Recently, Erin and I ran our 3 mile Santa Monica Airport loop and noticed that we felt better than normal at the end – we were less tired, didn’t stop at all and even felt like we could keep going. We thought back about our routine that week to see what could’ve contributed and chalked it up to a bit more cross training and a lot more protein. I knew that protein was important, but exactly how much protein should I be eating each day? I investigated.
The recommended daily amount of protein is .5 to .7 grams per pound of body weight for a very active female (a 130-pound runner should consume about 65 to 91 grams a day). I try to eat around 75-80 grams of protein each day, with a bulk of it in the morning (usually 25-35 grams) in a fruit smoothie with protein powder and then some Greek yogurt (14-16 grams) mid-morning. Here’s a helpful protein calculator to see how much you should be eating (thanks Kashi!)
I don’t eat meat. Why? Because I feel better when I don’t eat it…and that’s pretty much the only reason. So that means I have to get creative with my protein intake. In addition to quinoa, almonds, eggs, beans, spinach, and Greek yogurt, here are a few quick things I like that are a good source of protein:
1) Kashi GOLEAN Crisp! – I like Cinnamon Crumble with a little almond milk. SO GOOD. There’s 10 grams of protein and 190 calories in 3/4 cup – I usually eat 2 servings at a time 🙂 Sometimes I even eat it dry or sprinkle it on yogurt.
2) Luna Protein Bars– I always have 1 or 2 of these in my purse for emergencies (you don’t want to be around me when I’m starving). 170 calories and 12 grams of protein in one bar. Mint Chocolate is my favorite (Cookie Dough is a close second).
3) Biochem Sports Greens & Whey Protein Powder -I scored this stuff at Sprouts and put it in every smoothie. Next time I think I’ll get the Vanilla, because the Greens give it kind of a weird flavor – but with enough other fruit in a smoothie it’s not too noticeable. There are 100 calories and 20 grams in 2 scoops.