Letter to the editor: Proper nutrition for those who work out

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Proper nutrition for those who work out

I read with interest the recent article entitled The Importance of a High Protein Diet. The author failed in helping to educate the public about proper nutrition for those who work out.

She stated one should consume 198 grams of protein (men & teen boys), 140 grams (women, children & elderly) and 170 grams (active women, active girls and older children). These recommendations are unusually high recommendations, expensive, unattainable, potentially dangerous and unnecessary.

While it has been identified athletes may need more protein than those who do not exercise, the recommendations vary based on the type of athlete, one's weight, energy intake, exercise intensity and duration to name a few considerations. Physical activity may increase your protein needs but exercise will enhance the efficiency with which your muscles use the dietary protein we eat.

When considering protein (meat based and non-meat based protein sources) along with a balanced diet, protein makes us feel full longer than a carbohydrate rich diet, so yes eat protein but consider a carbohydrate and protein rich meal; protein to build and repair muscles and carbohydrates to provide you with fuel.

Exercise and eating a well balanced diet including carbohydrates, protein and fat will help fuel your exercise routine. Following the excessive protein recommendations the author offered will offer NO benefit and is not sustainable. For more in depth nutrition information visit a Registered Dietitian in your area or refer to Nancy Clark's Sport Nutrition Guidebook.

— Wendy (Finney) Bernstein, registered dietitian/licensed nutritionist Northampton, Mass.


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