How to Get Enough Protein Throughout the Day

By Tyler Nicol on July 23, 2018

Eating healthy can be difficult, especially if you are a college student. Healthy food is not usually the most affordable option and it takes longer to prepare. Sometimes, it may seem easier just to go out and get fast food but it is not always worth it. Whether you are consistently exercising or simply looking to improve your diet, protein is a key ingredient to look for.

According to Healthline, “the Dietary Reference Intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound.” This means that you should consume at least 0.36 times your bodyweight in grams of protein. You are probably aware that protein is found in meat and dairy products, but it is important to get protein in between meals to meet the suggested daily intake. Here are some protein-filled snacks that you can have throughout the day to ensure that you are getting healthy calories:

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Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is one of my personal favorite snacks. Greek yogurt has about 15-20g of protein per serving (depending on the brand) and it is healthier than other yogurts because it does not have as much sugar. It has a thicker texture and may take some getting used to. Try adding healthy toppings such as granola and fruit to your Greek yogurt for better taste. Berries go well with Greek yogurt, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Use what you like or get creative and try new fruit combinations.

Greek yogurt is a great summertime snack. You can have it as a light breakfast before working out, or in between lunch and dinner to hold you over and give you extra protein. You can’t go wrong with Greek yogurt any time of the day and it is a good start to making healthy snack choices.

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Peanut Butter/Almond Butter

Peanut butter is one of the most common household food items. It is a tasty source of protein and it has about 8 grams per serving. Peanut butter can be used on much more than just sandwiches. You can put it on breakfast items, such as toast, waffles, or pancakes. You can also pair it with any kind of cracker or other salty snacks. Peanut butter is an easy snack to prepare and it is something that college students should always keep in their dorm or apartment.

Although peanut butter is the most common nut butter spread, there are other similar alternatives. This can be a beneficial way for people with peanut allergies to get protein. A popular alternative to peanut butter is almond butter. Almond butter does not have quite as much protein as peanut butter, but it makes up for the small difference by providing an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It has a slightly different taste and it is another healthy option if you are looking to try something new.

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Protein shake

Rather than loading up on snacks with high protein all day, you could drink a protein shake instead. There are a variety of ways to make a protein shake and there are many different flavor options available. You want to start by getting protein powder from a supplement store or retailer. Protein powder can be expensive so deciding which to get ultimately depends on your budget and how much protein per serving you are looking to get. Protein powder usually has between 15 and 30 grams of protein per scoop so it may be worth the cash to give you the extra protein you need.

Once you have gotten protein powder, there are a few different ways you can prepare a protein shake. You can simply use protein powder with milk or water, or you can add other ingredients. It is easy to prepare a protein shake with just protein powder and milk (or water) if you have a shaker bottle. A shaker bottle allows you to mix the ingredients simply by shaking the bottle, so you do not need to use a blender. Supplement stores, vitamin shops, and retailers usually sell shaker bottles and they are not too expensive.

If you want to add fruit and other nutrients to your protein shake, you can throw your protein powder and ingredients into a blender. You can get frozen fruit, which will stay good for longer than fresh fruit if you plan to make protein shakes regularly. This is another tasty way to get protein. Enjoy a protein shake in the morning, after the gym, or between meals.

There are many other protein-filled snacks out there. No matter which you choose to have during the day, getting a sufficient amount of protein is good for your body and helps build muscle. When you are taking a break from studying, try eating foods with protein – they will leave you feeling less hungry.

I am a rising senior at James Madison University majoring in Writing Rhetoric and Technical Communication. I really enjoy music of all kinds, and I like playing basketball and golf with friends.

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