Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tip of the week by Gloria Averbuch - Protein for Your Sports Diet

The Women’s Professional Soccer season is in the thick of the battle for statistical standings, with an eye toward the WPS All-Star Game presented by the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, on June 30th in Atlanta and on Fox Soccer Channel.

In the meantime, soccer fans are glued to the substantial action (both on and off the pitch!) of the World Cup.

Here is this week’s Nutrition Tip, an enlightening look at the topic of protein, which often seems to be surrounded by as much controversy as the World Cup!

Protein for Your Sports Diet

Like carbohydrates, protein-rich foods are also an important part of your sports diet. You should eat a protein-rich food at each meal. Some soccer players tend to either over- or under- consume protein, depending on their ideas about healthy eating and lifestyle. While it is true that young athletes have an increased need for protein due to the demands of their sports and the fact they are growing, most tend to consume more than they require.

Whereas high-protein eaters may frequently choose cheese omelets, fast food burgers and other meals filled with saturated fats, others bypass these foods in their efforts to eat a low-fat or vegetarian diet—but they neglect to replace beef with beans, or other appropriate substitutes. Or they equate healthy eating with low-cal protein like skinless chicken breast and avoid important carbs and good fats.

To meet your protein requirement, you should consume one or two protein rich foods per day.

 Recommended daily protein intake:
5 to 7 ounces (or ounce-equivalents; 140 to 200 g)

Here are some examples of protein-rich foods:

Tuna 6 oz (170 g) can, drained
Chicken   6-ounce breast
Peanut Butter    2-4 tablespoons
Kidney Beans   1 cup  

 Excerpted from Food Guide for Soccer—Tips & Recipes From the Pros, with Women’s Professional Soccer, by Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, RD. Available on or