Five ways to boost your protein intake

Posted in Nutrition and tagged Nutrition, Protein, Sports, Workout

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Why should you care about making sure you get plenty of protein in your diet? Here’s the muscle-building nutrient explained - plus five ways to boost your intake.

Protein: our bodies use it to build and repair tissues. Our hair and nails are made of the stuff. It’s used to make enzymes and hormones, stabilises blood sugar, and is a critical component of every cell in our bodies. There’s no denying it - protein is powerful. Which is why bodybuilders gulp down protein shakes and the label is increasingly slapped onto everything from flapjacks to beef jerky. 

Get your DIY post workout drink recipe here.

You can see why the macronutrient is popular, but there’s still a lot of confusion floating around the subject. Here are a handful of easy ways to increase your intake and reap the benefits of this muscle-building nutrient. 

Five ways to boost your protein intake

1.    Have eggs for breakfast

A straight swap you can make every day is choosing eggs over cereal. Poached, scrambled, boiled, however you like them - you’ll be getting high-quality protein at the start of your day which will help you snack less later on. The average egg contains about six grams of protein, with the egg whites packing in the most.

2. Sneak it into your baking

Who says protein powder is just for shakes? Substitute some of the flour you use in muffins for a healthy treat, or use black beans in brownies for an extra protein-pang. If you’re using protein powder in your baking, make sure you find a suitable conversion chart and don’t use too much of it - nobody likes brick-like cookies or thick, rubbery pancakes. Don’t worry, baking the protein will not alter the nutritional value - you’ll absorb the amino acids just the same.

3. Keep hummus to hand

Bean-based dips are ideal to keep close-by during the day. When you need to snack, chop up a few cucumbers, carrots and peppers and dip them into some hummus. Chickpeas in the hummus are a protein source - top with roasted pumpkin seeds and you can get double your protein hit. You can even spread the creamy chickpea paste over a sandwich instead of fattening mayonnaise or cheese. Another great on-the-go snack (if you’re not vegan) is tinned fish - sardines, mackerel and salmon are all protein-packed sources that don’t need refrigerating.

4. Pack protein into your salad

Salads are nutritional powerhouses, but vegetables don’t always fill you up on protein - hence why you might be peckish an hour or two after lunch. To keep hunger at bay, add a good dose of protein to your salad: a 100g chicken or turkey breast, tuna, salmon or cheese all supply the body with around 25g of protein. Avoid fatty deli meats such as roast beef, salami and ham - these are filled with salt that can make you bloat up. If you’re vegan, try chopped almonds, chickpeas, or a handful of pecans to your leafy mix.

5. Get smart about your dairy sources

Cottage cheese has a surprising amount of protein: have it instead of ricotta cheese for a bigger nutrient hit and a lot less fat and calories. If you’re a yoghurt-eater, swap your regular yoghurt for Greek yoghurt and you can be consuming almost 20 grams of protein per serving. Make sure you buy plain - some companies add sugar.

Looking for low calorie deliciously healthy desserts? Look no further. Here are 7 amazing recipes to try.

Posted in Nutrition and tagged Nutrition, Protein, Sports, Workout.