Protein Power

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How much protein do I need while training for a marathon?

Protein Power

Protein is essential for distance running (and for good health in general), but use common sense and don't abandon carbohydrates and fats in favor of a high-protein diet. Nutritionist Liz Applegate, Ph.D., a regular contributor to Runner's World magazine, has a sensible approach to nutrition. She suggests that runners consume about 15 percent of their daily calories as protein, which is about half the amount of protein suggested by high-protein diets. Most marathoners will burn carbohydrates and fats first during long runs, but after an hour or so of running your body will be looking for another energy source and will start burning protein, so you do need it in your diet. If you're a vegetarian, know your alternative protein sources. Protein is essential to muscle recovery as well, so it's not only tasty, but healthy, to indulge that post-workout craving for peanut butter, or a hamburger, or your favorite protein to help your muscles refuel and prepare for the next workout.



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