Go Back  Bike Forums > The Racer's Forum > "The 33"-Road Bike Racing
Reload this Page >

Daily Protein Needs Of A Bicycle Racer

"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

Daily Protein Needs Of A Bicycle Racer

Old 02-15-07, 11:34 AM
  #1  
Mayonnaise
Arschgaudi
Thread Starter
 
Mayonnaise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago (Beverly)
Posts: 846

Bikes: Merckx Team SC, Masi (fixed), Merckx Cyclo-Cross

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Daily Protein Needs Of A Bicycle Racer

Iíve been having chats with the guys I work with about daily intake of protein. These guys work out daily and are trying to stay fit while not necessarily bulking up with muscle mass.

Itís generally agreed that they all try to take in the same amount in grams of protein as their body weight. So if they weigh 175 pounds they take 175 grams of protein.

For their needs I am sure this is a fine program, but they have no idea what a bicycle racerís needs are and what bicycle racing does to a body.

I have a daily supplement of protein but donít come anywhere close to my body weight. I never gave the amount I take much thought, I just add a scoop to some kefir and fruit and drink it.

Specifically, for bike racing, what are your protein thoughts?
Mayonnaise is offline  
Old 02-15-07, 11:43 AM
  #2  
branman1986
Eternal Cat3 Rookie
 
branman1986's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,167

Bikes: 2004 Giant TCR2 Composite & 2006 Fuji Touring

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There was a long thread about this not too long ago. In Joel Friel's book they polled lots of nutritionists & sports scientists and they came up with 0.5 to 1.2 grams per lean bodyweight. I'd say find out your lean body weight and shoot for 1g/lb.

Quite surprisingly the consensus(in the book) is that endurance athletes need MORE protein than power athletes. One 1-hour criterium burns up 30 grams of protein(and they're probably using a 140-150lb cyclist)...think about your long training rides...that's a lotta protein
branman1986 is offline  
Old 02-15-07, 11:55 AM
  #3  
timmhaan
more ape than man
 
timmhaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: nyc
Posts: 8,094
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
the recommendations seem to vary quite a bit. most people seem to think that you can't really get too much protein. i would recommend you try to increase the amount you are consuming and see how that works for you.

the protein that i get from a well balanced diet seems to be enough for me. i feel better just eating right than i did when i was taking extra protein in the form of nuritional shakes and things. however, i'm not sure if this will be the case when i start training more intensely.
timmhaan is offline  
Old 02-15-07, 11:58 AM
  #4  
stea1thviper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 756

Bikes: custom built roadie

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Mayonnaise
Iíve been having chats with the guys I work with about daily intake of protein. These guys work out daily and are trying to stay fit while not necessarily bulking up with muscle mass.

Itís generally agreed that they all try to take in the same amount in grams of protein as their body weight. So if they weigh 175 pounds they take 175 grams of protein.

For their needs I am sure this is a fine program, but they have no idea what a bicycle racerís needs are and what bicycle racing does to a body.

I have a daily supplement of protein but donít come anywhere close to my body weight. I never gave the amount I take much thought, I just add a scoop to some kefir and fruit and drink it.

Specifically, for bike racing, what are your protein thoughts?
im no nutritional expert, but im just going to throw out there that no matter how much more protein you consume you will not bulk up more. Just like no pill will magically make you skinnier.
stea1thviper is offline  
Old 02-15-07, 12:42 PM
  #5  
Snuffleupagus
Aut Vincere Aut Mori
 
Snuffleupagus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 4,166

Bikes: Irish Cycles Tir na Nog, Jack Kane Team Racing, Fuji Aloha 1.0, GT Karakoram, Motobecane Fly Team

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It depends on your body type and caloric needs as well.

If you're trying to lose weight while doing a lot of training, you may need to eat less protein and more carbs to fuel your training.

If you're trying to lose those last couple of pounds to get down to your race weight, you may want to eat more protein to ensure you don't lose precious muscle mass.

