Protein is a pretty incredible macronutrient. It is part of every single cell in our body. It’s used in our hair, nails, muscles, ligaments, skin… even blood! Protein is commonly referred to as the building blocks inside our body, and rightfully so – it is protein that helps our body repair and rebuild every day.
What concerns me is the large number of people who consume far more than their body needs – easily done via protein shakes and bars. Excessive consumption can lead to some pretty serious problems, like gout and kidney strain.
So how much protein do we actually need?
Depending on your physical size, a person typically needs about 0.8-1.2g of protein per kilogram every day. To put that into some sort of perspective, if you weigh:
120kg -> you’d need approximately 120g protein per day
100kg -> you’d need approximately 100g protein per day
60kg -> you’d need approximately 60g protein per day
50kg -> you’d need approximately 50g protein per day
The body can synthesise about 30g of protein effectively at any one time, so if you are aiming to ‘build’ up muscle, spreading your protein serves across the day is better than eating a large amount of protein in a single sitting.
So let’s look at a day on the plate – using a range of protein sources to see how easy it is for the protein to add up across the course of the day.
BREAKFAST: 26g Protein
2 egg omelette with tomato, feta, baby spinach and 1 slice of wholegrain toast with avocado as spread. 1 cup of tea with milk.
SNACK: 10g Protein
Banana and 100g natural yoghurt.
LUNCH: 31g Protein
Chicken Salad (100g chicken) with non starchy salad vege, a sprinkling of cashews and some chickpeas.
SNACK: 8g Protein
30g vintage cheese with 1 apple.
DINNER: 25g Protein
Steak (100g) with mashed sweet potato and greens.
TOTAL = 100g Protein
Our day on the plate shows how you can effectively spread the protein content across the course of the day. Lean meat, nuts/seeds, legumes and dairy products are all wonderful sources of protein to help your body be strong.
Until next time… Eat well, be well.