Hitting your protein requirements

banana oat thickieFor the average (sedentary) person, hitting recommended daily protein intakes is relatively easy and requires little thought. Protein requirements for the average population are around 0.8g per kg body mass, achievable by some chicken in a sandwich at lunch and a meat-based evening meal. For those who train daily, have active jobs, or are looking to lose weight or put on some muscle mass, upping your protein intake is a good start.

Protein has many functions in the body, including but not limited to transport, movement, growth, immunity, structure and signalling. It is constantly being synthesised and simultaneously degraded in a process known as protein turnover. Protein is the most satiating nutrient, meaning that it keeps you full for longer, which can be beneficial for those on a weight loss programme.

A good place to start when considering your daily protein intake is to aim for somewhere between 1g and 2g per kg body mass. This is a fairly simplistic target, not taking in to account percentage of lean mass and fat mass or specific activity levels, but is a good ballpark.

Upping your protein intake to achieve a particular goal doesn’t mean immediately diving into the world of supplements and guzzling down some whey. There are definite uses for and benefits of whey, but first off consider your diet. Space your protein intake out during the day rather than having it all in one meal; it will be easier for your body to process this way. Add protein to your snacks instead of always reaching for the carbohydrates mid-afternoon. Think about changing up your usual carbohydrate-based breakfasts to kick-start your day with some added protein. Some of the best things to add to your diet to boost your protein are eggs, Greek yoghurt, quinoa, chicken, white fish and milk. Small additions to your diet can make a big difference and can certainly help you towards your goal, whether than be weight loss, improved strength or increased muscle mass.

 scrambled eggs

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