What is your recommended protein intake?
The buzz is certainly around protein at the moment as we’re finding out more and more about how protein works within our body and the harm that bad sugars have had on our bodies over the past 50 years or so. Trying to figure out what you need, how you work and what’s good and bad for you can be difficult in daily life so here’s a bit of a cheat sheet on what we advise your recommended protein intake is.
Protein – key points of protein intake we ALWAYS recommend
0.8g – 1.2g per pound of bodyweight. Not sure where you sit, split the difference and go for 1g per pound (for example, you weigh 10st, that’s 140lbs so you eat 140 grams of protein throughout the day). At the high end you’re probably on a calorie deficit (protein can help you stay “full” for longer) you ratios will depend on your specific technical goals, expected outcomes and your lifestyle/training plan.
30g (at least) of protein with EVERY meal. What does 30g of protein look like?
* Yogurt bowl – half cup of greek yogurt with an ounce of sliced almonds and a half cup of raspberries.
* Omlette with one egg, two egg whites, 2 ounces chicken sausage, an ounce of goats cheese and spinach.
* Avocado toast – one slice of wholewheat toast, 1/4 avocado, 3 ounces smoked salmon and a fried egg.
Keep a constant cycle of protein through the day and you’ll constantly feel full up and you’ll reduce your likelihood of snacking on junk foods
Use quality sources – meat, fish and dairy that are rich in leucine to help synthesis and to prevent muscle catabolism. Try to get your protein fix from foods first, and supplements second.
Best ways to consume protein with every meal
Log all meals and snacks in advance – this gives you a great way to plan for your day and you’ll know when, or if, you need to top up at any time.
Protein powder/supplement bars. Powder can help you manage your intake with fewer calorie form other macros. You shouldn’t treat them as a miracle source or magic wand but if you are missing your goals or struggling to hit them then it can be an idea to top up with a shake or bar during the day.
Best Sources of protein:
* Protein Powder
* Lean Poultry – Chicken, Turkey
* Lean Meats – Mince, Beef
* Fatty Meats – Pork, Lamb
* Dairy Products – Greek/Natural Yogurt
* Beans – Kidney etc
What’s so great about protein?
Satiety. For starters, it leaves you feeling full. In a similar way to fat it give you a satisfied feeling, carbohydrates can spike your blood sugar and leave you crashing hours later, meaning you go back to the biscuits. The upside of protein is that it is not as calorie dense as fat (4 calories per gram of protein, versus 9 calories for fat) so it is a perfect option to help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
Muscles. Yep, that’s it, muscles. Your body needs protein to replenish your muscles and to promote growth of muscle fibres. Don’t immediately think ‘bulky biceps’ think of your heart as the main muscle in your body
Sufficient protein and controlling your calorie intake is key for any results to be maintainable and sustainable.
So, in brief, looking at your recommended protein intake, if you’re a bit more active head for the lower end (0.8g per pound) this will let you squeeze in more fats and carbs to help with an active lifestyle. If you’re lifestyle is a bit more sedentary or if your training is heavily focussed on muscle growth, then take the higher option – this will help repair muscle tears/fibres and will help you remain fuller for longer.