Protein and why it's good for you!

There’s one subject I get asked about a lot by all ages, genders and training types… PROTEIN!
There’s always been a big emphasis on protein when it comes to training, in the past it was seen as a bodybuilders tool to help build muscle but over the last few years it’s become much more mainstream and has rightly been described as something everyone should be getting plenty of in their diet. All you need to do is walk around a supermarket and you can see how much of a selling point it is for food brands now, cereals, bread, yoghurts etc all with big print on them saying “ADDED PROTEIN”.

It’s a good thing that protein is being highlighted to people a lot more now as its main job is to aid and promote recovery, repair and rebuilding of body tissue. Basically without going into the science of it too much it’s incredibly important to our health that we get adequate amounts each day… especially if you have an active job, play sport, have active hobbies, go to the gym or swim etc and I guess if you’re reading this you do one or more of the mentioned. A lot of people are very watchful of their fats and carbs but due to what I’ve stated above protein is just as important if not more to be honest.
Ok, so here’s the bit where I try and give you as much help as possible so you feel you can look after your own protein intake:

  1. Some common foods that have protein in – meat, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, most leafy green veg, lentils and whey protein supplements (protein shakes).
  2. How much protein you should be getting - a nice easy way to work this out is you should be getting 1-2g of protein per kg of body weight, per day.
  3. The best way to consume protein - if possible it is better to get your protein in 20g-40g segments throughout the day, so for example say you needed to get around 120g of protein a day, instead of doing it in 2 meals like a 100g meal and a 20g meal … you could have 5 meals/snacks at all around 25g spread out throughout the day to make sure you get the most out of your protein.
  4. Don’t worry if you are lactose intolerant – some people struggle to get their protein intake at a level it should be due to being lactose intolerant, this is because it removes some of the ways to get protein into their diet eg anything dairy and whey protein shakes. Good news is there’s something called whey protein ISOLATE shakes and they have the lactose part removed so are much better for anyone suffering with lactose intolerance.

Speaking of whey protein shakes… these are NOT just for bodybuilders or weight lifters, they are perfectly fine for anyone to take to boost their protein consumption. To be honest they are not a supplement they are an actual food and should be seen as food. Some experts such as James Smith even describe protein shakes as a super food as long as it’s a good quality one. The reason for this is there are very little foods around that are very high in protein and very low in fats and carbs, thus making whey protein a super food.

If you think about it most people’s diet is very much based around carbs and fats, we see this a lot when we get clients to track their food intake and when we look at the end of the week usually at least 80% of their eating is fats and carbs, which leaves only a small % protein. If you need a good way to track your calories and macros (fats, carbs and proteins) use an app called MyFitnessPal, it works on most smart phones and all tablets/laptops. I can help you set this up if you need me to.