SHARE THIS ARTICLE

SEND A HINT

INVITE AN ATHLETE

SEND AN INVITATION

SHARE PROFILE

Home Feed Sessions Community Shop Membership Team Plans Get Quote Gift An Athlete Join the VIS Team Join Affiliate Program VIS Advocate Program Press Barbie Partnership WNBA Partnership

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY

Join Us

Start for free or explore plans.

Home Sign up Team plans Get Quote Gift An Athlete Join the VIS Team Join Affiliate Program VIS Advocate Program Press Barbie Partnership WNBA Partnership

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY

Join Us

Start for free or explore plans.

back to feed
Topic: Nutrition - June 07 2024
Protein? Yes!

As women athletes, we’ve probably heard that we need protein to perform at our best. But there’s more to protein beyond building muscle. We sat down with VIS Expert and Registered Dietitian, Brooke Czarnecki, about why we should say yes to protein and to uncover common myths about protein to keep us performing at our best.

By: Kate Hindman

VIS Creator

& Brooke Czarnecki

VIS Expert

Topic: Nutrition

June 07 2024

There are many reasons why we should say yes to protein. Protein is rich in amino acids that are important for muscle recovery and growth. On top of this, protein supports hair growth, healthy skin, and immune support. Women athletes in particular should say yes to protein to enhance their overall performance and assist in training and recovery from demanding practices and workouts. But we are probably aware of most of these benefits already. So, we talked with VIS Expert and Registered Dietitian, Brooke Czarnecki, to look at some common myths about protein that all women athletes should know. 

Myth 1: Protein Powders Are a Must 

Protein powders are a convenient way to get a steady amount of protein intake, but it's not as necessary as we think. Getting protein from a plant or animal source should be our first choice because we can’t get the same nutrients from powder as we can from these sources. This doesn’t mean stop using all protein powders, but instead to recognize that we can get better proteins from other sources, and powders should be used in addition.

“Women athletes need adequate protein intake to ensure they are feeding their muscles and cells to promote muscle repair & growth, supporting their immune system and to prevent bone stress injuries.”

Brooke Czarnecki, VIS Expert and Registered Dietitian

 Myth 2: We Can Never Have Too Much Protein

It's easy to look at all the benefits of protein and think we can never have too much protein, right? Not the case! Eating too much protein can lead to a few issues relating to our digestive system. We don’t have to focus all of our attention on not taking in too much protein, but we should recognize that trying to increase only our protein intake can lead to eating unnecessary calories. Luckily, Czarnecki explains that for most athletes, she doesn’t have to tell them that they’re eating too much protein. Most of the time, we need to up our intake of carbs, protein and fats.  

Myth 3: It Doesn’t Matter When We Eat Protein

To maximize protein synthesis, it's important to spread out protein intake throughout the day. This means having about 30 grams of protein during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If we eat all our protein for the day in one sitting, the excess (what our body doesn’t have time to digest) will just sit in our gut . If we spread out our protein intake throughout the day, we can maximize our muscle training and recovery.

Protein has a multitude of health benefits that are extremely important for women athletes to reach our peak performance. Czarnecki says that protein is vitally important for the immune system and the prevention of bone stress injuries. Considering protein during each meal will help our bodies properly train and recover. We can also advise a sports dietitian to determine our appropriate protein intake so we can make sure to meet this number daily. So, say yes to protein and optimize our intake by debunking these myths and reaping the benefits!

Take Action

If you are interested in learning more about nutrition and sports, check out Episode 45 of the VOICEINSPORT Podcast “Fuel Your Body” which goes over the importance of nutrition for women athletes. Also, the articles Butter? Yes! and Red Meat? Yes! both provide similar background information on specific food that can be beneficial for women athletes!