“Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.“ www.webmd.com
Protein helps us to feel fuller for longer it increases muscle mass but only if we train, just eating protein alone isn’t enough.
As we walk through supermarkets now we can see packages saying items like bread and cereal contain “added protein”.
Im wondering how many people buy these items just because of this label.
Products now are being labelled as high in protein instead of low in fat as producers see a rise in products sold labelled this way. Everyone is joining in, we now see mars bars and cereals labelled higher in protein.
From 2010-2015 we saw a rise of 500% in products being labelled as high in protein according to market researcher Mintel.
The average adult needs 0.75g-1g of protein per kg of body weight.
If you exercise that will increase depending on your goals. Weight maintenance is 1.2-1.4g per kg and for a body builder or power lifter that could be up to 2g per kg of body weight.
For a 100kg body builder they would need 160-200g a day of protein. They may get this from food and protein shakes combined.
For a 70kg adult that goes to the gym three times a week for weight maintenance would need 84-98grams.
We can get this easily from the food we eat. Animal protein is complete protein meaning it has all the amino acids we need for ours bodies.
Plant proteins are incomplete proteins. So we are better off having our daily protein from meat. Chicken being the leanest and most popular.
For vegetarians this can be hard but they can get the protein from other sources like tofu, cheese, soy etc.
Choosing your preferred protein sources is the first step but then making sure your getting it for the right cost and calories too.
Quinoa contains protein but you would have to eat over 500calories worth to get 20g protein. However you could have less than 200caloires of steak to get more protein. No brainier if you want to keep within your calorie limit.
Lots of food we eat throughout the day contain a mixture of protein along with carbs and fats. We often forget we get enough protein from our diets.
To get 84-98g of protein we would need to eat;
1 chicken breast (130g) 39g
150g low fat yoghurt 8g
2 medium eggs (6g each) 12g
100g tuna canned in brine 24g
1 (200g) glass of skimmed milk 7g
Easily done if we had 2 eggs on toast for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch, a yoghurt as a snack and chicken and veg for tea.
We don’t need Protein bread or added protein to items we normally eat.
It doesn’t make them healthier in anyway, a protein mars bar is still a mars bar.
Having a surplus of protein can be detrimental to your goals. If you don’t have a lot of carbs in your diet some excess protein will be used as fuel for your body however if you do then excess protein will be sorted as fat and overtime you will gain weight.
Some people might think the weight gained is muscle but if your eating too much protein it’s going to be fat. Eating Protein doesn’t give you muscles, it helps repair muscles after training and restore damaged tissue. Therefore making sure you eat the right amount is key.
The take home message is to make sure you know your Protein needs and you are probably already eating more than enough protein for your needs from your diet already. If your not then a protein supplement to your porridge or smoothie will help you to reach that goal.