How to spread out protein to maintain your muscle gains
by Ashleigh Feltham
Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist
When you think about the key to maintaining your muscles you probably think protein. What you may not consider is how should you spread your protein throughout your day as an equally important factor as getting enough of this macronutrient.
Research shows to maintain your muscle, spreading your protein throughout the day is vital. To give you a starting point aim for 10-20g in a snack and 20-40g per meal. Here is an example of a meal plan of complete protein sources, meaning they have all the amino acids that your body needs to make a protein. There are 8 essential amino acids your body cannot make and needs to get from your diet. Here is an example meal plan to get you started:
2 slices of whole-grain bread with ½ (100g) mashed avocado and topped with 1 sliced boiled egg and 1 medium diced tomato. Sided with 1 glass (250mls) of cow’s milk.
29g of protein
200g of yoghurt with a banana
21g of protein
1 cup of quinoa (pre-cooked now readily available in the supermarket in ½ cup portions) with Safcol Premium Salmon in Springwater 95g and 100g of canned legumes. Simply rinse before adding. Add additional flavour using herbs and spices like chilli and coriander.
37.6-42.6g of protein
Safcol Yellowfin Tuna Chunks Tomato & Onion 95g with 1 cup of vegetable sticks like capsicum, carrot, celery, and cucumber.
14.5g of protein
Roast using 80g of chicken breast with 1 medium sweet potato and ½ cup of cooked vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, and onion. Sided with a thick piece of whole-grain bread topped with 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. Herbs and spices used over added salt for additional flavour as well as added nutrition benefits.
Take home message
Take on this knowledge to be able to feed your muscles with the optimal amount of protein per meal throughout your day. Think of your muscles like a pet which needs to be fed more than once a day, you want to keep it happy and healthy. The same applies to your muscles.