The most effective way to get 200 grams of protein a day is to consume a substantial portion of a high protein food with every meal. Consuming high protein snacks at regular intervals can also help you increase your intake.
What follows is a list of 6 high protein foods. These are ordered from highest to lowest in terms of the protein content per 100 grams.
- Spirulina – 57.5g of protein per 100g serving
- Dry Roasted Soy Beans – 43.3g of protein per 100g serving
- Grated Parmesan Cheese – 41.6g of protein per 100g serving
- Lean Veal Top Round – 36.7g of protein per 100g serving
- Lamb Shoulder Roast – 35.5g of protein per 100g serving
- Lean Chicken Breast – 32.1g of protein per 100g serving
Most people need between 40 and 60 grams of protein each day in order to remain balanced and healthy. There are many studies on this and the amount of protein that a person needs varies. Typically, the determining factors are biological sex and exercise and the current build of the person’s body. Also, the more exercise that people do, the greater their general need for protein.
According to experts, the average man needs 56 grams of protein a day and the average woman needs 46 grams per day. Bear in mind that this assumes a pretty sedentary lifestyle. This may be a person who works an office job and does very little physical exercise outside of that. In these cases, there is not quite so much protein needed by the body on any given day due to minimal mechanical stress being placed upon the person’s muscles.
Why Does the Body Need Protein?
Protein is a macro nutrient and is essential for the human body. In fact, protein is everywhere in our bodies from our cells to our hair and nails. We need protein to build new tissues and new muscle fibres. The problem is that our bodies don’t store extra proteins, unlike fats. We need it when we need it but there is no extra storage of it that the body can draw upon.
The problem for people engaged in intense weight training or sport, is that the recommend 46 or 56 grams of protein per day is most likely not quite enough for the body to recover and repair muscle. As I already mentioned, there are a number of variables that determine how much protein per day is optimal, including sex, physical activity, age, muscles mass, and overall health. There is no such thing as one size fits all.
If you want to learn more about how to workout how much protein you need personally, then you can read my article called ‘Is 150g of Protein Enough to Build Muscle?’. The article opens in a new window on this website.
Smaller amounts of protein are just fine for average people with pretty sedentary lifestyles, but what if you’re an athlete? What if you exercise every day? What if you’re a committed bodybuilder? In all of these cases, the body is going to need a lot more protein than average. In fact, 200 grams of protein is going to be the normal daily intake for a bodybuilder or dedicated athlete.
Because you are reading this particular blog post, I assume you are looking for some tips and ideas on how to efficiently get around 200 grams of protein into your body on a daily basis.
What is to follow may help you a lot…
Smaller amounts of protein are fine for average people with pretty sedentary lifestyles, but what if you’re an athlete? What if you exercise every day? What if you’re a committed bodybuilder?
In all of these cases, the body is going to need a lot more protein than average. In fact, 200 grams of protein is going to be the normal daily intake for a bodybuilder or dedicated athlete.
How to Get 200 Grams or More of Protein in Your Diet Effectively
Under normal circumstances, it’s going to be a challenge to reach that 200 grams of protein per day on a normal diet. In fact, many bodybuilders use amino acid-rich supplements to get to that lofty 200 gram per day goal. This is all well and good in theory, and there is certainly nothing inherently wrong with it, but what if you don’t want to use supplements? How to get 200 grams of protein a day through a regular diet?
Here are some tips on getting to 200 grams of protein each day:
1. Spread Out Your Eating
Instead of eating a standard three meals per day, you should distribute your high-protein meal intake throughout the day. Many fitness gurus advocate four solid meals of high-protein foods per day. The benefit is that spreading it out allows your body to process the proteins more effectively after exercise.
2. Keep it Diverse
It’s easy enough to come up with a standard meal plan for the week but the problem is boredom. You should definitely shake things up a little and ensure that you include as many different protein sources as you can.
3. Plan it Properly
If you’re going to hit that 200-gram milestone, you must consciously plan out every meal. Include high-protein foods in every meal and ensure that your portion sizes are in line with your level of exercise and how many grams of protein you need.
1. The Big Breakfast
Ideally, you want to start your day with a protein bang. You can get a good 50 grams of protein out of breakfast, starting with two eggs. Those eggs will net you a healthy 12 grams all by themselves but you can add some cheese for an extra 6 grams, and then a ham steak for 22 grams. Here are some other breakfast options to think about in the interests of diversity:
- Greek Yogurt
- Cottage Cheese
2. Lunch Options
Always make sure that you have a big lunch for that extra energy you’ll need. There are a heap of high-protein foods that you can have for lunch, including:
- Beans and legumes such as lentils and peas
- Meats such as sausage, chicken breast, and turkey
- Tuna and salmon
If you make meat such as lean chicken or turkey breast the basis of your lunch, you can then add lentils, beans, edamame, tofu, or cheese to add some extra protein.
If you want some diversity, you can make seafood the foundation of your dinner. Salmon, mackerel, shellfish, trout, or pike all have high levels of protein. If you already had some tuna or salmon at lunch, you can easily substitute for red meats such as beef or lamb. Pork also has lots of protein.
Having high-protein snacks is a good way to supplement your meals and keep your energy up throughout the day. There are lots of high-protein snack foods around, such as nuts, pumpkin seeds, cheese, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
Muscle Building and Protein
If you’re into bodybuilding or exercise, you probably know that proteins are made up of molecules called amino acids. There are lots of these amino acids and though the body produces some on its own, we need to get the rest from our diets. In this way, amino acids are basically essential building blocks for our bodies.
Lots of people believe that the more proteins you have, the more muscle you’ll build. This is not quite true. It’s exercise that builds muscle and new tissues. The amino acids in the proteins just help the body to repair tissues and build all of that new muscle.
As you exercise, you place stress on the body. When this happens, the body responds by building new muscle and strengthening connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments. It does this because the body likes to remain in a state called homeostasis. This is a state of all living things where they can remain stable enough for survival.
For example, if you go to the gym several times a week and you pump iron, you’re placing extra stress on your body. Muscles are being stressed as well as all of those ligaments and tendons. As you push yourself regularly, your body realises that these new conditions must be adapted to. In order to create stable conditions within the body and meet the need for homeostasis, muscles get stronger.
In this context, your body adapts to all of the new stresses you place on your body through exercise and builds new muscle tissue so that it can remain stable under these new conditions. In other words, your body doesn’t want to be weak. It wants to get stronger because this is the “new normal.”
The Effects of Insufficient Protein
Unfortunately, according to one study, over a third of adults are not getting enough protein in their diets. So, what happens if you’re not getting enough protein each day? Consider the following:
One thing that all bodybuilders know is that they need lots of protein to continue optimal muscle growth. If people don’t get enough protein in their diets on a regular basis, they can experience muscle wasting, muscle weakness, lean muscle, muscle soreness, and muscle cramps. In this situation, the body will actually steal protein from existing muscle and use it elsewhere in the body where it’s needed.
2. More Chance of Infection
It’s not just your muscles that need protein. Your immune system also needs plenty of it for optimal function. When you’re not taking in enough protein, your immune system will be weaker. This means a greater chance of infection by viruses and other pathogens.
3. Healing Problems
Because protein is also essential in the formation of new tissues around the body, including skin and collagen, less of it in the diet will cause poor healing from wounds.
Protein is an essential building block for the human body. Those who are committed to exercising will always need more of it than average. With some careful thought and planning, it should be quite easy to eat 200 grams of protein each day without even touching protein-based supplements.
Don’t forget to check out my article entitled ‘Is 150g of Protein Enough to Build Muscle’ to learn more about protein and its important role in the body.