Americans love protein. We love eating it and talking about it and including it in our diets. We are also very busy people who sometimes aren’t able to take that turkey sausage scramble to a soccer game, or a chicken breast in the car on the way to the gym.
Protein is digested more slowly than carbohydrates; therefore, it keeps us feeling full for a longer period of time, and we are less likely to open the pantry or fridge looking for something to satisfy that ghost craving.
Adults should be getting 10 to 35% of their calories from protein, which is about 46 grams of protein per day for women and 56 grams for men. Need some inspiration for getting in your daily protein on a busy schedule?
Here are 15 ideas for taking protein on-the-go:
Nuts: Packed with heart healthy fats and protein, ¼ cup of almonds provides you with 6 grams of protein. To eliminate the temptation to overindulge, pre-portion your nuts into jars or ziplock baggies for an easy on-the-go snack.
Hummus + vegetables: Easy to take on-the-go or buy in pre-made packs - ⅓ cup of hummus has 4 grams of fiber combined with 4 grams of protein for a slowly digested snack to hold you over until your next meal.
String cheese and apples: 1 pre-packed mozzarella string cheese provides about 6 to 8 grams of protein per serving. Combined with an apple you have a sophisticated feeling snack that will do away with those hunger pangs until your next meal.
Cottage cheese + seeds: Easily forgotten, cottage cheese provides 20 grams of protein per one 5 oz serving. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on top for healthy fats and a salty crunch.
Greek yogurt: One 6 oz package of greek yogurt typically has 17 to 20 grams of protein depending on the brand. Look for brands with the lowest amount of added sugar and you have a perfect snack to tuck in your gym bag.
Homemade granola bars: Combine nuts, peanut butter and oats for about 9 grams of protein per homemade bar. Fuel your body with fiber, protein and good fats to get you through the morning with a no nonsense homemade granola bar.
Protein smoothie: Protein powder got you nervous? Don’t be! Add a tablespoon or two of flavored protein powder to this smoothie for a delicious and nutritious breakfast or snack option.
Chocolate milk: Known as one of the best post-workout snacks for its fat and protein content, a single serving chocolate milk box contains about 9 grams of protein. Chocolate milk wins for easy transport and quick consumption to rebuild muscles after a workout.
Tuna pouch: With 16 grams of protein per pouch, tuna packs make a great power snack that is easy to throw in a bag with some bread or crackers.
Edamame: These trendy little soybeans pack in about 8 grams of protein per half cup. They can be bought in a microwaveable pack or you can roast them for a satisfying and crunchy snack.
Roasted chickpeas: For 7 grams of protein and a crunchy finger food to nosh on, try roasting a quarter cup of chickpeas with olive oil in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Hard boiled egg: Eggs, a nutritional powerhouse, boast about 6 grams of protein per egg along with significant amounts of Vitamins D and B-12. Hard boiled eggs are even sold at some stores for a quick, easy to transport snack.
Peanut butter: Grab a pre-packed single serving of peanut butter for about 8 grams of protein in a 1.15 ounce pouch of power. Justin’s sells pre-packed peanut and almond butter that squeeze perfectly onto a banana or rice cake.
Protein energy bites: These little balls of energy are a perfect morning snack or post workout treat, providing 5 grams of protein per energy ball.
Jerky: Providing about 7-11 grams of protein in a one oz serving, meat lovers have a salty and satisfying protein-packed option to take on the go.
Protein is important for building muscles as well as making hormones and enzymes and providing structure for bones and skin. Protein is a macronutrient that we do not store, which is why it is important to refuel and replenish after a hard workout. Use these snack ideas to supplement a balanced diet with healthy sources of on-the-go protein.