Article by Science & Fourchette
Many people underestimate the importance of properly distributing protein throughout the day. This is normal — since most of us tend to usually focus more on the ideal amount of protein to consume daily or the quality of its source. Nevertheless, the simple act of carefully spreading out the protein we consume each day can have certain benefits, particularly when it comes to satiety and our health. Here are five easy steps to get you on your way!
1. Make sure you eat the right amount of protein every day.
Most dietary guidelines suggest that protein-filled food should be a major part of a healthy diet. The nutrients we get from protein play many different roles in our body, contributing to the growth and repair of our muscles, organs, skin, hair and nails. Protein also helps preserve our muscle mass and directly affects our hormones, digestive enzymes, the immune system and much more. Keep in mind, though, the human body is a well-calibrated machine, so eating an excessive amount of protein at one meal and not at another can throw it off. Our bodies have a limited ability to temporarily store any excess protein we consume. In fact, a number of studies indicate that an intake of between 25 g and 30 g of protein per meal is an optimal and easy goal to achieve.
What is 25g – 30 g of protein?
250 ml of muesli-type cereal-s served with 250 ml of Natrel Plus 2% and the fruit of your choice (a lactose-free option)
A bowl of Greek yogurt served with fruit, dried fruit and 30 g of nuts
Two slices of whole wheat bread served with nut butter and 250 ml of Natrel Plus 3.25% milk
2. Determine the perfect quantity of protein, just for yourself.
Every person is different. That's why the amount of protein needed daily is unique to everyone. It varies according to body weight, gender, level of physical activity and many more factors. It's a common recommendation to eat 0.8 grams of protein for every kg of weight, whether you are a woman or a man. However, many experts have pointed out that the 0.8 gram rule is the absolute minimum amount for avoiding a protein deficiency. So, what should you do if your goal is to best improve your health? The latest recommendations point out that a protein intake of around 1.2 to 1.6 grams per kilogram of weight may be the most optimal amount — an average of 25 to 35 grams of protein per meal!
How to properly calculate the amount of protein you should consume
The right amount of protein to you should eat every day is based on the number of grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight, per day (in other words, g/kg/day). For example, the right amount of protein for a 70-kg man who trains four to five times a week would be about 105 grams per day (70 kg x 1.5 grams).
3. Divide by 30-30-30.
In North American culture, there is a tendency to consume an insufficient amount of protein in the morning, little at noon and far too much in the evening. Since carefully spreading out protein throughout the day is vital to our health, dieticians recommend the "30-30-30" rule for our daily intake: 30 grams at breakfast, 30 grams at lunch and 30 grams at dinner. This rule, according to many studies, can help us better manage our appetite and satiety, preserve our muscle mass and bone mass and improve sports performance.
According to our previous example, we should therefore spread out 105 grams of daily protein intake as follows: 30 grams at breakfast, 5 grams as a morning snack, 30 grams at lunch, 5 grams as an afternoon snack, 30 grams at dinner and 5 grams as a late evening snack.
4. Protein up your breakfast
It is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — with good reason! There are countless studies that highlight the positive health effects of breakfast. It meets our daily nutritional needs, stimulates concentration, improves cognitive performance, energizes us and can even put us in a good mood.
A balanced breakfast contains fruit and vegetables, whole grain products and healthy proteins. Here are some ideas for a well-balanced protein breakfast.
• Protein choco-coffee drink (for busy mornings)
• A protein-filled milkshake (strawberry or vanilla flavoured) and bite-size wedges of muffins for dipping
• Powder pudding with protein chia, homemade jam and granola
5. Protein up your snacks
For most of us, snacks usually come to the rescue when we feel hungry and our energy drops between meals. Protein-filled food make healthy and delicious snacks, helping us meet our nutritional needs and providing us with the energy we need. A winning snack contains both carbohydrates (which gives us a quick energy boost) and protein (which boosts our energy for the long haul). As a rule, an intake of 5 – 10 g in protein per snack is just enough for us.