Protein foods
Nutrition Essentials

Protein: Are you getting enough?

Protein is famous for building and repairing muscles, but it plays a vital role in many other body functions too. So how much is enough?

Why we need protein

Protein is essential for healthy growth & development, and is used to keep your bones, skin & muscles strong and healthy. Plus whether you're looking to build muscle or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, it's an essential part of post-workout recovery.

Doing the math

An adult with low to moderate physical activity should consume about 0.8-1 gram of protein per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight a day. That means, if you weigh 60kg/132lbs, you should consume approx. 48-60 grams of protein per day.

A highly active person, on the other hand, can require up to 1.2g per kg (2.2 lbs) of bodyweight to fasciliate recovery from their workout sessions.

What are amino acids?

The building blocks of protein are called Amino Acids. While your body produces some amino acids, others can only be absorbed through your diet.

Many animal products provide all the amino acids you need, such as lean meat, eggs and dairy products. Plant-based products, on the other hand, can lack several amino acids, so it's best to pair them together to get everything in one go. For example, beans contain some amino acids, while rice contains others. Pair them together for a complete meal!

Sources of protein

  • Lean meat like skinless turkey & chicken
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Quinoa
  • Tofu
  • Buckwheat
  • Lentils
  • Nuts

When should you eat protein?

As a general rule of thumb, it's best to include a portion of carbs, fat & protein with every meal. The major food groups complement each other, and help you feel full and satisfied.

If you're interested in muscle growth, aim to consume protein up to 2 hours post workout. This can be in the form of a shake, or a healthy recovery meal like jacket potato with tuna.

Top tip: if you like to supplement your proteins, aim to get whole-food sources too. This will help you increase the vitamins & minerals you absorb, as well as giving you a sense of satisfaction and diversity in your diet.

Want to try something new? Don't miss these protein-rich dinner recipes.