What, Why, How and When of Protein
What is protein?
Protein is one of the three major nutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) that you need in relatively large amounts in your diet. Protein is found in foods such as meat, eggs, fish, dairy and nuts.
Protein is made up of amino acids joined together in a chain. Our body makes some of these amino acids, however there are some that it cannot make itself which therefore need to be consumed in the food and drink we eat. These are called essential amino acids of which there are nine (there are twenty in total).
Whey protein is a high quality protein because it provides the body with all of these essential amino acids that your body needs daily.
Why do we need protein?
Everyone needs protein; it is a fundamental part of our diet. Protein is a structural component of our body present in hormones, enzymes, hair, skin, muscles and bones – effectively, protein is everywhere in our bodies.
Along with this, our body can also use protein as a fuel – to give us the energy to move.
How should I get my daily protein needs?
Here at The Good Whey Co. we strongly believe in a balanced diet. Different sources of protein come with other nutrients that are essential to life (for example red meat gives you iron, dairy products give you calcium) and therefore we suggest you mix it up and eat a range of foods high in protein.
Whey protein should be part of this balance and can give you a high quality punch of protein, whether it is blended into your breakfast fruit smoothie, simply enjoyed mixed with milk or even made into high protein brownies.
How much protein do I need?
This certainly isn’t a “one size fits all” answer, and the amount you need depends very much on you and the way you live your life.
Generally speaking, a relatively inactive person needs to eat 0.8 grams of protein for every kg of body weight per day (see our “protein needs” help box below for more info on how to work this out).
If you do slightly more activity, or are going into your 40’s, or even if you are ill, your protein needs may increase. Anywhere between 0.8 and 1.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day would be adequate.
Anna is 24 and weighs 75 kg. She is a bit of a coach potato. She needs roughly:
75 x 0.8 = 60 g of protein per day
Simon is 65 and weighs 80 kg. He exercises every day. He needs roughly:
80 x 1.8 = 144 g of protein per day
When should I have protein?
You should balance your protein intake throughout the day, aiming to have no more than 30g of protein in one sitting (e.g. a large chicken breast). Your body can only process a limited amount at a time, so try having around 20g of protein with each main meal, and incorporate protein into your snacks (e.g. a handful of nuts or a yoghurt will give you around 5 -10 g of protein; a Good Whey Premium shake would provide you with around 20g).