Sunday, 23 September 2018

Are 'protein packed' foods really what they seem?

We all need protein in our diets and often we want to find a quick and easy way to grab some.  Our ‘go to’ idea might be a supermarket style ‘protein bar’.  A quick look at these might make you change your mind.

For example – Special K protein blackcurrant and pumpkin seed bars – at 3.9 g protein per 28 g bar are just about entitled to be called a ‘source of protein’ (govt regs is that at least 12% of the energy value of a food needs to come from protein). However, that’s not enough protein to make a real difference and of course there is more sugar than is good for you!  (5.6 g per bar) 

And Nature Valley protein peanut and cholate bars have 10 g of protein per 40 gm bar – so just about in the ‘high protein’ category but again loads of sugar – 6.2 g per bar this time. 

So, I got to wondering just how much protein we actually need a day. tells us that the average sedentary man needs 56 g protein a day and a sedentary woman about 46 g a day.  (Based on needing 0.8 g protein per kilogram of body weight).  You can see that protein bars should only be an occasional boost or your blood sugar will go through the roof. 

How about adding in a bit of natural protein?  Go for a mixed diet rich in eggs, milk, yoghurt, chicken and fish and you won’t go far wrong.  Add in nuts and seeds as a snack and you will hit your daily protein requirements. 

However, Steve says; if you are aiming to build big muscles you will need extra protein – in fact you will need 1.5 to 2.2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight for intense training, (the sort of training when you put up your weights once a week and sweat the CV) and the Oats and Whey protein bars he uses have 23 g protein per bar and only 3.9 g sugar.  If you fancy some of these just let us know or order from Myprotein and use the code STEPHEN-RACV to get a 30% discount when spending £35 or more.
Take home message?  We all need protein but if you are working out really intensely you will need more.  Most of us can get all we need from a well-balanced diet and avoid the high sugar ‘little bit extra’ (expensive) bars.  If you need a boost go for the ‘big boy stuff’.  

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