Protein. Are you gettting your daily hit?

The power of protein’ for a lean physique is widely recommended by sports nutritionists and personal trainers.  Some doctors and nutritionalists suggest rather minimal daily reccommended targets for protein, however left undisputed is the value of protein for health, repair, immunity, and of course leanness.

On receiving your nutritional feedback you will be searching the supermarket shelves for protein products… Beware! Not all protein is created equal.  The highest quality protein sources are those from animal, such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, lean beef, lean pork, lamb, and so on.  If you can seek wild meats such a buffalo, these can offer more than twice the amount of protein as a standard protein source such as a burger and more nutrients.  Not only this, wild meats are less likely to have been treated with hormones, chemicals, and ingested pesticides in crops, therefore making grass fed wild meats a preferable ‘toxin free’ choice.  Avoid eating too many processed meats such as sausages and salami, as these usually contain wheat flour and nitrates.

Hitting your protein target is by no means easy, Especially If you are a big fella trying to eat three times your body weight in grams of protein, this can can be a bit of a struggle. It is not enough to live off protein shakes, too many shakes can raise insulin (resulting in love handles) not to mention stomach issues such as leaky gut. Here are some tips to help you get your daily hit:

1. Eat your meat and nut breakfast.

This would provide you with at least 40 grams of protein to kick start your day. Read more information on ‘The meat and nut breakfast’ by Charles Poliquin

2. Train more, and include a post workout shake after each workout.

Not only will your shake provide you with 30-60g of protein to help you get your daily hit, it will increase protein synthesis after training, aiding your recovery. Whey protein will provide you with amino acids rapidly after training, offering an antioxidant effect, support immunity, and aid recovery from training to support muscle growth and decrease body fat.

3. Use BCAA’s:

Branched chain amino acids. BCAA’s are found in protein sources such as meat and whey.  BCAA’s in the muscle enhance protein synthesis; slowdown muscle breakdown, increase energy expenditure, and minimise fat gain.  I would particularly recommend BCAA’s to those of you who have been resistance training for a long time. I myself struggle with DOM’S (delayed onset muscle soreness, you know, when you can’t walk down the stairs the day after training!) and have found BCAA’s not only help motivate my workouts and allow me to do more, but also I feel less pain during the exercise and also the days following.

4. Seek high protein food sources:

Choose a steak (which contains around 40g of protein) over an egg for example (which has 6g of protein, therefore you would have to eat over 6 eggs for the same effect).

5. Stick to your plan:

This is the best advice I can give you to ensure you hit your target.  The most important aspect of fat loss and weight gain is the psychological aspect.  To take care of this, work with your trainer to develop a plan which you will stick to.  Take your protein target, and divide this into at least 5 or 6 servings throughout the day, for a larger client this might mean 7 or 8 meals.  Don’t eat anything ‘by accident’! If you find yourself skipping meals, the last meal will come, and your might have 100g of from still to hit. Good luck with that one!

Protein rich meal of meat