual is .36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, per day.

 

This means a typical, non-active man should consume 56 grams of protein per day – 46 grams of protein per day for the average women.

 

However, teenage athletes are neither typical nor sedentary. They burn more energy and need the proper nutrients to recover from high-intensity exercise.

 

Five days of practice, plus games, plus additional strength and conditioning training can easily total 15+ hours of physical activity per week. Muscle growth and overall development  can only occur if exercise and nutrition are aligned.

 

As we know, protein is the essential macronutrient for repairing and strengthening muscles.

 

Hard-working teenage athletes should consume between 0.6 – 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That’s double the amount of sedentary people.

whey protein for teenage athletes

Peter Lemon, Professor of Exercise Nutrition at the University of Western Ontario provides a studied conclusion:

 

“For strength athletes, those numbers are even higher – generally between 0.7 and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.”

 

For example, a 130-pound tennis athlete without strength training would consume 78 grams (0.6 grams/lb) of protein per day. If you’re a 185-pound football player, you’ll want to consume 148 grams of protein (0.8/lb) to satisfy your strength training regimen. Because power athletes must build muscle rapidly, they require higher levels of protein consumption than endurance athletes.

 

Within your athletic routine, healthy protein selection is critical.

 

How to Consume Your Ideal Protein Requirement

protein supplements for teenage athletes

Balance high-performance protein intake with a complete diet containing smart carbs and healthy fats.

 

If you’re achieving excellent pre-workout nutrition, it means your daily protein intake is being spared from energy use and is being used to build and maintain lean body mass. Athletes consuming high amounts of protein alongside fats and carbs free up proteins for use as muscle builders instead of fuel sources.

 

Insufficient energy stores from carbs and fat leads the body to use muscle tissue for energy. To prevent muscle loss, consume adequate carbs before workouts and games and sufficient protein throughout the day and especially within 30 mins after exercise. Supplement essential amino acids 60-90 minutes prior to workouts and whey protein within 30 minutes following to maximize muscle gains.

 

Your Turn

Exercise increases the body’s need for protein, especially in teenage athletes with developing bodies that need to perform at high levels. Premium protein is how competitive athletes enhance their rate of  building lean muscle mass and perform at their best.