My whey protein shake
12 oz. coconut milk, 1/3 cup frozen mixed berries,
40 grams of whey protein
Whenever I meet with my personal training clients we review their exercise, rest and nutrition. On occasion I have a client tell me that sometimes they are hungry at 9 or 10 o'clock at night, or that they don't feel that they are recovering as quickly as they should. Usually the reason is that they are not consuming enough protein. Recently I had a client put pencil to paper and track her protein intake for one week. She was averaging a paltry 35 grams of protein per day! Far too little for someone who exercises intensely four to five hours per week. In fact, at 130 lbs. she needed more than double that amount.
Protein consumption is essential to building and maintaining muscle. Brain function, digestive functions, and daily repair of organs and systems all require protein too. Protein also promotes
satiety - absence of hunger or the feeling of being full. Satiety is a good thing, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Your best sources of protein are meats - beef, chicken, fish, bison, elk, etc. I try to keep my protein consumption between 150 and 200 grams per day and I feel it has served me well over time. The amount of protein an individual should consume will vary based on age, gender and their level of physical activity. However, a healthy adult female should get a minimum of 46 grams per day, adult males 56 grams per day. I prefer eating whole foods to get my protein but I do have a whey protein shake a few times per week. Shakes are convenient and a great supplement, but I try to make them the exception and not the rule.
I have observed with my clients that they tend to overestimate their protein consumption initially. After a week or two of food journaling they usually find they are not getting nearly as much as they thought. I remind them of what my wife the nutritionist tells me, "You can't spin straw into gold. Whether you want optimal health or better athletic performance, adequate protein consumption is essential."
Interested in tracking your protein consumption? Click here to go the USDA nutrient database.
My whey protein shake