How To Get Enough Protein

Have A Protein Shake For Breakfast

How To Get Enough Protein on a Vegan or Vegetarian Diet

Many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables, or juice, but very little protein.

However, a shake or smoothie can be a great breakfast option, especially if you choose nutritious ingredients.

Protein powders make it easy to create a healthy, high protein shake. There are several types on the market, including whey, soy, egg, and pea protein.

Whey protein powder has been studied the most and seems to have an edge over the others when it comes to helping you feel full (

Heres a basic whey shake recipe:

Whey Protein Shake

  • 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of whey powder
  • 1 cup of fresh berries
  • stevia or another healthy sweetener, if desired
  • 1/2 cup of crushed ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

To boost the protein content even further, use extra protein powder or add peanut butter, almond butter, flaxseeds, or chia seeds.


Having a protein shake for breakfast helps you start the day off right. Whey may be the best type to use.

Protein Maintaining Muscle Mass As You Age

From around 50 years of age, humans begin to gradually lose skeletal muscle. This is known as sarcopenia and is common in older people. Loss of muscle mass is worsened by chronic illness, poor diet and inactivity.

Meeting the daily recommended protein intake may help you maintain muscle mass and strength. This is important for maintaining your ability to walk and reducing your risk of injury from falls.

To maintain muscle mass, its important for older people to eat protein effectively. This means consuming high-quality protein foods, such as lean meats.

All About Amino Acids

Our body converts protein into amino acids to be used to repair and rebuild muscles. A complete protein source is one that provides certain amounts of all essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Essential amino acids need to be consumed in diet. While not all plant-based sources of protein contain all essential amino acids in the proportions your body needs, eating a variety of foods, like beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains or consuming a protein shake like Vega Sport® Protein can provide a complete amino acid profile.

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How Much Protein Do I Need

You may think that youre getting enough protein in your diet already. However, you actually need more protein than you think if youre looking to build more muscle.

A sedentary adult is supposed to consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This means that the average sedentary male needs to eat 56 grams of protein a day, and a sedentary female needs to eat 46 grams.

However, we hope youre not living a sedentary lifestyle if you have your Gorilla Bow laying around the house somewhere. If youre one to work out often, you need to eat more protein than is typically recommended.

In fact, if youre trying to put on muscle, its suggested that you eat 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight, a stark increase from those who are sedentary. This means that youll need to consume somewhere between 75 and 128 grams of protein in a given day to start seeing maximum results.

Getting that much protein might sound easy, but its actually pretty tricky to be getting the right amount of protein in your diet.

Lets get into some simple ways to bring more muscle-building molecules into your typical day.

How To Get Enough Protein As A Vegan: The Complete Guide

How To Get Enough Protein As A Vegan: The Complete Guide

Theres a common myth floating around that the vegan diet isnt able to provide individuals with enough protein. Many individuals get most of their complete proteins by consuming meat and meat-based products, so its no wonder that there isnt a lot of knowledge about the alternatives.

If youre looking into how to be a vegan and remain healthy, its important to get enough protein. Were going to explore some ideas on how to get enough protein as a vegan in this article, giving you some insight into different things that you might try.

Lets get started.

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What About Processed Foods

Processed foods vary greatly in protein content. Many of them are low in relative protein, due to use of refined carbohydrates as well as added fats and sugars. Processed foods marketed as high protein like veggie meats and protein bars are an exception and tend to land in the same range as my above target veggies. See Appendix for more examples of processed foods.

Fun fact: Protein bars having nothing on whole foods. An average protein bar has around 33% of calories from protein. This is the same as soy milk, tofu, and edamame.

Geek Out On Greek Yogurt

A bowl of yogurt with some fresh fruit and granola makes for a delicious breakfast. However, you can make it a nutritious breakfast as well if you just swap out regular yogurt for Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt is made by removing whey and other liquids, which gives it a creamier texture thats also higher in protein. A typical serving can give you upwards of 20g of protein, which is about twice the amount of yogurt.

Just be careful of getting flavored Greek yogurts, as many are high in added sugar. Take a look at the label and try to pick brands that keep the sugar count low while keeping the protein count high.

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Choose Brown Rice Or Quinoa Over White Rice

Quinoa packs more protein than white rice.

This is one easy swap you can use often to get more protein in your diet. Both quinoa and brown rice have more protein per serving than white rice and can replace white rice in most meals.

The texture is similar, although quinoa does have a more earthy taste than rice. Each serving of cooked quinoa packs 8 grams of protein per cup, while brown rice contains 5.3 grams per cup — white rice, on the other hand, contains just 4.4 grams of protein per cup.

