Get enough protein to keep your energy levels steady throughout the day

Monday, January 30, 2017

By Dorothy Lyons

Depending on your daily routine, making sure you get enough protein can help you stay energized and conquer whatever your day throws at you – at work, at the gym and at home.

Choosing foods rich in protein is important for building tissues like skin, hair, nails and muscle. Balancing your meals and snacks with protein can help you feel full and satisfied throughout the day, which has been shown to support weight management.[1]

To assist with keeping your energy levels steady, aim for 3 balanced meals per day.

Some people also find that healthy snacks between meals help keep them going, especially when the time between meals is longer. Try adding small snacks that include protein between meals if you feel like you need a little more energy.

Be sure to include a high quality source of protein like meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, legumes, tofu, nuts or seeds at each meal and snack. Enjoying protein-rich foods from a range of different foods will help you get a variety of important vitamins and minerals along with your protein.

Most healthy adults need an average of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram body weight per day.  If you exercise often and at a high intensity, your protein needs will be even higher. If you do strength or endurance training at least 3 times a week, your protein needs could rise to 1.5 to 2 times the average level.[2] Adults who are 55 years and over should aim for about 1.2 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day to help maintain their muscle mass and overall health. A suggested guide would be to try to eat about 20 to 30 grams of protein in each meal and about 15 to 25 g of protein right after you exercise. This protein will help with muscle repair and growth and promote a faster recovery.[3]

Higher levels of protein intake can be tough for some people to achieve, so try to include a high quality source of protein at each meal and snack to get you closer to your daily goal. With a little planning, you will soon be on your way to reaching your daily protein goals.   You can also reach for a nutritional drink on the go, after a workout, or if you’re in a pinch for a high protein, nutrient-rich, satisfying snack. 

 

This article has been sponsored by BOOST, but all comments and opinions are my own.

Dorothy Lyons Registered Dietitian Dorothy Lyons is a Toronto-based Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy living. Her experience includes private and corporate nutrition consulting, clinical nutrition, teaching in higher education, nutrition communications, and working with chefs and culinary experts. Dorothy holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, with majors in Human Biology and Psychology, as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science in Nutrition and Food from Ryerson University.  She completed her dietetic internship at Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto and is a member of the Dietitians of Canada as well as the College of Dietitians of Ontario.

 

[1] Leidy at al. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr 2015;101(Suppl):1320S–9S.

[2] American College of Sports Medicine. Protein Intake for Optimal Muscle Maintenance. Available online at: http://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/brochures/protein-intake-for-optimal-muscle-maintenance.pdf

[3] Bauer et al. Evidence-Based Recommendations for Optimal Dietary Protein Intake in Older People: A Position Paper From the PROT-AGE Study Group. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. Volume 14, Issue 8, August 2013, Pages 542–559. Available online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1525861013003265