The Gymnastics Kitchen with Betsy: Protein Power

By Betsy McNally-Laouar

One of the most prevalent questions I get from gymnasts and parents is: “How much protein do I need to repair my muscles after a practice?”

Protein repairs muscles after long, strenuous workouts. In general, an athlete (like a gymnast) should consume between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein per LEAN kilogram of body weight per day.

That means for every LEAN kg of body weight (not including fat weight), an athlete should include 1.5 grams of protein per day. It is also important that gymnasts eat a significant amount of green vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates to complete their diet regimes.

Here are my recommendations for the most superior proteins for a gymnast post workout that will keep her/him light, fit and looking and feeling their best:

Salmon

Salmon not only boosts huge amount of omega fats for great brain, skin and heart health. But it also packs 22.5 grams of protein per 4oz serving. Match this with a 3 ounce sweet potato and a cup of broccoli for an excellent post training meal.

Eggs and egg whites

The simplest and purest form of protein is found in an egg white. Each egg white contains 3.6 grams of protein, so having 4 whites would equal around 14 grams of protein. My gymnasts match this with a half a cup of protein rich oatmeal for breakfast and some berries for a great start to the day.

Nuts and Nut Butters

Almond butter adds 5.8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. Add this to a couple of rice cakes or along side and apple for a great pre workout snack. Or, add 1/4 cup of nuts to any salad post workout for healthy fats and protein punch.

Chicken

Chicken goes with anything! It adds 26.1 grams of protein per 4 oz serving. Try chopping up chicken and adding to 1/2 cup quinoa and 1/2 cup finely shredded broccoli with 1 tbs olive oil and balsamic vinegar! Yum!

Edamame or tofu

Who says soy isn’t a great non-meat protein? A cup of edamame is a great post workout snack. Try 4 ounces of stir fried tofu or edamame beans (33.2 grams protein per cup) with a cup of snow peas, onions and 1/2 cup brown rice for a protein filled post workout meal! Drizzle with some low sodium soy sauce for a bit of flavor.

Greek Yogurt

This yogurt has the highest amount of protein and lowest amount of sugar on the market. Try substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream on chicken tacos or on baked potatoes with a few tablespoons of salsa! A cup of Greek yogurt adds 20.4 ounces of protein per serving.


Betsy McNally-Laouar is a personal fitness and gymnastics trainer certified in Sports Nutrition. She currently works with the elite and upper level gymnasts at Cincinnati Gymnastics creating training and meal plans. She also works with gymnasts all around the country online and through camps. If you need more help with gymnastics recipes, meal plans and fitness, check out her website, www.betsymcnally.com and email her at coach@betsymcnally.com



Related:
The Gymnastics Kitchen with Betsy: Meals with Meals
The Gymnastics Kitchen with Betsy: Pre/Post Workout Snacks

USA Gymnastics Names Biles, Hurd & 4 More To 2018 World Championships Team

Interview: Riley McCusker - Day 2, 2018 US Championships

The 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships are less than two weeks away from starting in Doha, Qatar, and USA Gymnastics has just announced the six gymnasts who will be representing the red, white, and blue in the year's biggest international competition. A seventh alternate gymnast will be named in Qatar.

Simone Biles Spearheads The Women's Worlds Event Finals Contenders

Although Doha 2018 marks the first world championships of the quad with a team competition, this year's event finals will still be one to watch, especially with the return of reigning Olympic all-around, vault, and floor champion Simone Biles.

Roster: U.S. Women's 2018 World Team Selection Camp

Following the 2018 World Championships nominative roster release by the International Gymnastics Federation, USA Gymnastics posted the gymnasts who will attend the 2018 U.S. Women’s World Team Selection Camp.

USA's Nominative Team For The 2018 World Championships

The nominative registrations are in for the 2018 World Championships, and the USA's team consists of Simone Biles, Morgan Hurd, Riley McCusker, Grace McCallum, and Kara Eaker, with Shilese Jones as the alternate.

Great Britain Names 2018 World Championships Team

Press release via British Gymnastics:

Ellie Downie, Becky Downie, Kelly Simm, Georgia-Mae Fenton and Alice Kinsella will be the Great Britain women’s team for the forthcoming artistic gymnastics World Championships.

Corinne Bunagan To Represent Philippines At Worlds

Interview: Philippine Senior Elite Corinne Bunagan, ENA Gymnastics

For the first time in three years, the Philippines will be represented in the biggest gymnastics competition of the year. New Jersey native Corinne Bunagan of ENA Paramus will compete at the 2018 World Championships in Doha next month. She received the opportunity after proving herself to be a reliable competitor at the 2018 Asian Games.

U.S. Men's Team Announced For 2018 World Gymnastics Championships

USA Gymnastics has announced the men's team for the 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. Sam Mikulak, Akash Modi, Yul Moldauer, Colin Van Wicklen, and Alec Yoder make up the five person team with Allan Bower as the traveling alternate.

Led By Hunter Dula, Utah Adds Top JO Talent For 2019 NCAA Gymnastics Season

Now that first official practices are underway at many schools, we’re continuing our series on the new additions to NCAA gymnastics team rosters, highlighting the Utah Utes today. Similar to LSU, the team have only lost two key competitors to graduations, Tiffani Lewis and Maddy Stover. Lewis was an important competitor for the team on vault, bars, and floor, while Stover was one of the team’s top beam workers. 

Valorie Kondos Field To Retire As UCLA Gymnastics Coach After 2019 Season

Longtime UCLA gymnastics head coach Valorie Kondos Field, better known as Miss Val, announced this morning that she will retire from her position after the 2019 NCAA season. While this is news for most, the fan-favorite coach made the decision years ago.

LSU Looking To McKenna Kelley & Bailey Ferrer For New 1-2 Punch

Now that first official practices are underway at many schools, we’re continuing our series on the new additions to NCAA gymnastics team rosters, highlighting the LSU Tigers today.