The following Article has been written by Barbara Usak - ANutr (Registered Associate Nutritionist)
Why is protein vital in our diets?
Protein is one of the three essential energy providing micronutrients we must consume in our diets - along with Fat and Carbohydrate.
It is the second most abundant compound in our bodies, and although it is often simply associated with building muscles, it is vital for a wide variety of functions in our bodies such as:
- growth, repair and maintenance of body cells and tissues (muscle, connective tissues and cellular)
- transport/communication (plasma proteins, hormones (insulin and glucagon are in fact proteins)
- enzymatic (clotting, digestive…)
- metabolic pathways (such glycolysis -the breakdown of glucose)
- protective (helps with immune response, inflammation and provides physical barrier (skin)
So, how much protein do we actually need?
- The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is set at 0.75g of protein per kilogram bodyweight per day in adults (regardless of a Vegan or Omnivore diet) - this is to maintain health and existing muscle mass.
- The general population, who wants to gain muscle and may work out 4-5 times per week will need about 0.8-1.2g per kg body weight per day to support their goals. As a simple example, for a person who weighs 60kg/132lbs, about 60g of protein per day is plenty to support both health and healthy muscle gain - so, roughly 1g protein for every kg of body weight or 0.5g for every lb is a very simple way to get it right!
- Only athletes have higher protein needs: strength athletes require 1.2-2.0g per kg body weight of protein per day and endurance athletes would need about 1.2-1.8g per kg body weight per day.
...is there really a need for protein supplementation?
In short, no.
For most healthy, active people the body’s protein needs can be easily achieved from a healthy, varied diet with good choices of high quality protein foods being incorporated into meals.
Whilst among recreational gym-goers protein supplementation has become increasingly popular for muscle building, it is generally unnecessary.
The importance of excessively high protein intake is often overstated for the general population and people are often erroneously led to believe that excess protein gives bigger muscles.
In fact, any excess protein that is ingested will be simply used for energy or stored (as fat), if eaten above the daily needs.
Competent health authorities, such as The British Nutrition Foundation specifically state that:
'For most active people, protein supplements are not needed, and it is better if a variety of foods containing protein are consumed as part of meals or snacks and spread throughout the day. However, there may be situations when a protein supplement is convenient, for example, for professional athletes who are travelling to compete.’
In the UK, according to the British Dietetic Association, all age groups and genders are in fact over-consuming protein - another very important reason not to supplement.
Purition can fit into a healthy, balanced diet and support an active lifestyle
A serving of Purition is a small, nutritious meal made using only real, whole food ingredients; most importantly - it is not a supplement!
The base recipe is approximately 70% seeds and nuts (Almonds, Golden Linseed, Sunflower Kernels, Coconut, Chia Seeds, Sesame & Pumpkin Seeds), some additional protein and only natural food ingredients to flavour gently (such as freeze-dried Strawberries).
A serving of Purition would provide perfectly adequate amount of protein as well as plenty of fibre and healthy fats along with a range of vitamins and minerals that are naturally provided by the whole food ingredients.
A 40g serving typically has 14-15g of protein plus the protein from the (dairy free)/milk used to prepare Purition with - so typically around the 20g protein range for a serving.
The ingredients and detailed nutrition information for each of our flavours can be found here.
Purition can therefore support a healthy, balanced diet and exercise routine as it is real food, and its protein content is perfectly in line with competent health authority recommendations.
According to the British Dietetic Association, 'the addition of 15-25g of protein to a post-workout meal or snack can boost glycogen storage, reduce muscle soreness and promote muscle repair.'
Try some samples:
Nutrition at a glance: