How much protein we need will clearly depend on your activity, whether you exercise regularly and with intensity or are living a sedentary lifestyle. Indeed, whether you’re male or female, as well as your stage of life, as well as how much stress you’re under, all can play a role, as hormones from testosterone to cortisol can impact utilisation as well as break down.
In fact, stress can play a very large role in terms of your daily requirement, as the cortisol breaks down the muscle to access the sugars. Excess training and low calorie diets can both ravage your lean body mass. (Up to 90% of the weight lost on some low calorie diets can be muscle!). And of course from the age of 30, we are losing approximately ½ lb of our lean body mass - from muscle such as our heart to organs, bones to nerves, neurotransmitters to enzymes.
The loss, each and every year, can effect hormones as well as digestion, not to mention muscle tone, strength, stamina - your vital energy. When we get past 30, it’s no longer simply about building muscle, it’s very much about rebuilding and recovering it - and all of our lean mass.
And with this in mind, in my experience, very few people are ever eating enough.
To maintain and recover muscle, it is recommended that we have a minimum of .5g , up to 1.5g, per pound of body weight. To put that into perspective, if you weigh 10 stone, which is 140lbs or just shy of 64kg, you would need 70g of actual protein per day as a minimum. To get 70g of protein, you will
need to eat approximately 350g of protein food.
To clarify, 100g of salmon provides 20g of protein whereas 100g fillet steak will give you 25g. Halloumi on the other hand will provide 24g per 100g, while 100g of lentils offer a yield of just 9g. In comparison, Strong Nutrients Casein Protein will provide between 24g to 27g per scoop, depending on the flavour.
To reiterate, it will depend on the individual but as a general rule, when working with clients, I will tend to break it as follows:
First meal of the day: 60g-80g of protein food – approximately the equivalent of two eggs or three slices of smoked salmon.
Final meal of the day: Min 200g of protein food – The equivalent of two small salmon fillets or a medium to large steak. Some will chose to have simply one salmon fillet and top it up with a dessert of ½ scoop of Strong Casein protein.
However between those 2 meals, that’s only 260g-280g of protein food. We’re still 70-90g short – and that’s on the lowest option of 1/2 g per lb of body weight!
70-90g is 2-3 eggs, ½ - ¾ of a scoop of protein shake, or a small chicken breast or salmon fillet. These could be taken as as your lunch with a salad, or around 4PM. Or if you favour just eating twice per day, have a larger evening meal, or add a Strong Casein shake as a dessert before bed.