With the launch of GOOD // SWEAT Strength I’m making an effort to emphasize the importance of eating high-quality protein to support muscle growth. We all know protein is good for us and essential to overall health and wellbeing, but most women under-eat protein. Sharing some of my best tips to improve your protein intake below.
Protein Crash Course
Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps to build and repair tissues, produce hormones, and produce enzymes. Building and restoring muscle supports and protects our bodies for life, but this is also highly dependent on sufficient protein intake. My favorite sources of high-quality protein are grass-fed and organic meat and poultry, wild-caught fish, pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It’s so important to get protein from a variety of sources to ensure we’re getting all the essential amino acids, which can sometimes be missing from particular sources of protein.
The amount of protein necessary per day varies depending on age, gender, activity level, and muscle mass. Generally, we should aim to consume 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, but I like to go by the rule of thumb to aim for about 20-30g of protein per meal. I personally don’t count calories or track macros, but I do believe keeping track of only your protein intake for a few days to help determine where you’re at… spoiler alert, it’s probably a lot lower than you think. If you are under-consuming protein, it’s going to be that much harder to reach your goals in the gym because your body needs protein in order to build more lean muscle mass. Try to gradually increase your protein intake instead of aiming for 1 gram per pound of body weight right way (it can be a hard adjustment since protein is much more filling than other macronutrients).
3 Tips for Eating More Protein
1) Add a protein shake. Protein powder is protein-dense, which means one shake has 20-30 g of protein (sneaky protein hack!). Have that for breakfast to start your day right, or as an afternoon snack to bump your overall protein intake. Click here for my favorite protein powders.
2) Front-load your protein intake. What I mean by that is to focus on your protein goals during breakfast and lunch so that you don’t have to just rely on dinner to be your sole source of protein. Make sure you’re ahead of the game.
- Breakfast ideas: oatmeal with protein powder mixed in, a protein smoothie/shake (my personal go-to), an egg omelet (with yolks for all those vitamins and minerals!) and breakfast sausages (try this High-Protein Breakfast Burrito), etc.
- Lunch ideas: sandwich with organic deli meat and a fried egg, dinner leftovers, salad with grilled chicken, shrimp, steak. Here’s 5 High-Protein Lunch Ideas.
3) Keep high-protein snacks on hand. I love Chomps, hard-boiled eggs, and protein balls.
I hope you found this helpful! The majority of my recipes are centered around protein, which should help when you’re looking for what to make 🙂 Let me know if you have more questions below. xx Rachael
This was super helpful!