It seems the .5g/lb of body weight is a good mark to try to stay at or above.
Snuffleupagus is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 08:15 AM
  #6  
jrennie
Race to train
 
jrennie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: suffering on the back
Posts: 3,115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A very high protien diet that exceds you daily requirement only results in very expensive urine. The american diet usually comprises more than enough protien than anyone needs. Remember that your protien isnt just from meat sources but in most of your daily intake as well.
jrennie is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 08:52 AM
  #7  
branman1986
Eternal Cat3 Rookie
 
branman1986's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,167

Bikes: 2004 Giant TCR2 Composite & 2006 Fuji Touring

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I added mine up and I was woefully short. If you eat a diet with a lot of fruits & veggies, it's very easy to come up short. To come even close to the 1g/lb I'd have to eat approx 180g(for lean bodyweight) and american diet or no, it takes a serious effort to get that much protein.

I'm no doctor, but I'm guessing protein doesn't pass through your urine like vitamins. A calorie is a calorie. is a calorie.
branman1986 is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 09:58 AM
  #8  
Snuffleupagus
Aut Vincere Aut Mori
 
Snuffleupagus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 4,166

Bikes: Irish Cycles Tir na Nog, Jack Kane Team Racing, Fuji Aloha 1.0, GT Karakoram, Motobecane Fly Team

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by branman1986
I added mine up and I was woefully short. If you eat a diet with a lot of fruits & veggies, it's very easy to come up short. To come even close to the 1g/lb I'd have to eat approx 180g(for lean bodyweight) and american diet or no, it takes a serious effort to get that much protein.

I'm no doctor, but I'm guessing protein doesn't pass through your urine like vitamins. A calorie is a calorie. is a calorie.
If you're testing positive for protein in your urine, you've got bigger problems. e.g. kidney disease.
Snuffleupagus is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 11:03 AM
  #9  
merlinextraligh
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 30,331

Bikes: Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Calfee Dragonfly Tandem

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 868 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by branman1986
I added mine up and I was woefully short. If you eat a diet with a lot of fruits & veggies, it's very easy to come up short. To come even close to the 1g/lb I'd have to eat approx 180g(for lean bodyweight) and american diet or no, it takes a serious effort to get that much protein.
Woefully short of what, an arbitrary standard? I just looked at my fit day data for the last month , and I'm averaging 107 grams a day, and do not feel like I've got any deficiency of protein. I typically eat a couple of servings of meat or fish every day, as well as a fair amount of cheese, and yogurt, and beans and nuts from time to time. I just can't believe that is not enough protein.

My mirror tells me I'm putting on muscle (lifting weights for upper body and core), my Powertap tells me my FTP, and sprinting power are up, and my scale tells me I'm losing a pound a week (which is intended).

If I changed my diet to get to 180g of protein a week, without any other change, I'd add almost 300 calories a day (killing 2/3rds of my weight loss) and I can't believe I would do anything to improve my athletic performance.
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 11:18 AM
  #10  
branman1986
Eternal Cat3 Rookie
 
branman1986's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,167

Bikes: 2004 Giant TCR2 Composite & 2006 Fuji Touring

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
why would you assume no other change? Perhaps lower your carb or fat intake?

I just referenced Joel Friel's book and picked 1g/lb as a nice round number between the guidelines. You feeling like you have enough protein, looking in a mirror and checking power numbers is more arbitrary. There are literally millions of variables that may be producing those effects. Perhaps you'd slim faster and have higher numbers with more protein. Maybe not.

