How Much Protein Should You Eat for Exercising?


By: , – Stephanie Karpinske, R.D., Family Circle
10/1/2012 6:00 AM   :  26 comments   :  21,571 Views

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When you think of what an athlete or bodybuilder eats, what foods usually come to mind? Chicken breasts? Egg whites? Tuna? These foods are all packed with protein and many athletes and bodybuilders eat them because they need the extra protein to build and repair body tissue after intense workouts. 
Knowing this, people who exercise a few times a week assume they too should eat extra protein so they buy jugs of protein powders, cartons of egg whites, and boxes of protein bars. But do they really need all that protein? Probably not. In fact, most of us get plenty of protein from our regular diet. Consider that one cup of milk has 8 grams of protein, a chicken breast has about 30 grams, and a cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt has 18-20 grams.
The average woman needs about 46 grams of protein a day and men need about 56 grams (according to the CDC). If a woman eats a chicken breast and a cup of Greek yogurt, she has met her needs for the day in just two foods! Since many foods contain protein, you can see how easy it is to get far more protein than the body needs.
Click here for more nutrition information from Family Circle.
More from Family Circle:
 What is your favorite source of protein after exercising? 

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