Are Your Student-Athletes Getting the Right Kinds of Protein?


If you’re an athlete, what you eat after a workout is important; choosing the right foods can help take you to the next level. Protein, for instance, is especially crucial for athletes, but while many foods have protein, not all proteins are created equal. To be truly high-quality, protein must feature all nine amino acids your body needs. Great sources of high-quality protein include milk, cheese and yogurt.

Why Seek High-Quality Protein?

High-quality, complete protein sources like dairy foods and whey protein can aid in post-exercise recovery. As part of balanced training diet, high-quality protein supports key functions such as:

  • Building and repairing strong muscles, ligaments and tendons
  • Moving oxygen to the muscles
  • Aiding in metabolism of other nutrients
  • Maintaining a healthy immune system

Milk Packs a Protein Punch

Powering up with milk is easy! Dairy foods are tasty, convenient and affordable. With 8 grams of high-quality protein naturally contained in every 1 cup serving, milk is like nature’s sports drink – whereas almond milk and other nondairy alternatives may have only 1 gram. Incorporating the dairy foods you love as part of your post-workout recovery can help you push harder in your next workout.

Learn more about sports nutrition and dairy.

By Kelsey Bencze, MEd, RD, LD

When this blog was published, Kelsey had been working as a dietitian in collegiate athletics for over 3 years. In July of 2014 Kelsey began working at Auburn University as the Graduate Assistant Sports Dietitian where she also completed a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology. Following her time at Auburn, she joined the Texas Performance Nutrition team full-time in May of 2016. Currently Kelsey serves as an Assistant Sports Dietitian with the University of Texas athletics department.

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