The current UK recommendation for protein intake is 0.75 -1.0/kg of bodyweight per day for adults of the general population to moderately active individuals. This can increase up to 1.2-1.7g/kg/d for those involved in strength and endurance sport at an elite level. (1)
The recommendations are the same for women and men, so some examples of the calculations:
For a 60kg Female = 0.75 x 60 = 45g of protein per day.
For a 74kg Male = 0.75 x 74 = 55.5g of protein per day.
The below table provides the average protein content of some of the most common sources of protein in our diets, including vegetarian and vegan sources: (2)
|Food source||Serving size||Protein content (g) per serving size|
|Chicken breast grilled||Medium (130g)||42|
|Salmon fillet grilled||Large (170g)||42|
|Rump steak grilled||115g (5oz)||36|
|Tuna canned in brine||Small can (100g)||25|
|Baked beans||1 can (415g)||22|
|Haddock grilled||Medium (85g)||20|
|Eggs||2 average size eggs (100g)||13|
|Half fat cheddar cheese||4 tbsp grated (40g)||11|
|Lentil curry (Daal)||1 portion (200g)||10|
|Low fat milk||300ml||10|
|Greek style plain yogurt||Small pot (120g)||7|
|Quinoa||100g portion (cooked)||4|
Should I be taking protein shakes and supplements?
Brits are over consuming protein by 45-55% with the regular appearance of meat, dairy and eggs on most people’s plates. (3) Therefore, it is more than likely that you are getting enough protein from your main meals throughout the day. Many protein supplements are a quick and convenient source of protein, but often contain lots of sugar and fat, so the inclusion of protein shakes and bars in your diet can contribute to excessive calorie intake that could impact weight maintenance or weight loss.
In addition to this, the body cannot store excess protein like it can fat and carbs, therefore any unused protein is excreted in the urine…meaning unnecessary intake of expensive protein shakes and bars could just mean you’re literally weeing away the money you spent on it!
- Dietary Reference Values for Energy Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition 2011 (Book).
- nutrition.org.uk (British Nutrition Foundation) Search for Nutrition for Sport and Exercise
- National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS)