Tara Gidus


With the billion dollar diet and supplement industry convincing us to buy their products, it's no wonder why many athletes are confused about protein, supplementation, when to eat it, how much, and what kind to get.

When I talk to runners at events like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler, protein is a hot topic. Protein is important to eat throughout the day, essentially every 3-4 hours at meal times. I often like to include a small amount at snacks too. The amino acids in protein are considered the building blocks of cells; many of these amino acids are essential, as in the body does not make them on their own so we must get them through our diet.

Most people don't have a hard time getting enough protein. As a rule of thumb, aim for between 0.55 and 0.65 grams per pound of your body weight as a runner. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, aim for 83 - 98 grams each day.

A good source of protein can be found in lean meat, poultry, fish, soy, beans, dairy, nuts, seeds, and even whole grains. I often add a scoop of whey or soy protein to my smoothies for a satisfying snack or breakfast.

Here are some examples of my favorite high protein sources that are best for runners.

Protein Foods for Runners

  • Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or pecans
  • Eggs
  • Edamame
  • Tofu
  • Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Quinoa
  • Salmon
  • Whey Protein Powder
  • Soy milk
  • Tuna, canned in water
  • 93% Lean Ground Beef

Still have questions about protein? Tweet me your questions @DietDivaTara.


Known as the "Diet Diva," Tara Gidus is a nationally acclaimed nutrition expert and the official nutritionist of runDisney.