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Are you eating enough protein at breakfast?

Mar 25, 2020

Nutrition experts agree protein is essential for good health. Getting the right amount of protein in your diet provides the building blocks for healthy muscles, bones, and tissues so that the body can continue to maintain important body structures and functions.

Do you need more protein?

If you eat a varied and balanced diet, it is unlikely that you will be deficient in your total daily protein intake.  However, if you have too much protein at one meal, your body can only use what it requires but it cannot ‘store’ the excess like it can with fats and carbohydrates, to use later. This may mean your muscles and bones may not be getting the full benefit of protein if consumed in small amounts at a meal time.  

If you are like many adults, you probably consume smaller amounts of protein at breakfast and load up on protein as part of your evening meal. The problem with this is, there is a limit to how much protein your body can process at one time. That’s why recent studies suggest that in addition to the total amount of protein you consume, spreading your protein intake evenly across the day - about 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal - is the best way to help your body support muscle health.

 How much protein do you need? Use our calculator to find out.

Do you need less protein as you age?

With age we naturally lose muscle mass and our bodies become less efficient at using the protein we eat to support muscle and bone health. The body therefore requires more protein to help minimise the impact of this loss.   One way of ensuring you maintain your muscle mass and that your bones stay strong is to meet your protein intake each day. 

Protein is continuously broken down and needs to be replaced regularly – so you should include protein in your diet every day and at every meal. 

How much protein do you need?

Everyone has different protein requirements, but a good guide is based on the National Health and Medical Research Council’s recommended dietary intakes (NHMRC RDI). 
•    Women aged between 51-70 years require at least 46 grams of protein per day to maintain muscle health, while women aged over 70 require 57 grams a day. 
•    Men aged 51-70, meanwhile, require 64 grams per day, and 81 grams daily once they’re over 70 years. 

How can you boost your breakfast protein?

To boost your breakfast protein and help with spreading your protein intake evenly across the day doesn’t require drastic dietary changes, just some small additions to your favourite menus. 

•    Swap your honey on toast for an egg or baked beans on toast. 
•    Dig in to some porridge made from oats and milk instead of a regular flake-based cereal and consider adding some nuts, or ground nut and seed meal.
•    Add a third of a cup of cheese to an egg omelette.
•    Instead of juice have a glass of milk.

How can nutritional supplements help increase breakfast protein?

If you do struggle to boost your protein intake through food alone, nutritional supplements can be helpful. 

Sustagen® Hospital Formula Active is specially designed to provide essential nutrients for an active lifestyle, including high quality protein to support healthy muscles and bones.

Banana or Strawberry flavoured Sustagen® is a perfect breakfast option simply mix 3 scoops with 200mL of water for 13.8 grams of protein power. You may wish to add some fresh fruit to make it more like a breakfast smoothie.

Sustagen® Hospital Formula Active is one quick and easy way to boost your breakfast protein to help you stay strong and active.

Find out how much protein you should consume each day here

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