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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > Apr/May 2016 > UNDERSTANDING PROTEIN


Put away your protein shakes! Kathy Findlay explains how much protein you need, when you should eat it and how to meet your requirements with everyday meals

The importance of protein and the question as to whether extra protein is necessary for sporting performance is a much debated topic amongst scientists, athletes and their coaches.

Protein is associated with power and strength and is the major constituent of muscle.

Traditionally scientists held the view that athletes didn’t need any more than the usual Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein in their diets, but today there is considerable evidence to suggest that active people require a higher percentage of protein in their diets, compared to the general population.


Protein makes up part of the structure of every cell and tissue in your body. Protein is needed for cell and tissue renewal, to produce enzymes and hormones such as adrenaline and insulin and to help regulate many metabolic pathways in our body – not to mention as a fuel source used by our body for energy production.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

As spring finally arrives, it is time to start planning your summer swims. We have features on wild swimming in Spain and Florida and full event listings for races in the UK and around the world. Plus, we report from Russia and the UK on the final flurry of the season’s cold water swimming competitions. In this issue’s performance zone, as well as all the usual training and nutrition advice, we teach you how to master easy butterfly. This issue we celebrate a true pioneer of the open water: Mercedes Gleitze, the first British woman to swim the English Channel, was an independent working class woman who promoted open water swimming to a new audience.