I’ve been thinking about my protein intake a lot recently.
It probably falls within the 1.6g – 2.2g per KG bodyweight range daily but isn’t where it should be at the upper end of that range. That’s how you should be looking at these ranges if you don’t eat animal products, you should be aiming for the higher number.
My bodyweight is around 82kg at the time of writing this. That means I need 131g (1.6 x 82) – 180g (2.2 x 82) protein daily.
As someone who doesn’t eat animal products, I should be shooting for the upper end, 180g daily, and it wouldn’t hurt to get some extra protein to cover protein quality issues. Let’s round up to a nice and even 200g a day.
Well, going back to my original point, I’m eating much less than this on most days.
Expense is a possible reason. I mean it’s not cheap to keep pounding meat alternatives and soya products in order to get 40g protein per meal. Another reason is always limiting myself to 1 protein shake a day, I’m unsure why I did this, but I digress.
The tofu pieces I really enjoy eating cost £2.50 a box and serve up 28g protein. I only usually eat half a box at a time to go with my chol and daal (rice and lentils).
Quorn vegan pieces or strips cost £2.50 a pack (280g) and serve up around 40g protein. These are excellent for curries, wraps and stir frys!
Seitan, lentils and even soya milk are more cost effective ways of getting protein in however there is a protein quality issue with the first two mentioned. With lentils you’re also dealing with lots of calories in order to get 30g protein.
This is where protein powders come in. Whether you’re vegetarian and consume whey protein or whether you’re vegan and consume plant based powder/blends you’ll be looking at paying around 40-60p per 30g protein hit.
There’s not just the fact that it’s super cost effective. It’s a high quality protein which is super cost effective. Protein powders are also the most calorie efficient way of getting protein in.
Over the last 4 or 5 years I’ve been closer to the idea of whole foods providing micronutritients and protein, and my protein intake had taken a knock because of it, if I reflect honestly. I thought I didn’t need shakes, and that I was doing fine with foods.
The reality is that it’s an easy addition to meals, it’s a cheap way of getting 30g protein and it’s high quality protein for muscle building (high in leucine).
Also if consuming a few more shakes a day will consistently get me in the 180-200g range daily, I’ll see much more gains.
You will see more gains too, if you ensure your protein intake is within the range it needs to be. Don’t forget you can use protein shakes as a cost effective and high quality way to get there.