top of page

We need protein as a source of energy

Protein is important for the health and develpment of important tissues:







Why do young people need protein?




About 20% of a young person’s diet should come from protein.

Cook something YUMMY

with protein!


Make these delicious

Lemon Chicken 



Young people need protein for making enzymes and hormones, and for the immune system. 



  • lean meat or poultry

  • fish or shellfish

  • eggs

  • milk and yoghurt

  • cheese

  • Quorn

  • Pulses or beans, such as lentils, baked beans, soya or soya bean curd (tofu) are great  alternatives for vegetarians

  • nuts and seeds, peanut butter

  • grains such as wheat (in cereals,

  • pasta and bread), rice and maize 



British Universities Circuit Cycling Champion and Go Faster Food Ambassador, Dan McKimm, shows off his awesome cooking skills with the most delicious lemon chicken kebabs which he makes to fuel his heavy weekend of back to back cycle training and racing.




Protein and Sport




Protein for healthy energy & muscles



Protein and slow-release carb -

this combo will slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream.

Protein and quick-release carbs - this combo immediately before and during exercise will reduce muscle damage and delay loss of muscle strength.


Protein consumed immediately after exercise will promote muscle recovery, growth and repair.





Active people will need slightly more protein than less active people.

Protein for muscle mass



Young people wishing to gain muscle mass for their sport will need:

  • calories in the form of carbohydrate, protein and fat to provide the energy required for daily training/ matches,


  • PLUS

  • additional calories to build muscle



Protein-rich snacks between meals can help build muscle; for instance,

  • Greek yoghurt with honey,

  • boiled eggs and toast,

  • peanut butter or cheese sandwiches.

  • glass of milk

How much Protein?


  • The body can only absorb a certain amount of protein in any one sitting (about 4 grams per kg of body weight).


  • It's not possible to build up stores of protein in the way that you can with carbohydrate; the body simply does not store it.


  • If you overload on protein the excess will be excreted, putting an extra strain on the kidneys, or converted into fat rather than help build muscle. 


  • A young person who wishes to gain muscle mass will need a good intake of protein each day of around 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilo of body weight but this will need to be combined with a well-designed and sensible resistance training programme.


What about Protein Supplements?


Protein supplements and commercial protein drinks often contain high levels of sugar and additives. The more heavy-duty supplements such as creatine need to be used accurately and most certainly under professional guidance. Creatine builds muscle by dragging water into the cells which stimulate protein synthesis. Improper use of this can lead to dehydration, water retention, cramping, and kidney and muscle damage. 





The Power of Protein

bottom of page