One of the primary nutrients that every human needs and seems to be difficult to consume in the proper amount is protein. From ancient times as hunters and gatherers, it has been a challenge for human beings to acquire appropriate amounts of protein. This lack of protein is one reason why farming developed as it created a much more accessible and consistent way of obtaining the elusive and essential nutrient. According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, you should consume 8 grams of protein every day for every twenty pounds that you weigh. So a 140-pound woman should consume 56 grams of protein every day, while a 200-pound man should consume 80 grams a day. This demand increases with your amount of activity. If you are involved in regular strength training or strenuous physical labor, then the amount almost doubles. Harvard also states that the type of protein you consume is important. Plants lack specific amino acids that we need. Thus, animal protein is more desirable, and of course, a proper balance of white and red meats is essential for other health concerns. But how can we consume this much protein every day?
For instance, an average size chicken breast contains 25 grams of protein. Therefore, the average non-physically active person would have to eat more than two breasts of chicken every day. So what are some good alternatives to eating a ton of expensive meat every day?
Right now eggs are cheap. Each egg contains six grams of protein. You may want to start your day off with two or three eggs for breakfast and hard boiling them beforehand may be the quickest way to begin your day. There are also a lot of good options now for maintaining your daily protein intake. Here are a few-
- Nature Valley Protein Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Bars- These are the best tasting and quickest to eat of all of the protein bars I have tried. These contain 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber which is excellent for you as well.
- Pure Protein Bars- These contain around 20 grams of protein.
- Premier Protein Bars- These are the best in my opinion with 30 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and good taste, they will give you the most for your time and money. The one negative is that they are slightly larger and can take a bit of time to eat compared to only one of the Nature Valley bars, but they have three times the protein.
- Premier Protein Shakes- These are the best as they are quicker to consume, the chocolate tastes just like chocolate milk, and they contain the same nutrients as the bars. They are more expensive than the bars, and you have to be careful. Others who have tried these including myself have noticed that if you drink it all at one time, it can make you have to go to the restroom in a man’s necessary sitting fashion. I recommend drinking half with food and then the other half later. This method has seemed to quell the digestive issues.
- Muscle Milk- These contain 20 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Some people don’t like the aftertaste although I like them. They also contain a controversial ingredient that some claim is unhealthy.
There are other shakes out there, but for a protein shake I would recommend the Premier Protein, and for those who want to save money and potential digestive issues I would stick with the bars. Turkey is also an excellent source of healthy protein so have a wonderful Thanksgiving!