Protein is an essential part of performance nutrition – that’s nothing new. But when it comes to finding out what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat, the entire topic gets a lot more complicated. If you want to know the basic – yet important – principles of protein intake, we’ve gathered some simple rules below to help you reach your #ProteinGoals without getting overwhelmed with all the other unnecessary information.
Rule #1: 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight.
Sounds complicated – isn’t. Of course the recommended daily protein intake all depends on your individual circumstance – for example your goal, weight, height, gender, level of physical activity etc, BUT if all this performance nutrition stuff is new to you, the amount recommended above is a good minimum to aim for at the beginning.
To give you an idea of how much protein this is, here’s roughly how much you will find in the following common foods:
Tuna (100 grams canned in water): 25.5 grams
Chicken (100 grams breast, cooked): 30 grams
Tofu (100 grams): 8 grams
Lentils (100 grams cooked, without added fat): 9 grams
1 egg: 6 grams
1 egg white: 3 grams
Does this mean you have to use a calculator every time you prepare a meal? No. If you’re active, 1 or 2 protein shakes a day as well as a combination of meat or fish for lunch and dinner and a breakfast that includes foods like yogurt or eggs, should give you enough protein to reach your daily goals.
Rule #2: The less legs the better.
This basically means, the less legs the animal has from which the protein comes from, the better it is for you. Fish and white meat poultry are obviously the best options because fish don’t have legs at all, and chicken or birds only have two – we told you this wouldn’t be as complicated as you thought, right?!
Rule #3: Protein should be included in every meal.
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, your protein intake should be split up over the entire day and included in all meals. And that’s not just to help you reach your daily needs. Protein also helps stabilize your energy, makes you feel fuller for longer and boosts your metabolism. That’s why the more meals you eat that are high in protein, the less likely you are to be hit with constant cravings in between. #AllDayEveryDay
Rule #4: Stick with whey protein for the time being.
With so many different kinds of protein powders on the market, it’s easy to get confused and carried away. We’ll let you in on a secret: you don’t need all those supplements. At least not for now. When it comes to buying your protein powder, choose one that’s basic and natural with no additives or strange ingredients. When it comes to consuming it, we recommend 10-30 minutes after a training session when your body is in breakdown and your cells are in need of nutrients. Blend one scoop of whey protein powder with a banana and some of water for an easy, yet efficient post-workout recovery shake.