Dietary protein requirements for athletes

In most countries there are no specific allowances for an effect of physical exercise on protein requirements. It is sometimes stated that these are not required because all athletes consume more energy and subsequently achieve adequate protein intakes. Others have argued that moderate exercise does not increase the requirement for dietary protein,6680145 and therefore there is no need to provide specific protein requirements for athletes. However, these studies were undertaken using exercise intensities that would be considered recreational by most standards. Clearly, an elite athlete is performing daily exercise at a much higher intensity and for a longer duration than the novice. Therefore, it is critical to quantify the state of training and the daily volume for any study looking at protein requirements in athletes. Although most athletes consume enough protein to cover any potential increase in dietary need, there are individuals who may not even meet minimal requirements, and it is this group for whom an awareness of protein requirements is useful. For example, a person who is performing regular strenuous activity while on an energy-restrictive diet may wish to know the minimal protein intake for optimal functional status.

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