Are you getting enough protein?
You may think you are doing pretty well, but chances are you are low on your intake to reach your training goals.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics guidelines suggests you should be consuming at least .35 grams of protein per pound of body-weight based on a 2000 calorie diet for general health, but this may not necessarily be your goal. If you are looking to optimize your diet for athletic performance or to gain lean muscle mass, you may need more.
If you are in good health and regularly exercising by lifting weights, cycling, or running and looking to add more muscle you could benefit from having 0.5-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body-weight. So for a 165 lb. individual, that would equate to 83-132 grams of protein per day. Living in today’s busy society, this can be a challenging feat.
To accomplish this, I recommend eating lean meat such as chicken, turkey, Greek yogurt, tofu or eggs with meals and snacks and sometimes supplementing with whey or vegan protein shakes for snacks or post-workout. Having a protein shake after a hard workout is a great way for your body to use up that protein more efficiently! Protein shakes and bars are a good option for some variety, or to add something sweeter into the diet when you get cravings – or even just a quick snack on the go!
Need inspiration for protein sources? This list from Women’s Health has a few of my favorites to add into any meal. Note the foods at the bottom of the list are the most protein-dense.