Quinoa surpasses both white and brown rice in terms of protein, but brown rice still offers more protein than white rice and is a good choice if you don’t enjoy quinoa.

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Percent Of Daily Calories

How Can Vegetarians Get Enough Protein?

Current U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines suggest that adults should consume between 10% and 35% of their total calories from protein. To get your number and track your intake, you’ll need to know how many calories you consume each day.

Once you know how many calories you consume, multiply that number by 10% and 35% to get your range. As an example, a person who consumes 2,000 calories per day would need to consume 200 to 700 calories each day from protein.

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Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet: Is It Healthy

The vegetarian Mediterranean is completely healthy because it encourages the consumption of all plant food sources, as well as small to moderate amounts of low-fat dairy. When consuming a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is critical not to eliminate any key sources of nutrients. For example, a vegetarian Paleo diet wouldnt supply ideal quantities of nutrients, since it essentially eliminates all whole grains.

To follow a vegetarian Mediterranean diet for optimal health, its important to make sure you get enough essential amino acids from the foods you eat. Our bodies require a dietary intake of nine essential amino acids since we are unable to synthesize them. If you are cutting out fish and chicken as protein sources, it may be necessary to slightly increase your intake of high-quality dairy. Low-fat and nonfat dairy products are complete sources of protein that provide all essential amino acids that we need in optimal ratios. Excellent sources of protein from dairy include low-fat, low-sodium mozzarella cheese, Greek yogurt, milk, and whey protein.

Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Vegetarians And Vegans

The protein requirements discussed so far were based on studies that used animal-based protein supplements, such as whey or egg protein supplements, or were conducted mostly in omnivores. There is no reason to believe that people who get their protein mostly or entirely from plants have inherently different protein requirements, but since plant-based proteins tend to be lower in quality than animal-based proteins, if you obtain most of your protein from plants you will need to pay attention not just to the amount of protein you eat but also to the quality of that protein.

A proteins quality is determined by its digestibility and amino acid profile.

Digestibility matters because if you dont digest and absorb some of the protein you eat, then it may as well not have been eaten. Animal-based proteins consistently demonstrate a digestibility rate higher than 90%, whereas proteins from the best plant-based sources show a digestibility rate of 6080%.

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Whats The Best Way To Get Your Protein High

Because Im a carnivore, to me more protein means more seafood, chicken, pork, and beef. On top of ample salmon and bisontwo of my favorite foodsduring my investigation, I added van Loons fourth bedtime meal, as well as whey after workouts.

And my grocery bills went out of control.

Ultimately, I decided to mix things up: A few times a week I now splurge on pricey seafood , and for smoothies I go with organic, grass-fed whey or Drysdales CRIK powder: the yummiest of the supplements, butat roughly $5 for a 32-gram serving of proteinalso the most expensive. Primarily, though, I rely on protein-packed basics like yogurt, eggs, peanut butter, and cheese. For breakfast, I do one cup of nonfat Greek yogurt, blended with blueberry kefir, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and a teaspoon of honey. I follow my late-morning workout with a whey smoothie, using the provided scoop to get the correct amount of protein, then sweeten it with whatever fruit happens to be in the fridgeand call that lunch. Dinner varies, but the main dish is almost always a high-protein whole food, such as pork or salmon, eyeballing the portions to get roughly 8 ounces. Before bed, I might snack on a bowl of cottage cheese topped with sliced chicken or turkey breast, dishing it out based on the serving-size info based on the packaging.

Is it the protein? Exercise? Lucky genes? A combo of all three?

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You’re A Vegetarian Or Vegan

Get Enough Protein on a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet

Eat These Recipes:High-Protein Vegan Recipes

Good news for those forgoing animal products: If you’re eating enough calories, opting for a plant-based diet doesn’t automatically mean you’re not consuming enough protein. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the terms “complete” and “incomplete” protein are misleading. “Protein from a variety of plant foods, eaten during the course of a day, supplies enough of all indispensable amino acids when caloric requirements are met,” the Academy said in a 2016 position statement.

Vegetarians and vegans may need to pay a bit more attention to what foods give them the best protein-for-calorie value than the average meat-eater, but eating a varied diet that includes protein-rich legumes and soy will keep your body and muscles humming along just fine.

Other great vegetarian sources of protein: eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts, quinoa and peanut butter. See our Top Vegetarian Protein Sources if you need help eating more protein. Vegans, read up on our Top 10 Vegan Protein Sources.

