Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


Personal tools

You are here: Home / Up! Up! Up! / 05 - Fueling up / Protein


Feed the man meat

There's a lot of nutritional information out there for our enduro cousins.  At least ninety percent of the food for athletes books available are aimed squarely at enduros.  They need loads of carbohydrates.  They're glycogen depleted much of the time, they ride for hours and hours, they 'bonk' when they ride for too long without carbs.  They eat lots of pasta, lots of simple carbs (lollies, candy, sweets, basically sugar).  They spike their bidons with high glycemic index sugars. They're addicted to the stuff, but since they're burning it off all the time, they can get away with it.  Maybe.  Long term they may be doing themselves harm but discussions of the health impacts of high simple-carb diets is outside the scope of this book.  We recommend you read Gary Taubes' Good Calories Bad Calories if you want to know more.

We are not the same as our enduro cousins. If we eat like enduros, we alter our power to weight ratios in ways we would prefer to avoid.  We increase our risks of becoming type-2 diabetics as well as chancing our arm at giving ourselves a lot of other modern diseases brought about by high simple-carb diets.

Protein after training. Yum!Our needs are different.  Track sprint is a strength and power game.  It's rare for efforts to last longer than 20 seconds or so and we don't do lots of them.  We don't need sugars like our enduro cousins.  We need to be big and strong and powerful and that means our first priority is protein.  We'll keep it really simple. The building blocks for the muscle we need is protein.  High quality (meat!) protein.  Eat your steaks, boys and girls, and skip the chips.

Current recommendations for strength and power athletes is around 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day.  If you're Sean Eadie at race-weight (~98kg) that's around 200 grams of protein a day.  That's a lot of protein. A chicken breast is around 45 grams of protein, an egg has around 15 grams.  Steak varies by size but it's typically around 20 grams of protein per 100 grams of steak.  To get 200 grams of protein you're eating a kilogram of steak.  Some of us relish the thought!  Fill up your plate with non-starchy vegetables, which basically means no potatoes or rice. Load up on steak, fish or chicken and lots of green veggies and you can't go wrong.  Avoid the sauces that are almost always full of sugars and keep off fruit juices.  If you're keen on orange juice, eat an orange, don't just drink the juice.  Regrettably, alcohol isn't too good for us either, if you're old enough to have a beer, keep it in moderation and on recovery days only!