Protein intake is one of the most widely discussed subjects in the nutrition and supplement world. More people consume protein in the form of sports and health supplements than any other supplement around, the health and performance promoting properties of protein makes it an indispensible ingredient to any supplement regime.
What type of Protein?
This question could refer to the type of protein in the sense of the proteins source e.g. milk (whey and casein), egg, pea, soya, hemp, brown rice and meat. The type of protein could also include the physical state of the protein, so whether it is a food or drink, or whether the protein is ready mixed, powder, gel or capsule form. The forms in which you can consume protein will to some degree effect the availability of the protein to the body, in other words a liquid form of protein will enter the circulatory system and feed your body more readily than solid food will. So there are many factors that might influence your protein intake during the course of a day, so in order to get the balance right these all have to be considered.
Step 1: Make a plan and write it down
Take an hour or so to note down key nutrition periods during your day. Knowing your schedule will make life so much easier when it comes to planning and sticking to a diet plan. Take the key times of the day as Breakfast, Mid-morning, Lunch, Mid-afternoon, Evening meal & Mid-evening snack. The observant ones amongst you will notice that this constitutes the classic ‘6 key eating opportunities’ a day, and is an ideal way to space your nutrition out. Try to have a protein source at each meal/snack as well as a starchy carb and healthy fat if possible. Examples include porridge with a scoop of whey protein for breakfast, nut butter on a rice cake and banana as a snack, 3- 4 egg omelette with mixed veg for lunch, chicken or beef with a sweet potato and veg for dinner and a casein protein shake at night with maybe a handful of nuts. Having this plan written in black and white in a diary will help you to stick to the routine as well as helping you to plan your shopping trips…win win!
Step 2: Pre- prepare your food and drink
Be methodical with your planning. Arrange and prepare your protein powder, meals and snacks either last thing at night or first thing in the morning (as a rule of thumb). Have a protein shaker with powder ready to go first thing in the morning and ready for after your workout. Consider investing in a multi-compartment (3 in 1) shaker such as Smartshake so that you can take your capsules, powder and spare powder with you for the day!
Step 3: Sensible purchases for sensible eating
For ease, consider investing in some Tupperware containers form any supermarket as these make it easy to pack, preserve and travel with ready prepped meals. Great protein sources for your containers might include chicken, fish, egg or even pea or lentil soups. Consider if you’ll have access to a microwave to reheat the food, otherwise be organised and prep food which doesn’t need heating such as boiled eggs or chicken for example.