Brought to you by the Department of Kinesiology and Health at Georgia State University.

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    This page is meant to be a general guide to nutrition for the promotion of  health and fitness.  This information on this page is not meant to give specific individual dietary recommendations but general guidelines for a healthy diet.


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    Proteins are composed of amino acids linked together in chemical bonds. Protein plays an important role in the regulation of bodily functions. They supply amino acids for the synthesis of new tissue. The composition of genes, cells and skin is protein. The enzymes that regulate chemical reactions in the body are proteins.


     There are 20 different kinds of amino acids. Non essential amino acids are those which may be synthesized by the body. Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body and must be ingested in foods. They comprise the following: isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Complete proteins contain all the essential amino acids required for the growth and repair of bodily tissue. Incomplete proteins lack one or more of the essential amino acids. The best source of complete proteins are eggs, milk, meat, poultry and fish. The term biological value refers to an index where all protein sources are rated relative to a standard (eggs) which is considered the most complete protein and given the value of 100.


    The supplement industry advocates high protein consumption for muscle building. However, any excess protein consumed in the diet or through supplementation is broken down for energy or stored as body fat. For sedentary individuals the recommended daily allowance (R.D.A.) for protein is .8g/kg/bw/day. Athletes who participate in events that demand varying degrees of strength, speed and endurance may require up to 1.8g/kg/bw/day. It is important to remember that exercise is the key for stimulating growth of new muscle tissue. Protein only supplies the materials.

This is an example of a 2000 kilocalorie diet.  Many foods are good sources of protein; the primary protein sources in this example are highlighted in  blue.


1 C cereal  

1 C non-fat milk 

2 slices wheat bread 

1 tsp butter 

4 tsp jam 

1 C juice



3 oz grilled/baked chicken or fish 

1 C pasta w/ marinara sauce 

1/2 C vegetables 

1 C tossed salad w/ 1 Tbs dressing 

1 piece fruit or 1/2 C sliced fruit 

1 C non-fat milk 

1 C juice



3 oz lean meat choice 

1 C rice or potato 

1 dinner roll or slice of wheat bread 

1 tsp butter 

1/2 C vegetables 

1 C frozen yogurt w/ 1/2 C fruit  

1 C non-fat milk

Go to The Exercise and Physical Fitness Home Page

The Exercise and Physical Fitness Web Page is an ongoing project by graduate students in the Master of Science program in Exercise Science in the Department of Kinesiology and Health at Georgia State University. This project was created by J. Andrew Doyle, PhD, and was last modified on: April 27, 1999.