Climbers Need Protein!
I’ve hesitated to write this article for some time. Basically, I wasn’t sure how to craft my thoughts into a solid article. That is, until I struck literary gold! This article, from Urban Climber, got me off my butt to get this out to you. I have been thinking (and practicing) what the author, Neely Quinn, wrote for a long time.
Basically, my thought is this: Climbers, you need to start consuming more protein. Way more than the popular climbing media tells us to consume. It seems like every time I read a diet article or chapter in a book marketed to climbers, it says to consume most of your daily calories as carbohydrates, scoffing at high protein diets. Climbers need more carbs for sustained energy. Protein is for weight lifters who want to get big…bla bla bla. Sound familiar?
Well, first of all, climbers are weight lifters. We lift our body weight repeatedly when climbing. This will tax our muscles severely, and the best way to recover is by supplying your muscles with the proper amount of protein that they crave. Feeling wasted after your second or third day out climbing? You probably need more protein. When on a trip, it’s easy to neglect proper nutrition. It’s quite convenient to just throw some pasta in the pot and eat it. Chase that with a beer and hit the hay, getting ready for another day on the rock. I’m guilty of this too! But this type of eating will surely catch up, and your muscles will fight back. Protein is the key to muscle recovery, and building strong, lean muscles. This is exactly what every climber wants.
In the article, Neely recommends about 30% of your daily caloric intake should come from protein. This sounds pretty good to me. If you look at my Daily Diet article, you can see I eat about 25-30 grams of protein in each meal. I think the best way to consume protein, is to evenly spread out the consumption across many meals. Eating large amounts of protein (or carbs) in one meal is not a good idea. I’ve mentioned this before. You want to keep your metabolism burning like a steady flame. Consume protein and carbs at each meal, especially when training hard. Also, make sure the protein is lean! Pounds of hamburgers are not what the trainer ordered. Lean meats such as fish, chicken, turkey, and lean red meats are the way to go.
Now, just because I’m big on protein, doesn’t mean I’m slacking on my carbohydrate intake. I get plenty of carbs throughout my day as well. Carbs in the form of grains earlier in the day, then I transition to obtaining my carbs through vegetables later in the day. Reducing the grains later in the day will promote building lean muscle and losing fat.
So, check out the awesome article by Neely Quinn and let me know what you think! Are you getting enough protein? If you have any questions on this, don’t hesitate to ask.