There’s a kind of hysteria building around the word ‘protein’, with every health and fitness blogger in town seemingly obsessed with it. But why is it so important, how much do we really need, and where should we be getting it from? If you’re feeling a bit baffled, don’t worry – here’s a quick 101 on the essentials.
What do we need it for?
It’s common knowledge that protein is essential for muscle growth and repair after a workout, but it’s also important for your day-to-day functioning; every cell in your body from your brain to your biceps uses protein, making it an essential part of your diet. This means it should feature to some degree in all your meals.
What happens if I don’t get enough?
Feeling tired? Unable to concentrate? Metabolism crashing? All of these symptoms can occur as a result of not getting enough protein. As well as boosting mood, fueling the brain, aiding weight loss and providing energy, a protein-rich meal will help you to feel full, meaning you’re less likely to over-eat or reach for unhealthy snacks later in the day. Because of this, it’s a great food group for kick-starting your day at breakfast.
How much should I be having?
Well, this can depend on a whole host of factors – your size, shape, lifestyle, fitness goals and current diet all come into play. In the UK, adults are advised to eat around 0.75g of protein a day for every kilogram they weigh, but if you spend a lot of time pumping iron in the gym, you might want to up this amount. The best thing to do is speak to a qualified nutritionist for informed and tailored advice.
How can I get a meat-free protein hit?
Meat, fish and dairy are generally considered to be the richest sources, but if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or simply trying to eat less carnivorously then there are heaps of other fantastic sources of protein. Upping the levels of beans, seeds, lentils, quinoa and broccoli in your diet will help you get the protein your body needs.
I’m in a hurry. How can I get a quick fix?
We’re glad you asked. Bioglan Organic Spirulina powder contains 57% protein, which, by weight, is heaps more than meat, fish or lentils. It’s also easily digested and more readily available to the body than the other sources we’ve mentioned. Oh, and it’s totally vegan-friendly. Simply add a spoonful to a smoothie, juice or shake – and you’re good to go.