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How To Start The Mediterranean Diet Meal By Meal

Text by Sandee LaMotte, CNNPhotographs by Heather Fulbright, CNN

Considered one of the healthiest diets in the world, the Mediterranean way of eating cuts processed foods and red meats, focusing instead on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, healthy whole grains and extra-virgin olive oil.

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How Much Protein Is Enough

You might be surprised by how low the requirements are as many of us are reaching far beyond these levels on a daily basis primarily due to high animal protein intake.

It is uncommon for most people in developed countries to not reach their protein requirements however certain scenarios do require additional support.

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Setting Up A Protein Plan

The easiest way to make sure you get enough protein every day is to set up a protein plan where you consume a set amount of protein via supplements every day, and then use high-protein meals to make up the difference.

Let me give you an example

When Im cutting, Im generally eating somewhere between 2100-2200 calories per day and aiming to get around 180 grams of protein per day.

So what I typically do on my cutting diet is consume the following supplements every day:

  • 2 Quest protein bars
  • 1 bag of Quest Protein Chips OR 1 scoop of Optimum Nutrition protein powder

Between 2 protein bars and a scoop of protein powder , I get around 60 grams of protein. That leaves 120 grams of protein remaining in order for me to hit 180 grams per day.

120 grams of protein divided up between several meals isnt very daunting, and its actually quite an easy number to hit if youre eating protein-centric meals as described above.

Heres an example of one of my food log entries from earlier this year when I was cutting for summer:

In this example, by using supplements, I immediately satisfied 1/3 of my days protein requirement.

You can do the same by figuring out which protein supplements you like and figuring out a way to work them into your diet every day. By regularly consuming the same set of protein supplements every day, Im always confident that Ill be able to hit my protein number without difficulty.

You May Need More Protein

How To Get Enough Protein As A Vegan

Some people do benefit from eating a higher percentage of protein each day. This includes people who are:

  • age 50 and older
  • healing or recovering from an accident or surgery
  • living with a chronic health conditions which reduces your appetite or limits your physical activity
  • physically active or an athlete in training
  • trying to lose weight

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Prioritize Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

Fruits and veggies are fundamental to the Mediterranean diet. Fruits and veggies are filled with micronutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. The fiber in fruits in vegetables is crucial for promoting gut health, as well as liver and brain health. Vitamin E and vitamin C are potent antioxidant vitamins found in a variety of fruits and veggies that support optimal immune system function as well as liver repair. Polyphenols in fruits and vegetables like flavonoids help protect against oxidative stress in all the cells throughout the body, including the liver. Liver cells affected by the fatty liver disease are particularly prone to oxidative stress, which inhibits normal cellular functions.

Swap White Bread For Whole

Bread is an unassuming place to up your protein intake, but some breads actually pack quite the protein punch: Just like brown rice has more protein than white rice, whole-grain bread has more protein than white bread.

This is because whole-grain foods keep all parts of the grain — the germ, the bran and the endosperm — whereas the refining process strips grains down to just the endosperm, which doesn’t contain many nutrients.

Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Whole Seeds and Grains, for instance, contains five grams of protein per slice. If you eat two slices for breakfast, that’s an automatic 10 grams of protein that you wouldn’t get with refined white bread.

Read more:Body recomposition: How to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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The Bottom Line On Protein

If you are a healthy adult, eating a little more protein is probably OK. Just be sure your protein comes from good sources such as lean meats, low-fat dairy, fish and plant-based foods. Balance your protein with high-fiber carbohydrates and good fats such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts and seeds. Avoid processed carbohydrates, sugars and unhealthy fats.

A registered dietitian or nutrition counselor can talk with you to set up a plan that works for you.

Use Your Protein Bins

How to Get Enough Plant

This is how I put my protein bins to use to meet my target of roughly 15%:

  • Eat some foods from my above target bins:
    • Above Target : Beans and legumes , cruciferous veggies , leafy greens

    2. Eat as much as I want from my on target bin:

    • On Target : Nuts, seeds, whole grains

    3. Moderate intake from my below-target bin balancing this with my above target bins:

    • Below Target : fruits, starchy vegetables , rice
    • Nada : Fats
    • High-fat and high-carb processed foods

    Note: The rolling average over multiple days is what matters most, so you can balance a lower protein day with a higher protein day.

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    Swap Your Bread Slice For Ezekiel Bread

    Confession: We’re diehard fans of Ezekiel Bread. So much so that we even wrote about the 15 Reasons People Are Obsessed with Ezekiel Breadand no, they didn’t pay us to do so. Among the many benefits of these sprouted slices, there are 4 grams of protein per slicemeaning you’ll score 8 grams with a sandwich. It’s literally better than any other sliced bread.

    The New York TimesEat This, Not That!

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