We’re sure you’ve heard everyone talk about protein or may have noticed people sipping on shakes after they finish their work out. So why are people doing this, and is it something you should also be doing?
The NZ Nutrition guidelines states on average for a female you need 0.8g protein per kg of body weight for your daily protein intake. This means for a 70kg female you would be looking at 56g protein per day, for a 90kg male this would be 72g (1).
This increases to 1.2–2.0 g/kg if you’re undergoing very intensive strength building or endurance workouts (note, the upper end is for extreme endurance athletes) (2).
To give you an idea of what this looks like as food, a 1/2c dry serving of oats, with 1/2 cup dairy milk would be ~20g protein. To up the protein even further you could add a serving of peanut butter (~30g), 1–2 Tbsp chia, flaxseeds, nuts or hemp seeds or 1/2 cup of high protein yoghurt which can add an additional 10g protein.
That means you could be looking at a possible 30g protein just from one meal! If you are eating a range of foods and a balanced diet then you should be quite easily able to reach your daily protein requirements (Fresh Start Fit for dinner definitely takes care of a majority of this!).
If you are going to use a protein powder to supplement then you want to be looking for something that has no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, and is ideally 100% whey protein or 100% pea, brown rice or hemp protein to avoid any unwanted nasties. Consider whether a whey protein or plant based protein option is better suited to you.
If you are a morning exerciser then using a protein powder in a breakfast smoothie or a protein shake on top of your regular breakfast may be useful whereas if you are an evening exerciser, your dinner should cover your protein needs.
It is also worth bearing in mind that having a protein shake on top of your regular meals and snacks will be an additional source of calories if this is something you’re considering, as protein provides energy. That being said, it can be a great way to make your morning smoothie much more satiating, and keep you fuelled for longer.
In conclusion — you don’t necessarily need to be consuming protein shakes every day to reach your Fresh Start Fit goals, as a healthy balanced diet can be sufficient to meet your daily requirements. However protein powder is a handy thing to have particularly for your morning meals, and may help some of you reach your daily protein intake more easily.
Note: Intense daily exercise such as training for an Iron Man, or goal to build excess muscle mass would require increased daily protein consumption.
Here are some of our favourite NZ protein powder brands:
- Go Good — check them out here and use the code MFB at the checkout to get 20% off!
- Dose & Co — check them out here.
If you’re looking to get more protein in your diet, Fresh Start Fit is a great option! Find out more about My Food Bag’s high protein, lower carb, refined sugar free meal kit that’s packed with NZ grown veggies and lean protein here.
1. Current Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Adults, Ministry of Health New Zealand
2. Campbell, B., Kreider, R.B., Ziegenfuss, T. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 4, 8 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-4-8