Why Timing of Protein Matters

Are you getting enough protein in the morning? Before you answer yes, think about it — do you know how much protein is enough in the first place? Experts recommend getting 20-30 grams of protein at each meal, rather than in one large amount[1]. In fact, most of us, on average, only get about 13 grams of protein at breakfast.[2] From muscles to hair, bones to teeth, the body needs protein to be healthy and strong.  

So what do you do? That's easy: up the protein ante at breakfast!

Starting your day with enough protein can help you feel full, so you don’t feel hungry by mid-morning. There is room for all kinds of protein in your diet, but not all protein sources are created equal. For example, milk protein, is a complete protein, while most plant-based protein sources are incomplete, meaning they are missing some of the building blocks your body needs.

Adding a glass of milk at breakfast — or during the day when you drop the kids off at an activity, when you take a break after knocking out a presentation at work or just when you're feeling hungry — gets you an additional eight grams of protein per eight ounces. Mixing real dairy milk into your oatmeal or adding it to your smoothie. And, using real dairy milk offers eight times more protein than almond milk, which only yields one gram of protein per cup.

 

[1] Layman D. Dietary guidelines should reflect new understandings about adult protein needs. Nutr Metab. 2009; 6: 12.

[2] What We Eat in America, NHANES, 2009-2010.