This post was sponsored by Milk Life on behalf of Influence Central.
Do you know that Americans get only 13 grams at breakfast, on average? That’s because for most Americans, it’s the morning meal that’s often taken lightly.
A recent study suggests that it’s not just about how much protein you need, but it’s also about when you get your protein. So I’m so excited to participate in this campaign by Milk Life to share about the importance of protein in the morning!
What is Protein?
First, let’s talk about protein. Along with carbohydrates and fats, protein is one of the three macronutrients, or nutrients needed to provide you the energy (or calories) and to be healthy and strong. Here are some important facts on protein and protein intake:
*Are you getting 30 grams of protein in the morning? Most Americans fall short.
What to do: Pairing a glass of milk, with its high-quality protein, with your breakfast or mid-morning snack is an easy, delicious way to help get the 25-30 grams of protein many experts recommend before noon.
*Americans tend to eat most of their protein in the evening – leaving their mornings lower in the nutrient most likely to keep them full.
What to do: Backloading protein at dinner can affect how your body uses it. Many nutrition experts now recommend 25-30 grams of protein at every meal for best daily nutrition. Additionally, spacing out your protein intake throughout the day will make the most of the important benefits it provides.
Milk and How Much Protein We Need
Milk is a good source of protein. Every 8 ounce glass of milk contains 8 grams of protein. Simply pairing a glass of milk with a variety of breakfast foods and morning snacks will help you get closer to the 25-30 grams recommended amount of protein in the morning. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three servings of milk and milk products each day. So, if you drink three 8-ounce glasses of milk each day, you add 24 grams of high-quality protein to your daily protein intake.
While most people may meet the minimum protein requirements, studies continue to show benefits of a high-protein diet – especially for active people and older adults. You can go here to find your Recommended Daily Protein Intake and Recommended Range based on your age and how physically active you are.
Here is an example of a high quality protein breakfast and morning snack I had yesterday:
This breakfast and morning snack provides 27.25 grams of protein:
- 2 whole grain waffles – 4 grams of protein
- 1 sausage link – 3.5 grams of protein
- 1 cup of milk – 8 grams of protein
Mixed Berry-Banana Smoothie (amount of protein shown with 2 servings)
- 1 large banana – 1.5 grams of protein
- 1/2 cup milk – 4 grams of protein
- 3/4 cup Plain Greek yogurt – 18 grams of protein
- TOTAL PROTEIN = 23.5 grams
- TOTAL PROTEIN per serving: 11.75
When making your own high-quality protein recipes, use this Breakfast Protein Reference Guide to see the amount of protein in the ingredients you use and to ensure you have at least 25 grams of protein in your recipe.
So jumpstart your new year by getting 25-30 grams of protein in the morning. Show us how milk and its high-quality protein is part of your #mymorningprotein, and we’ll reward you with milk! Visit MilkLife.com/morningprotein to see how you can fill up your cup with milk to get closer to your morning protein goal.
For additional information, resources and more on Protein and Milk, visit the following pages!
Milk Life website www.MilkLife.com/morningprotein
 What We Eat in America, NHANES 2009-2010.
2 Layman D. Dietary guidelines should reflect new understandings about adult protein needs. Nutr Metab. 2009; 6: 12.
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