All I did was reference a well known and respected book for his answer.
branman1986 is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 11:25 AM
  #11  
branman1986
Eternal Cat3 Rookie
 
branman1986's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,167

Bikes: 2004 Giant TCR2 Composite & 2006 Fuji Touring

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
well, I used 180g for me, I'm 6'6" and about 202lbs. I figure I'm about 180g of lean body weight(I'm a shade over 10% fat) and my normal caloric intake is about 3500-4500. Clearly 180 doesn't work for everybody.

edit: that's only about 18% of my daily calories from protein, which doesn't seem that high.
branman1986 is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 11:26 AM
  #12  
Duke of Kent
Senior Member
 
Duke of Kent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Posts: 4,850

Bikes: Yeti ASRc, Focus Raven 29er, Flyxii FR316

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Agreed. If you're eating well and getting the calories you need to maintain your strength, you're more than likely getting more than enough in your diet.

While some people might hate me for this, eat a damn hamburger after a race and you're halfway there. Throw some almonds down the hatch as a snack. Easy.
Duke of Kent is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 11:37 AM
  #13  
branman1986
Eternal Cat3 Rookie
 
branman1986's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,167

Bikes: 2004 Giant TCR2 Composite & 2006 Fuji Touring

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I suppose I need to bring my own lunch/breakfast to work, my problem is that all the decent protein options at the cafeteria are very high fat so I usually pass. I usually just get a veggie plate. I'm also lactose intolerant so I miss out on the protein in milk with morning cereal, etc.
branman1986 is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 12:07 PM
  #14  
Duke of Kent
Senior Member
 
Duke of Kent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Posts: 4,850

Bikes: Yeti ASRc, Focus Raven 29er, Flyxii FR316

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by branman1986
I suppose I need to bring my own lunch/breakfast to work, my problem is that all the decent protein options at the cafeteria are very high fat so I usually pass. I usually just get a veggie plate. I'm also lactose intolerant so I miss out on the protein in milk with morning cereal, etc.
Out of curiosity, what's wrong with fat?
Duke of Kent is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 12:12 PM
  #15  
GuitarWizard
Used to be a climber..
 
GuitarWizard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 6,844

Bikes: Ridley Fenix SL, Niner RLT-9 Steel, Diamond Back Haanjo Trail, Fairdale Goodship

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
While some people might hate me for this, eat a damn hamburger after a race and you're halfway there.
You're right....I completely disagree with this statement.

You should ALWAYS put cheese on a burger.
GuitarWizard is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 12:14 PM
  #16  
Duke of Kent
Senior Member
 
Duke of Kent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Posts: 4,850

Bikes: Yeti ASRc, Focus Raven 29er, Flyxii FR316

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
You're right....I completely disagree with this statement.

You should ALWAYS put cheese on a burger.
Yellow American and nothing else.

Along those lines, a brat should have mustard and nothing else on it. Except for maybe some beer whilst cooking.
Duke of Kent is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 12:16 PM
  #17  
branman1986
Eternal Cat3 Rookie
 
branman1986's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,167

Bikes: 2004 Giant TCR2 Composite & 2006 Fuji Touring

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
Out of curiosity, what's wrong with fat?
it ran over my dog
branman1986 is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 12:28 PM
  #18  
merlinextraligh
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 30,331

Bikes: Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Calfee Dragonfly Tandem

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 868 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
To give you an idea why I don't feel compelled to get to 180g (and I'm around your size), I picked out the last day I've got complete data entered on fit day, and looked at the major sources of protein for the day.

Breakfast, 3 egg Veggie cheese Omelette. Whole grain toast (which is 5g of protein). Lunch, Chili with Meat and beans. Dinner Beef stir frye, with rice.

That added up to 118 grams of protein. I just can't believe thats not enough.

I also have a question whether that 1g/lb of lean mass is supposed to be measured off of muscle mass, excluding things like say bones?
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 12:34 PM
  #19  
merlinextraligh
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 30,331

Bikes: Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Calfee Dragonfly Tandem

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 868 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Started poking around on the web re my question as to whether the calculation is accurate. Found this on line calculator http://www.indoorclimbing.com/Protein_Requirement.html

Which indictes for my height 6'1" and ideal body weight 184, I need 38-67 grams a day.

Also it references World Health Orginization studies that indicate protein should be 10-15% of calories. (My 118 g day was 18% for me.)

