What to Know About Protein As a Baseball Player
As an athlete, you probably have heard a lot about protein. Even outside of the athletic world, protein is a hot topic. How much do you need? Can it help you lose weight? These are typical questions when it comes to protein in your diet.
Baseball players do participate in strenuous activity, both during games and in practice sessions. If you have heard that athletes need more protein than other groups, there is some validity to the statement. To be the best athlete that you can be, you need to have a healthy diet and good sources of energy and nutrients. You also need to keep your fluid intake high.
When it comes to knowing the correct amount of nutrients and calories, you have to think about the type of energy that you spend on a daily basis. Every person is going to have different needs based on their activity level. What about protein though? Here is what you need to know about protein.
Facts About Protein
Protein is a macronutrient. It is necessary for you to build muscle mass. While most people get their protein from animal products, they can also get it from nuts and legumes. Proteins are made up of amino acids and when broken down, they can aid in metabolism and help build muscle. Protein can also boost the immune system and keep you satiated for longer periods of time. Protein is difficult to store in the body, however, so you need to be aware of how much you may need.
How Much Protein Athletes Require
As a baseball player, there are a lot of requirements that you need to think about. Your requirements are more than just whether you have the right baseball gloves or appropriate uniform and gear, however. Another requirement is having a healthy diet to ensure that you are in the best shape to play. You need protein so that your body can repair and rebuild the muscle that you break down during practices and exercise. Now, protein should not be your fuel source as an athlete. That is where carbohydrates come into play. You need to have adequate carbs so that the protein can repair your muscles. Many endurance athletes need between 1.2 and 1.4 grams per day.
How to Get Enough Protein
One of the best sources of protein are animal products. For instance, meat, eggs and fish are complete sources of protein. Some foods are higher in protein than others. For instance, turkey, chicken and beef have higher amounts of protein than tofu and milk. It is critical to check the amount of protein in every source. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can still get an adequate amount of protein. It is a common misconception that you have to eat meat or dairy to have enough protein. Many athletes have plant-based diets. As a vegan or vegetarian, you may get more fiber, fruits and vegetables than other athletes. Since protein is not the only important macronutrient, it is important to think of the other benefits.
Most meat and dairy substitutes also have protein. If you choose not to eat substitutes, however, you can still get your protein from legumes and nuts. Peanut butter, for instance, has protein. If you combine legumes with nuts or seeds, you can create complete proteins. Chickpeas, cashews, brown rice and lentils are great sources of protein.
Whether you eat meat or you don’t, if you are worried about your protein intake, you can also use supplements or protein shakes. These come in vegetarian and vegan options also.
When you play competitive sports, you need to take care of your body. If you do not have adequate nutrients and macronutrients, you may not be able to compete to the best of your ability. While protein is important for all athletes, you also need to keep in mind that it is not the only macronutrient that you should pay attention to. A balanced diet is the best way to perform your best.