Recently with healthier eating and a regular exercise routine, I thought I would turn to protein supplementation to improve exercise tolerance and build up muscle mass, as well as to ultimately reduce body fat. Hence it was interesting to note certain things after searching the internet.
The first thing I searched for was: how much protein should I be having a day? The answer seems to be 0.8 g protein per Kg of weight for a sedentary adult to maintain balance, but much more for exercising adults – 1.3 to 3.3 g protein per Kg weight. Hence as my goal was to have regular exercise and build up muscle mass, I would have to have at least 100 g of protein per day. But do remember that children do need more protein as they are growing.
Now to start off with the first meal (and what some would call the most important meal of the day): breakfast. I had looked for the breakfast cereal (granola) with the best Calories to Protein ratio. As the new Nestle Shreddies Max Protein had come out recently and is reasonably priced at £2.50 per box, it has now become my go-to breakfast, served with some semi-skimmed milk. It is both tasty and filling, and has the added benefit of having higher protein than most other cereals.
As you can see from below, each 45 g serving gives 242 Calories (including the milk) but provides 10 g of protein, which works out to be 24.2 Calories per 1 g of protein. But that already adds to my total protein intake, to the tune of about 1/10th.
Next I considered the protein supplements which can be taken during and after exercise. My daughters had bought me the MaxiNutrition Max for Father’s day last year, and I have found that putting this into my spinach and fruit smoothie each day does make a very big difference.
Now there are a few different MaxiNutrition supplements, and the two that I take currently are the Max and Cyclone. The Max is supposed to be taken after exercise, whereas the Cyclone can be taken after exercise or as part of regular daily intake (up to twice a day).
As you can see, the Max provides 20 g protein and 183 Calories per 50 g serving. This works out to be 9.15 Calories per 1 g of protein, which is pretty good.
The Cyclone provides 263 Calories and 30 g protein per 70 g serving. This works out to be 8.77 Calories per 1 g protein, which is slightly better. These will provide between 20 to 30% of the protein I need per day.
Next I considered protein-rich meats. I have already posted about the Yellowfin tuna which at 26 g protein for 118 Calories, records a very good 4.54 Calories per 1 g protein, which is twice as good as the protein supplements. This is definitely a meat we will be having very often.
But interestingly, I had also bought duck breasts to cook Sous vide style. It was interesting to note that despite the thought that there is so much fat in the skin of the duck, that actually the calories it carries was not that high. And as a fair amount of this fat will liquify into oil when it is pan-fried skin-side down, it will reduce the calories even more.
So per serving of duck breast, there is 25.3 g protein and 183 Calories. That works out to be 7.23 Calories per 1 g protein, which again is better than what the protein supplements provide. And the calorie intake is likely to be even lower, as some of the fat would have come out during the cooking process.
As you can see, we do like our duck breast skins fairly dark (but not burnt). The rest of the meat is actually very lean, but still very tasty.
So it is interesting to note that even some of the foods we normally consume can actually contain quite a bit of protein. Other meats which are rich in protein are obviously beef and pork, which we do eat every now and then. But chicken which is also part of our regular meals is also high in protein, which should all help with getting the correct intake of protein. I have to say that the protein supplements definitely get me closer (if not into) the range I need.
Hope this has all been food for thought.