June 27, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Heavy resistance exercise increases the rates of both protein synthesis and breakdown in muscle for at least two-to-four hours after a workout. Unless a protein containing meal is consumed during recovery, breakdown will exceed synthesis, resulting in the loss of muscle mass.
It has been my experience after over a decade working with collegiate student-athletes that protein is the macronutrient that is the most difficult for them to consume in the required amounts. A hectic, full and inconsistent schedule, along with few easily accessible options make this even more challenging. The ACSM recommends between 0.5-0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight. This amount should be spread out throughout the day.
Since protein is typically not readily accessible on campus it is crucial for student-athletes to plan ahead. By making a turkey sandwich or cooking extra chicken breasts with dinner you will always have a nutritious protein source readily available, Also, take advantage of the post workout recovery shakes that the strength and conditioning staff offers after workouts, especially if you know it will be a few hours before your next meal!
“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.”
- Mike Singletary
When we are able to put this into perspective it creates a whole new approach and appreciation for something many of us take for granted every day. The ability to simply participate in our chosen sport, let alone at the BigTen level, is a blessing and this is too often lost on many of us. Once we are able to fully grasp Mr. Singletary’s comment it creates a whole new sense of urgency and appreciation for what we are able to do. Do not take for granted, even for a moment, “the opportunity to play!”