How Much Protein Is in Your Food?

Protein: The Muscle Builder!

One of the most common questions I get asked is “How much Protein do I need?”

Proteins are one of the most important nutrients necessary for good health. The word protein comes from the Greek word meaning “first” and a German word meaning “in”.

Proteins make up a large part of each cell in the your body. In fact, your body is more than 15% protein!

Because they build, maintain and repair tissues in your body, proteins help you to grow. Some proteins carry chemicals around your body. Some bring chemicals together to trigger essential reactions.

Other proteins, called enzymes, speed up chemical reactions, such as those that occur during digestion.

Many of your hormones are proteins. In fact, you have proteins in every part of your body.

How Much Protein Do I Need?

Having established that it’s essential that you get quality protein into your body, then, the next question is “How much protein do you need”.

The general consensus is that people who exercise regularly should take in 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kg of body weight. So, a 70 kg woman should aim to get at least 84 grams of protein per day.

How Much Protein Is In My Food?

Some of the foods we eat actually contain all 20 amino acids in the exact ratio that we need them. These are known as complete protein foods.

Because our bodies require all of the amino acids to be present for muscle synthesis to occur, it is vital that anyone interested in building muscle take in a high concentration of complete proteins. And because our bodies are not very good at storing proteins, it’s important that it receives a regular, ongoing supply of quality protein in order to support muscle growth and recovery.

Scientists have been able to study how efficiently the human body absorbs different forms of protein. This has led to a protein quality rating.

The highest protein quality foods are those derived from animal sources, such as milk, eggs, fish and meat. These complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids in just the right amounts that your body needs them.

Here are the top 10 protein foods, along with their protein content:

(1)   Chicken Breast – 100 grams contains 30 grams of protein

(2)   Tuna / Salmon – 100 grams contains 26 grams of protein

(3)   Mozarella Cheese – 100 grams contains 25 grams of protein

(4)   Lean Beef – 100 grams contains 36 grams of protein

(5)   Tofu – 100 grams contains 12 grams of protein

(6)   Eggs –  100 grams contains 13 grams of protein

(7)   Whole Milk – 100 grams contains 3.3 grams of protein

(8)   Peanuts, Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds – 100 grams contains 33 grams of protein

(9)   Cod – 100 grams contains 63 grams of protein

(10) Clams – 100 grams contains 48 grams of protein.

Key Protein Points

  • Aim for a daily protein intake of 1.2 grams per kg of bodyweight
  • 30% of your daily macronutrient intake should be from protein
  • Eat a high quality protein with every meal
  • Aim for 30 grams of protein per meal
  • Eat a protein / carbohydrate meal within a 30mins of working out

If you feel that you are not meeting your daily Protein requirements, then you can supplement with a good quality Protein Powder. There are plenty of choices: Animal (Whey) or Plant (Soy, Hemp, Rice, Pea)

Check with your Personal Trainer which one would be suitable for you