Why are Proteins important to high performance athletes?

Proteins help re-build and repair the body’s tissues. Muscle tissue depends on protein to repair the damage done during exercise. Most people get more than enough protein from the food they eat.

High quality, lean choices of meat/protein are listed below. Making lean choices will provide you with the ingredients you need for re-building your muscle. Each ounce of meat will provide you with approximately 7 grams of protein (ex. 4 ounces of chicken breast = 28 grams of protein).

You also get protein from grains, nuts, beans and vegetables, although it must be consumed in combination in order to be high quality or “complete"



Beef: Ground Sirloin, Filet, Round, and Lean Ground Beef (96%lean)

Fish: all fish (not fried)

Chicken/Turkey: skinless~ (grilled, baked, broiled)

Pork: Center Cut, Lean

Eggs: 1 yolk/day plus egg whites/egg substitutes

Veggie Burgers: Boca/Morningstar Farms, Garden Burger

Sausage/Hot Dogs: Use only low-fat versions like those made by Healthy Choice or Isernios

Deli Meats: Lean Turkey, Ham, or Roast Beef

Soy Products: Tofu, soy milk, edamame (soy beans)

Dairy: 2% sliced cheese (kraft), parmesan cheese, low fat cream cheese, part skim mozzarella, skim or low-fat milk, yogurt


Limit or Avoid these and other HIGH FAT Protein Sources


Pork/Sausage/Hot Dogs: ground pork, spareribs, regular hot dogs

Fish: any that is fried

Cheese: American, Blue, Swiss, Mozzarella, and most deli cheese

Other: Luncheon style meats like bologna, pastrami, salami, pepperoni

Sausage: Polish, Italian, Smoked

Other Beef: T-Bone, Ribeye, Porterhouse, Ground Beef less than 85% lean, Roast (rib, chuck, rump), and Corned Beef


Protein needs range from .55-.9 grams/pound of body weight the high performance athlete.  Protein needs will change throughout your training schedule. You may require more protein in your strength building phase vs your during your competitive season.

You will not get stronger by eating extra protein. Consuming adequate amounts of protein along with enough calories to support your training will allow you to optimize your strength.

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