If looking to gain muscle mass and build muscle, then this is when you will want to be looking at a higher protein intake.
Most of us consume enough protein through whole foods, and supplements are not essential; however, protein supplements can sometimes be great for convenience and help boost the protein content of some meals. Food should always come first; however, if you are perhaps finding it difficult to meet your daily protein targets, then incorporating a supplement may be a good idea.
HOW CAN WE INCREASE PROTEIN INTAKE THROUGHOUT THE DAY?
Starting with breakfast, you can boost porridge’s protein content by mixing in a couple of spoonfuls of yoghurt, egg whites or adding protein powder.
Alternatively, you could start your day with eggs, for example, an omelette, poached eggs on toast or having a couple of boiled eggs alongside your porridge. Beans on toast are also a great option, especially as the beans complement the protein in wholemeal bread, ensuring that you are getting all essential amino acids.
Base your snacks throughout the day on a source of protein, for example, Greek yoghurt, nuts and fruit, hummus and veggie sticks, a couple of boiled eggs, low-fat cheese and an apple, cottage cheese on corn cakes or a smoothie with added protein powder.
When it comes to lunch and dinner, try sneaking extra proteins into your meals, for example, adding various beans into your meals, adding nuts and seeds on top of your meals or adding yoghurt into curries.
Finally, whether you are following a plant-based diet or not, we should aim to increase plant-based proteins in the diet. Chickpeas, beans & lentils are so versatile, convenient and affordable. Other sources such as tofu, tempeh, nutritional yeast, nuts and seeds are great. Whilst in lockdown at the moment, why not use this time to get creative in the kitchen!