Endurance athletes like marathoners, triathletes, long-distance runners, swimmers, and anyone who competes for long-distance races and competitions tend to focus on taking carbohydrates to provide their body enough energy to sustain their performance from start to finish of the race, however, they pay little to no attention to protein.
This deprivation of protein in their body will result in protein deficiency which has an inevitable negative effect on their performance and on their health. For hardcore endurance athletes that run 42-kilometers or finish triathlon races are considerably require loads of protein on their body, far above the normal recommended daily allotment why? This is because they need to repair, maintain, and help their muscle grow a leaner mass which all depends on protein alone.
For endurance athletes who have low dietary protein will only take a long time for their bodies to recover, which causes their muscles to weaken, and also suppresses their immune system. Because of chronic protein deficiency, it will cancel the beneficial effects of their workouts which is just a waste of energy and time, instead, they only cause fatigue, lethargy, and even anemia to their body which is why endurance athletes should always incorporate protein into their diet.
Protein is not that hard to find, in fact, there are tons of protein supplements available in the market. If you are an endurance athlete who is concern of the calories than most protein supplements contain, well, there are a lot of brands that have their own protein supplements that have low calorie, and even sugar-free, or if you want to go natural, red meat, white meat, beans, nuts, soy, and egg are perfect sources of protein.
A lot of endurance athletes have mistaken protein to be only beneficial for bodybuilders who are in constant need for high protein diets, but if you get down to it, bodybuilders can do what they want with their bodies which is why they do not limit themselves when it comes to protein as well as taking carbohydrates and other nutrition, but for endurance athletes are also required to have a sufficient supply of protein in their body knowing that their sport is brutal when it comes to utilizing all muscle groups in the body that totally wrecks muscle tissue in the long run where only sufficient protein supply to repair it and aid it for its fast recovery.
You cannot perform optimally if you deprive your body of the protein. Endurance athletes require protein primarily to repair existing muscle tissue which is constantly being broken down from daily training. Also, you should erase the stigma of that protein causes unwanted weight gain and muscle growth because anything that is applied with strength and endurance will surely make your muscles grow and develop, but protein helps grow leaner muscles with lesser fat compared to consuming carbohydrates alone.
There is nothing to worry about when it comes to adding protein to your nutrition as an endurance athlete because of the type of training that you do determines your protein intake. For athletes who have intense endurance training does not require heavy loads of protein, but rather a regular intake to help muscle recovery.