Endurance athletes might not be known for their bulging biceps and beach muscles but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need protein.
Not unlike a body builder, as a distance runner my workouts are designed to breakdown muscle tissue. Stride after stride after stride, I am slowly but surely developing many mini tears in my working muscles. Fitness and strength is gained when the tissue is rebuilt in the hours following my training sessions. For this reconstruction process, protein is key. The speed and efficiency of this process become even more important when I train twice a day (usually 4-5 days a week).
Over the course of my career as a runner, I have learned that not all protein sources are created equal. It seems like the more I discover about cricket protein and cricket flour, the more convinced I am that it should be a staple in every runner’s diet!
To begin, animal protein is more complete in terms of containing essential amino acids than plant-based proteins. This makes it more bio-available for our bodies to absorb and allows us to get the most out of it. Cricket protein contains all nine essential amino acids.1 Even when compared to other animal sources, Cricket protein rises to the top of the category- containing more protein per ounce than beef! Being made from the whole animal and not just the muscle tissue, it also contains more vitamins and minerals. The additional nutrients just so happen to be ones that runners often struggle to get enough of in their normal diets- iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B12, and zinc!1 (For information on cricket protein nutrition and information, read our other article on cricket flour nutrition)
Personally, I have taken specific nutritional supplements for each one of these critical nutrients at some point in my running career because training has caused detrimental deficiencies. Iron and Vitamin B12 are critical for runners because of their link to oxygen carrying capacity in the blood. It is difficult to keep these levels at an adequate level in the body because of a pounding stride and normal menstruation. Calcium and magnesium are critical to keep bone density up and prevent stress fractures. Zinc is essential to keep our immune systems in tact especially since it is put under constant stress from heavy training loads.
Pursuing the USA Olympic Team means that I am constantly looking at everything I do with a critical eye. How can I get more out of myself, my body, my workouts, my food to help me achieve my goals?? With so little separating me from my competitors, I need to be the best that I can be if I want to give myself a real shot. From all that I have learned about Cricket Flours and cricket protein thus far, I truly believe that this product could be instrumental in helping me take the next big step forward!
Learn more about the author Bridget Franek, and follow her on her journey as she trains for the 2016 Olympic Trials by clicking here.