When it comes to building muscle, strength, and improving athletic performance, youth athlete protein is a crucial nutrient to track. However, determining how much protein your teen athlete should consume can be a bit of a challenge. In this blog post, we’ll explore the optimal amount of protein for teen athletes in order to support muscle growth, strength, recovery, and performance.
Firstly, let’s start with muscle building. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue. Studies have found that consuming around 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day can help maximize muscle protein synthesis in young athletes (1). For example, a 70 kg teen athlete would need around 112 grams of protein per day to support muscle growth.
Secondly, proper youth athlete protein intake is important for strength development. Strength training can cause muscle damage, and consuming adequate amounts of protein can help repair and rebuild muscle tissue. A study found that consuming 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day resulted in greater strength gains in young athletes compared to those who consumed 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day (2).
Thirdly, protein is necessary for recovery. After exercise, your teen athlete’s muscles need to recover and repair. Consuming protein after exercise can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis and promote muscle recovery. Studies have found that consuming 20-25 grams of protein after exercise can help maximize muscle recovery and growth (3).
Finally, protein is important for athletic performance. Adequate protein intake can help support energy production, endurance, and overall athletic performance. Studies have found that consuming around 1.2-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day can help improve endurance and overall athletic performance in young athletes (4).
In conclusion, consuming adequate amounts of protein is crucial for teen athletes looking to build muscle, gain strength, promote recovery, and improve athletic performance. While the exact amount of protein needed may vary based on individual factors such as age, sex, and activity level, consuming around 1.2-1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day can help support optimal muscle growth, strength, recovery, and performance.