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Why is it important to eat enough protein every day?
Last month we spoke about the importance of consuming protein post-workout…but what about the rest of the day? Keep reading to find out why it is important to consume enough protein throughout the day!
For a sedentary individual, the recommended dietary intake of protein is around 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. This means that a 65kg sedentary individual would need around 52g of protein a day to prevent protein deficiency.
However, for those of us who exercise, the recommended figure is a bit higher: between 1.1 to 1.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight (the lower side of the range for more gentle exercise and higher side for weight lifters, runners etc)! This means a 65kg active individual would need between 72g to 117g of protein per day. (Some athletes consume even more than this – up to 2.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight – but some nutritionists argue that this would be excessive for the average individual who exercises regularly for health).
However, it would be pretty hard for anyone to consume their entire daily protein intake in one meal! So, it’s important to try and space out your protein intake throughout the day. Plus, protein can help you feel fuller for longer, and is essential for muscle recovery, so it is often recommended to try and include a protein source in every meal.
(And yes, that includes eating enough protein on your rest days too!)
So, using the 65kg individual example again, here’s how you could easily spread your protein intake throughout the day and hit that protein target:
Breakfast – Eggs are a great source of protein and a breakfast favourite! Pair with some toast and you’ve got a healthy, protein rich and filling breakfast to start your day. (25g protein)
Post-workout – A protein shake or protein squash is a firm favourite of gym bunnies for getting that post workout protein hit! (10g protein)
Lunch – A chicken and salad sandwich is quick and easy, but helps keep you feeling full. (15g protein)
Afternoon snack – A handful of nuts is a great source of plant-based protein and super easy to carry with you when on the go! (7g protein)
Dinner – Salmon and noodle stir fry, packed full of leafy greens. A staple in my household! (35g protein)
Dessert – You just can’t beat a Bounce ball from the indulgence range! Again, full of protein and flavour, and chocolate gooey goodness! An easy, protein-rich treat. (10g protein)
That’s 102g protein!
So, you can see that meal prepping and planning can really help you get organised, prepare healthy and delicious foods and hit that protein goal – easy!
Hope you found this article helpful and feel free to ask any questions in the comments!
Written by @exercisingwitheleanor