Protein on A Budget: The Go-To Foods
Written By: James Butterfield
Protein is an essential nutrient that should be part of everyone’s diet. But how can we make sure that we’re getting enough of it, without breaking the bank? Sportsshoes.com has enlisted PT, James Butterfield to share his go-to, protein dense foods for those on a budget.
When embarking on any weight training regime, good nutrition is essential to ensure your body is fueled with the right nutrients to enable you to perform at your best when in the gym. You wouldn’t put diesel in a Ferrari and expect it to run smoothly! The same can be said of the human body, fuel it with the right things at the right time and it will perform far better, for longer.
Of the three main macro nutrients, protein is often prioritised when planning nutrition around weight training. It is recommended that a person consumes 2g of protein per KG of body weight. This means a person weighing 75kg requires around 150g protein per day.
Protein has many roles within the body, such as:
- Growth and maintenance - including muscles, hair and nails.
- Enzyme production - these enable function of digestion, production of energy, blood clotting and muscle contraction.
- Balancing of fluids - proteins in your blood assist in maintaining a fluid balance between your blood and surrounding tissues
- Providing energy - protein has 4 calories per gram, and as such provides energy, albeit only when carbohydrate reserves are significantly reduced.
Now we know why protein is important, but how can we ensure we get ample protein in a wallet friendly way? Let’s have a look at some popular protein sources and how they stack up financially. The following are examples of two high protein foods at the higher end of the price range:
Sirloin steak - cost per 100g: £1.63 - protein per 100g: 24g
Salmon fillets - cost per 100g: £1.32 - protein per 100g: 24g
Now let’s compare these to other, cheaper protein sources:
Cottage cheese - cost per 100g: 33p - protein per 100g: 10g
Chicken breast - cost per 100g: 55p - Protein per 100g: 31g
Tinned tuna in spring water - cost per 100g: 85p - protein per 100g: 27g
Haddock (frozen fillets) - cost per 100g: 82p - protein per 100g: 18g
Eggs - cost per 100g: 20p - protein per 100g: 12.6g
Whey protein powder (Myprotein Impact Whey) - cost per 100g: £1.89 - protein per 100g: 82g
Tinned chick peas - cost per 100g: 13p - protein per 100g: 7.2g
So, in terms of bang for your buck, cottage cheese, chicken and eggs are well worth considering. The whey protein powder is also a good option, and from a 1kg bag works out at 63p per serving which would provide 25g protein. If you do decide to go down the supplement route however, it’s worth bearing in mind that the body processes liquid far quicker than solid food so it’s likely that you will end up feeling hungry sooner after a protein shake as opposed to an omelette or a chicken breast. More information on whether protein shakes are right for you can be found in this article.
In a nutshell, protein is readily available and cheap. There really is no need to over complicate what you eat. Just keep it simple and sustainable!
Note: All prices correct as of June 2019, taken from a popular supermarket chain.