Anyone drooling over the gorgeous, perfectly seared and juicy steak and eggs on our home page? I sure am! And you know what, @realchefrush came in hot just in time for our follow-up to The Basics of Protein from last month. Not only is Chef Rush showcasing a delicious, high protein meal, but in his latest Instagram Reel, Chef mentions how much protein he actually eats, how, and WHY… And wow, people, he packs it in there – with good reason. Have you seen those guns (and I’m not talking about fire arms)?! Chef Rush is carrying a ton of muscle on his body, so he needs plenty of protein to maintain his mass and strength.
Because we’re all different, with different builds, levels of activity, and goals, you and I need different amounts of protein (and other macros and micros) than Chef Rush. There’s a lot to be said about getting enough protein, the science behind managing protein intake, what sources exist for us to get that protein, and how much the average person should be eating. So let’s dig a little deeper into the protein story…
Where Can You Get (Enough) Protein?
One might say that good nutrition starts with whole food. Not only can you achieve your macro goals with clean, whole foods, but you also get more micronutrients (essential vitamins and minerals) from these real foods, which protein supplements generally don’t contain. Those micronutrients help with overall vitality and wellness, plus they play a part in the satisfaction you feel from eating.
What most of us know already and what we discussed last month: protein is found in many foods, most obviously and commonly in food like EGGS, red meat, fish, pork, chicken, and cheese/yogurt/dairy. Non-animal protein sources are seeds, nuts/nut butters and beans, tofu, quinoa and tempeh. By eating a variety of these proteins on a daily basis, your body can certainly meet its complete protein needs.
When Should You Eat Protein?
Is it a must to have that post workout shake for repair and building? The jury’s kind of out on that…the research on whether protein intake around your workouts is important for maximizing gains is mixed. We used to think that protein had to be consumed within 30 minutes of a workout for your body to use it, but more recent research suggests that this may not be the case, and as long as you consume protein sometime around your workout, it doesn’t matter if it’s before or after training, and you likely have a longer window than 30 minutes. Therefore, you can choose whichever time you prefer or is most convenient for you. That being said, let’s be smart – downing a huge protein shake minutes before completing a burpee workout likely won’t make you feel stellar.
Here’s some important science on the matter though: unlike carbs and fat, we can’t store protein in our bodies “just in case” we might need it later. In other words, if we eat all of our protein at breakfast, our bodies would use what they need during that window of time after breakfast - for muscle maintenance, repair, and growth – then convert the excess into another energy source or storage product. Come lunch, dinner, or post-work workout, those amino acids are no longer hanging around to help maintain muscle mass. Over time, poor protein distribution can lead to muscle loss. So, maybe you’re hitting your macros, but if you’re not spreading them out somewhat efficiently, protein can’t get its job done, and you won’t feel or see the results you’re looking for.
The lesson in all of this is: total protein intake is said to be the strongest predictor of muscle strength and size, regardless of whether or not you consume it directly after exercise. Therefore, when it comes to building muscle and strength, how much protein we consume per day is likely more important than exactly whenwe consume it. BUT, it’s important to spread out our protein intake so that it can do the job it’s supposed to.
How Much Protein Should You Be Eating?
Now you know when to eat it, but how much to eat is an important question. We recommend talking with a dietician or nutrition coach to develop a personalized eating plan, but a simple breakdown for getting a safe and effective amount of protein is as follows:
Determine (appropriate) protein intake based on your weight, activity, and health/fitness goals. To do so, you should eat around .8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of your body weight per day. If you’re an endurance athlete or consistently performing intense exercise or weight training, you can err on the higher end of that range. Here’s a little simple math for you: multiply your body weight by .8-1.2, and you’ll get your protein range for the day. For instance, for a 140 lb. female who works out regularly, a protein range would look like this: 140 x .8 = 112 grams, and 140 x 1.2 = 168 grams, so her range would be 112-168 grams of protein per day, spread somewhat equally between meals and snacks.
Where OvaEasy Comes In
OvaEasy Egg in a Cup really helps with planning and prep. It’s a no mess, no prep way to cook up scrambled eggs at home, office, or even at the gym - as long as there’s a microwave. Just add water, cook, and enjoy. Each cup packs approximately 12-13 grams of protein (macros stated clearly on the package), is a great high protein, low carb food choice, and comes in three delicious flavors. Add this to your breakfast meal plan or even as a snack option!
Then there’s our OvaEasy Egg Crystals… Our egg crystals are all natural, whole, dried eggs that taste just like their fresh counterpart. They have an extra-long shelf life and don’t require refrigeration, and when it comes to all the micro nutrients like folate, iron, vitamins a, b, c, d, potassium, calcium, and magnesium housed in the yolk, know that our crystallization process keeps everything intact. In other words, our egg crystals are the real (whole) egg, no nonsense. So, scramble them or make a quick omelet, try them in fried rice, a breakfast burrito, or even with Chef Rush’s steak and eggs.
Now, as far as protein powders and supplements are concerned, OvaEasy Egg White Protein really gets the job done. Containing all the amino acids needed for muscle recovery and growth, it’s a complete protein all on its own. Plus, our egg white protein is delicious and mixes well. It’s a win-win, whether you’re making a nutritious snack, meal substitute, or trying to hit your macros after a tough workout.
The Bottom Line
Take a page from Chef Rush’s playbook (I know I am): It’s all about TIME, PREP, and MENTAL STABILITY. In other words, use your time wisely – schedule workouts and shopping and meal planning and prep. Choose good, clean, whole sources of protein, and spread them out between pre/post workout (if fitness is your thing), meals, and snacks. And if you need a shake to reach your protein goals, you’re fine having it before or after your workout, as a snack, or even as a meal replacement (as long as you’ve got enough good stuff in there like complete proteins, carbs, fats, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals). Bon appétit!