I tend to find Friel to be a pretty authoritative source, so I'm really thinking the assumptions in how his standard is being applied might be wrong.

Also take a look at this link http://www.sugar-bureau.co.uk/energy_zone/protein.html which suggests for endurance Athletes 1.2 grams per Kilogram. Perhaps Friel's numbers were for Kg?
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 12:47 PM
  #20  
merlinextraligh
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 30,331

Bikes: Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Calfee Dragonfly Tandem

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 868 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ok, More internet research. Friel appears to be an advocate of the Paleo, or modern stone age diet.

See http://www.enotalone.com/article/5366.html. His reccomendations for protein are twice the USDA's.

Personally, I don't buy it, but to each his own.

So apparently, the reason you're protein is woefully inadequate is you're not eating like a Caveman.
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 12:48 PM
  #21  
timmhaan
more ape than man
 
timmhaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: nyc
Posts: 8,094
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh

I tend to find Friel to be a pretty authoritative source, so I'm really thinking the assumptions in how his standard is being applied might be wrong.

Also take a look at this link http://www.sugar-bureau.co.uk/energy_zone/protein.html which suggests for endurance Athletes 1.2 grams per Kilogram. Perhaps Friel's numbers were for Kg?
that makes more sense to me. like you, i find that even if i eat a lot of protein rich foods i would still fall pretty short of the 1g\1lb range.

i don't have the book in front of me, but i seem to remember the section in Friel's book dealing with protein was fairly inconculsive. he basically stated that there is no definitive answer yet and that different studies recommend different ratios. he did site the problem of the 7-11 team, when in the tour they were not taking in enough protein and lost significant muscle mass during the event.
timmhaan is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 12:50 PM
  #22  
voltman
It is fantastic.
 
voltman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: The OC
Posts: 7,977

Bikes: 05 Specialized Allez Elite; 06 Fuji Team Pro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a 5lb tub of whey in my office.
voltman is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 12:57 PM
  #23  
Snuffleupagus
Aut Vincere Aut Mori
 
Snuffleupagus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 4,166

Bikes: Irish Cycles Tir na Nog, Jack Kane Team Racing, Fuji Aloha 1.0, GT Karakoram, Motobecane Fly Team

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by voltman
I have a 5lb tub of whey in my office.
Some fruit juice and whey protein is a good 'recovery drink' substitute.
Snuffleupagus is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 02:20 PM
  #24  
stea1thviper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 756

Bikes: custom built roadie

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Started poking around on the web re my question as to whether the calculation is accurate. Found this on line calculator http://www.indoorclimbing.com/Protein_Requirement.html

Which indictes for my height 6'1" and ideal body weight 184, I need 38-67 grams a day.

Also it references World Health Orginization studies that indicate protein should be 10-15% of calories. (My 118 g day was 18% for me.)

I tend to find Friel to be a pretty authoritative source, so I'm really thinking the assumptions in how his standard is being applied might be wrong.

Also take a look at this link http://www.sugar-bureau.co.uk/energy_zone/protein.html which suggests for endurance Athletes 1.2 grams per Kilogram. Perhaps Friel's numbers were for Kg?
im not sure how accurate that calculator is. according to that ideal weight calculator, im 10lbs under ideal weight on a good day.
stea1thviper is offline  
Old 02-16-07, 02:33 PM
  #25  
Snuffleupagus
Aut Vincere Aut Mori
 
Snuffleupagus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 4,166

Bikes: Irish Cycles Tir na Nog, Jack Kane Team Racing, Fuji Aloha 1.0, GT Karakoram, Motobecane Fly Team

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by stea1thviper
im not sure how accurate that calculator is. according to that ideal weight calculator, im 10lbs under ideal weight on a good day.
That's because it's from a rock climing site. My race weight is 20lbs lighter than what that site says is ideal for me. Climbers have to have strong upper bodies. Roadies...not so much.
Snuffleupagus is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.