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Protein It’s Your Best Friend

All you need to know on the what, why and how of protein


An elevated  protein intake  is vital for  an active  individual,  helping  facilitate  muscular recovery  and  adaptation to training. In general I would  recommend  consuming  as much as 2 grams of protein per  kg  of body  mass. In fact,  even for  those  who aren’t really  undergoing  a training  regime  an elevated  protein intake  has a host  of health benefits,  and  it  provides a greater  degree  of satiety  (fullness)  than any  other  dieting approach. Even if you aren’t  planning  on undertaking  resistance  training (weights,kettlebells,trx etc) (though I would  highly  recommend  that  you do,  regardless of your  goal and  age),  an intake  of 1.4kg  per  kilo of body  weight  is a good  starting  point. With all macronutrient  intakes it  is important  to assess how you feel eating  certain ratios of food,  if you feel better  eating  more  protein then of course  feel free  to do so, there  is no issue  with eating  a high amount  of protein if that’s what  makes you feel and  perform your  best. Protein should  be  consumed  around  3-5 times per  day  to optimise  muscle  protein synthesis (the  action of adding  protein to muscle  tissue in order  for  it  to grow)  wherever  possible. Protein,  incidentally,  contains roughly 4 calories per  gram. With the  above  assessment  of your  needs in terms of a baseline  starting  point  with your  macronutrients,  it  will be  highly  likely  you will eat  enough protein if you are eating  30% plus of your  diet  as protein. But  when you do start  to track  and  understand your  calories and  macronutrients more,  you can see  what  protein value  you end  up eating  once  you start  tracking  your  food. But  lets not  do too much maths at  this point in time,  makes my  head  hurt  too! Ideal

Protein Sources

Animal Meat & Eggs

I always recommend  you source  your  animal protein from animals that  come  from high animal welfare  standards,  are  free  range, and  local where  possible. If you are  consuming  lower  quality  animal protein due  to your  budget,  opt  for  leaner  meats,  toxins from animal feeding  practices are  stored  in fat,  so when choosing  low quality  animal protein opt  for  lower fat  choices and  cuts and  add  fats to your  meals from other  sources i.e. olive  oil, nuts,  avocado,  dairy etc.


Low fat  is not  necessarily  a bad  thing. Semi-skimmed  milk  and  low fat Greek  yoghurt  are  handy  protein sources (just  check  the  calorie  load  as some products add  sugars which ramps calories back  up)  but  whole  dairy  will have the  greatest  nutrient  profiles,  and  the  research shows the  most  benefit  for recovery  and  performance  when used  in this manner  so if calories allow, opt  for  full fat  wherever  possible.


I tend  to view as a carbohydrate  source  if not  a vegetarian or  vegan, but  they  can be  a great  source  of protein in your  daily  diet  too. Foods such as Chickpeas or  kidney and  black  beans can provide  fibre,  carbohydrates and protein very  effectively, and are a very cheap  food  to purchase  in cans or dried  for  those  on a budget.


One of the  few vegetarian sources that  contain all nine  essential amino acids required  for  growth and  repair  in the  proper  amounts – quinoa can be  used as a breakfast  cereal,  in a salad  or  added  into hot  dishes.

Hemp seeds

Now, seeds are  usually  seen as a great  source  of fibre  and essential fatty  acids (see  below)  which means that  even a small amount can be  quite  high in calories. However,  they  are  a great  source  of protein for  vegans and  hemp  seeds have  a complete  amino acid  profile.


is a great  vegan source  of protein for  those  who are  avoiding  animal products for  ethical reasons,  as is quorn.

Protein Powder

While  protein powder  is not  an ‘ideal’  protein source  as its a refined  powder,  having  a whey  protein,  or  vegan protein at  your  disposal can be  very  handy. It  is by  no means an essential to have,  but  it  can be  convenient to have  on hand  when travelling,  making  smoothies,  using  after  the  gym when you want  something  quick  and  convenient,  or  adding  to food  or  meals to boost your  protein content.
Remember try eat protein at every main meal/ snack.