Protein On The Go
Protein intake is among the most exciting and confusing topics for trainees.
There are many opinions on the best practices and ideas for getting enough protein every day.
Plus, when traveling or having to eat meals outside, the topic becomes even more confusing.
We’ve decided to put together this quick guide for you. In it, we’ll go over everything you need to know about protein timing, distribution, and how to get more of it on the go.
Let’s dive in.
Is Protein Timing That Important For Muscle And Strength?
Yes and no. It mostly depends on context.
The more protein you consume in a sitting, the longer it will take for your body to break it down, absorb the amino acids, and use them up. For example, if you eat 100 grams of protein at lunch, you probably won’t have to get more protein as soon as you finish a workout at 6 PM.
In contrast, if you only have 20 to 30 grams of protein at lunch, timing your protein right after the workout might be beneficial. Doing that could reduce muscle protein breakdown and kickstart the recovery process.
In general, protein timing isn’t as important as making sure to get enough protein. So long as you get between 0.8 and a gram per pound of body weight, the exact timing won’t make much of a difference.
With that said, protein distribution is another, slightly more important topic, so let’s look at it.
The Issues With Cramming All Of Your Protein Into a Single Meal
In the previous point, we gave you a quick example of how eating more protein in a sitting can stop you from thinking about it for at least a few hours. That approach has its benefits, but it also carries some drawbacks.
The problem is, consuming too much protein in a single sitting could lead to some (or a lot) of it getting oxidised for energy. Of course, this is typically the case if a person consumes only fast-digesting protein sources. When consuming a slow-digesting protein (such as egg or casein) combined with other nutrients, absorption becomes slower, and the body uses the amino acids more productively. Still, some protein is bound to get wasted.
By distributing your protein into several doses throughout the day, you get to maintain protein synthesis, provide your body with a steady stream of amino acids, and reduce the risk of burning the protein off for energy.
According to Brad Schoenfeld (a foremost expert in muscle hypertrophy), we should ideally spread our daily protein intake into four equal doses. For example, if you need to get 160 grams of daily protein, this would mean consuming four doses of 40 grams spaced out throughout the day.
Protein On The Go: 4 Foods to Bump Your Intake
1. Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are an excellent way to bump your protein intake on the go. All you have to do is put some powder in a shaker bottle and fill that up with water or milk when you’re ready to have it.
2. Homemade Protein Bars
There are plenty of simple, healthy, and delicious protein bar recipes you can make. In most cases, all you need is some milk, nuts, protein powder, and similar ingredients.
3. Beef Jerky
Jerky is a type of meat that’s been stripped of its fat and dehydrated. It tastes great, lasts long, and packs an impressive amount of protein per dose.
Plus, you can easily take some with you and enjoy it as a snack.
4. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are affordable, nutritious, and easy to prepare. They taste well, provide some of the highest-quality protein, and aren’t that calorie-dense. For example, you can boil a dozen eggs and take a couple with you each day. For reference, each egg offers roughly 70 calories and 6 grams of protein.