How to easily get more Protein into your diet

The first image that enters your head on hearing the phrase ‘protein shake’ may be of a huge Popeye-esque bodybuilder, tensing in the gym mirror, weights in hand, while you scuttle past to slog it out on the treadmill. But protein supplements are just as beneficial, if not more so to anyone who is trying to get fit.

Whether you want to tone up or slim down or simply need more energy, protein supplements will give your body an amino acid boost. Without trying to sound like a year 10 biology teacher, amino acids repair muscles, provide energy and increase your metabolism – without bulking you up in the process. Want to know how protein powder can help you achieve your fitness goals? We unpack the myths and prove that everyone can use protein…

Best for: Smart snacking

Whey protein is proven to curb hunger, so a protein bar is the perfect pick-me-up for an afternoon snack.

Who’s it for? Anyone in need of a guilt-free hunger buster.

Fun fact: Did you know whey can be found in ricotta and cottage cheese? While whey protein powder doesn’t contain the fat found in our fave indulgence, a little treat now and then won’t hurt.

Best for: Getting lean

Whey powder is the most nutritious source of protein, and it’s easy to digest thanks to its low calorie, low carb combo. Replace lunch with a whey protein shake to boost your metabolism.

Who’s it for? Great if you want to skim down and maintain a healthy weight.

Guilt free treat: Make protein pancakes to curb sugar cravings – it’s a healthy alternative to much-loved puddings.

Best for: Muscle recovery

Fear not, drinking a protein shake post-workout doesn’t mean you’ll be sporting a look similar to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s any time soon. It builds lean muscle and relieves aches and pains. Be quick, though! The sooner you drink your shake after a sweaty spin class, the better.

Who’s it for? Gym bunnies looking to retain muscle.

Did you know? Whey protein concentrate can often be found in your fave cakes. It has the same consistency as fat, but without the cals. Now that’s taking the guilt-free snacking to a new level.

Best for: Beating the bloat

After a weekend of over indulgence, pea protein will beat the bloat. This plant-based supplement is ideal for vegans and vegetarians. Drink it as a morning bloat blaster rather than post-workout.

Who’s it for? Anyone who wants to detox.

Brekkie boost: Swap your porridge for a pea-protein smoothie as not only will it give you a protein burst, it’ll even give you your five-a-day all in one.

Protein glossary

We tell you the facts behind the science speak on the packet of your protein powder…

Whey protein

Produced from milk with its fats and carbohydrates removed during the manufacturing process, whey is a powder packed with protein and amino acids.

Amino acids

These compounds are absolutely vital for every life process. In fitness terms, consuming amino acids will repair muscle and boost the metabolic process.

Antioxidants

A range of vitamins and other nutrients that protect your cells from the damaging effects of toxins found in foods and the environment, Veggies are packed with them.

EFAs

These are essential fatty Acids, but don’t be put off by the word ‘fat’! It’s absolutely crucial for maintain a healthy body.

Fiber

Found naturally in plant-based foods, fiber keeps your digestive system ticking over properly. There are two types – soluble and insoluble – both are essential to a healthy diet.