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Protein and sport: all you need to know to make smart choices

All the food we eat provides us with all of the nutrients we need.  It’s the basis of being healthy and having enough energy to practise the sports we love.  

Among all food, one nutritional element in particular often attracts attention for its day-to-day importance: proteins.  Let’s take a look at the main sources of protein.

Whether you participate in recreational sports or you are a top athlete, on a daily basis, you will benefit from a diet that is well adapted to your needs.  In general, a balanced diet containing mainly unprocessed foods will provide all the necessary nutrients (including protein) to those who train 1 to 5 times a week.  

To be healthy, our bodies need foods that are good sources of protein   Once the food is digested and broken down into nutrients, the proteins will be used to build and repair all the tissues in our body.  In addition, proteins are an ally in everyday life, due in particular to their satiating effect.

Living without protein?


That's impossible!

Several factors influence how much you should consume each day: your age, weight, health status and level of physical activity. Ideally, your daily protein requirements should be calculated by a nutritionist, who will be able to properly estimate the amounts you should consume.

Although proteins are often associated with meat (beef, chicken, pork, fish eggs, etc.), proteins are found in almost all foods, but in very different amounts.   Eating less animal protein and replacing it with vegetable-based protein is a trend we will hear a lot about this year. It’s a small change that on daily basis can help improve our health and that of our planet.


There are many advantages to putting vegetable proteins on your plate.  They are less high in calories, economical, low in fat and richer in dietary fibre than their counterparts, animal protein (meat).  They are also an integral part of a balanced and varied diet. Whether you choose nuts, seeds, tofu, legumes or vegetable proteins or less well known proteins, such as tempeh, edamame, hemp, peanut butter powder, textured vegetable proteins or insect meal, vegetable protein sources are many and varied and can be completely broken down.

When we challenge ourselves to include them in our meals, we realize that it's easier than we think. 

Main sources of animal protein:  Red meat (beef, pork, veal), chicken, fish, seafood, eggs, cow's milk and goat's milk, yoghurts, cheese.

Main sources of vegetable protein:  Soybean (tofu, soy beverage, edamame, tempeh, textured vegetable protein), legumes (whole and in flour form), Walnuts and nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, seed and seed butters, cereals (oats, buckwheat, quinoa, etc.).


Super satisfying protein and cranberry muffins (in mini-muffins tins)

Whether with coffee in the morning, as a late night snack or just before training, these muffins will satisfy your hunger any time. Each small muffin provides as much as 5 g of protein, with a minimum of added sugar.  Crispy and consistent, you won’t find a better tasting muffin.

We prefer mini-muffins as they are easier to pack and carry.  We also prefer non-stick muffin tins so you there is no need to use paper liners.    Not having to carry unnecessary waste around when you're out playing sports is pretty cool and more environmental!

Recipe category : Snack

Co-Creator: Annie is a nutritionist, doctor of pharmacy and the founder of ScienceFourchette.com. Energetic, creative and passionate, she has a unique way of increasing your knowledge of nutrition and of simplifying your diet (in a big way).

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

Yield(Number of portions): 24 mini-muffins or 12 regular size 12 muffins

Ingredients: 

  • Volume (ml, c. and cups) for liquids  

    Weight (g) for solids

    Imperial  AND metric

    e.g.: 125 ml (1/2 cup)

    Use a tablespoon

    For the date puree :

    70 g (1/2 cup) dates (about 6 to 7 Medjols type dates)

    250 ml (1 cup) water 70 g

    For mixed nut muffins:

    60 ml (1/4 cup) canola, sunflower or grape seed oil

    2 eggs

    160 g (1 cup) whole wheat flour

    50 g (1/2 cup)  old-fashioned oats (rolled oats)

    70 g (1/2 cup) cashews, coarsely chopped

    70 g (1/2 cup) pecans, coarsely chopped

    35 g (1/4 cup) slivered almonds

    20 g (2 tablespoons) chia seeds

    50 g (1/4 cup) dried cranberries


Preparation : Place the rack in the center of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF). Grease mini muffin cups that hold about 60 ml (1/4 cup).

FOR THE DATE PURÉE

In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the dates and water.  Cover and cook on high power for 1 minute. Purée the dates using a blender foot or fork.  Set aside.

FOR THE MIXEDNUT MUFFINS

In a bowl, mix the date purée, oil and eggs.  Mix well and set aside.

In another bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, almonds, cashews, pecans and chia seeds.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently stir with a spatula, just enough to moisten the ingredients.  Add the dried cranberries.

Divide the batter evenly and scoop into the muffin tins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.  Remove from the muffin tins and let cool.

If you prefer to bake regular size muffins, they will take 30 to 40 minutes to bake.