What you eat is so important to building a strong healthy body, and feeling good from the inside out.
Seriously, good nutrition is everything! And a huge part of eating right is getting enough protein every day.
Protein is an important building block for your bones and muscles, makes your hair and nails healthy and strong, helps you recover from workouts, and does so much more!
But as a vegetarian, I definitely know how hard it can be to find high-quality plant-based protein sources. The struggle is very real!
That’s why I’m here to let you in on my biggest secret weapon when it comes to meeting my protein needs!
But first, let’s talk about why protein is important.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
First off, how much protein per day should you be eating?
While it depends on your age, weight, gender, activity level, and other factors, I can give you a rough estimate for a pretty good guideline to follow.
If you’re sedentary and not really looking to alter your body composition (losing fat or building muscle) most experts recommend right around 0.35g protein per 1 lb body weight.
For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, you would calculate your daily protein needs like this:
150 lbs x 0.35 = 53 g
So this is a rough estimate, but about 53 g protein would be the daily protein target for someone weighing 150 lbs.
If you’re active though, or if you have a fitness goal that involves losing fat or building muscle, you’d want to increase your protein to between 0.5g to 1g of protein per 1 lb body weight.
It might seem a bit meticulous using a calculator to determine how much you should eat. But if you don’t get enough protein, it can seriously ruin your day!
Symptoms of Protein Deficiency
If you aren’t getting enough protein, you’ll definitely feel it. You may not know that protein is behind it all, but you will certainly not feel your best!
Here are just some of the signs that you aren’t getting enough protein.
1. Loss of Muscle Mass
You already know that protein is the primary building block of muscle. But when your protein levels are insufficient, your body can start breaking down your muscle mass to get the protein it needs for other body functions.
Over time, this can have a major impact on your lean muscle mass!
2. Trouble Sleeping
When you aren’t getting enough protein, your blood sugar levels can become unstable. This blood sugar instability can affect you during the night, keeping you up well into the hours when you should be sleeping!
3. Stomach Troubles
Amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, play a major role in healthy digestion. If you aren’t getting enough, you can experience intestinal discomfort, incomplete digestion, gas, bloat, and other digestive issues.
4. Water Retention
Protein plays a role in keeping interstitial body fluid from pooling up. When you’re not getting enough protein, your body holds on to more fluid and it’s allowed to build up in your extremities.
This can cause a little bit of weight gain, but what’s worse is that it can cause you to become puffy, especially in your legs and feet.
5. Bad Mood
Neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are composed of amino acids. Protein is made up of amino acids, and when you aren’t getting enough protein, your dopamine and serotonin levels can drop.
This can lead to moodiness, anxiety, and just plain not feeling good!
Plant-Based Protein Sources
You definitely do not want to be affected by any of the symptoms of protein deficiency.
But when you don’t eat meat, dairy, eggs, or other animal products, you have to look elsewhere for sources of protein. They’re definitely not impossible to find, but it does take a little research!
Here are some of the best plant protein sources!
17g protein per serving
11g protein per serving
10g protein per serving
8g protein per serving
6g protein per serving
While these are all great protein sources, they have a common theme (besides being delicious!). They all take some prep time, which can be a hassle when you’re on the go!
So how do you get your protein when you’re in a hurry? Protein bars!
Protein Bars: My Secret Weapon
Most of us who have been doing this for a while have discovered that a good option for vegetarian-friendly protein is a plant-based protein bar.
It’s a super convenient way to help you reach your daily protein needs!
But, as we also know, many protein bars come with their own sets of potential issues that can be real turnoffs. Some plant-based bars present more problems than they actually solve.
Problems With Some Protein Bars
1. Some protein bars don’t taste very good.
A lot of plant-based protein bars simply don’t taste amazing. Some have a taste that resembles the soil that the plants were grown in, and they even border on being unpalatable.
This can be a major deterrent because who wants to rely on a food that they don’t enjoy eating? Nobody does!
2. Some protein bars are highly processed and contain a lot of refined sugar
Even when the flavor is on point, some bars are so highly processed that the nourishment the food once provided has been destroyed.
All that processing does a real number on the vitamins and minerals that were once present. Not to mention the chemicals and artificial flavors or colors that have been added.
No thank you, I think I’ll pass!
3. They don’t actually contain much protein
Even though they claim to be good sources of protein, some plant-based bars don’t actually contain much protein at all!
The Best Plant-Based Protein Bars
Because of all the shortcomings of a lot of protein bars on the market right now, many of us have been left wondering what to do.
That’s why IdealRaw stepped up to the plate and decided to address each of these issues and knock them out one by one!
The final product was IdealRaw Protein Bars, which seriously have become my new favorite bar, hands down.
1. They really are high protein
IdealRaw Protein Bars are packed with 18 – 19 of plant-based protein using rice, pea and quinoa! That’s seriously a ton of protein!
And because it’s a blend of multiple plant protein sources, you get a more complete amino acid profile than many bars can deliver!
2. They’re minimally processed and contain no refined sugar
You won’t find any processed ingredients in IdealRaw Protein Bars. They’re also naturally sweetened with 100% organic ingredients!
You can rest easy knowing that you’re not filling your body full of yucky chemicals and unnatural ingredients that do more harm than good and leave you feeling less than your best.
3. They taste amazing
IdealRaw Protein Bars are soft and chewy, and they have a flavor that is unrivaled by any other bar out there! In fact, they taste better than most protein bars period. Not only do I enjoy eating them, but I actually look forward to it! It’s basically a treat that’s healthy for you!
4. They’re versatile and super convenient
IdealRaw Protein Bars are portable, easy to store, and make for the perfect on-the-go snack. And because of the awesome macro profile, they can even be used as a quick meal replacement!
If your days are anything like mine, you’re constantly on-the-go! Whether it’s picking up kids, going hiking, or running errands, these protein bars come in clutch.
IdealRaw Protein Bars are sure to become your new favorite sidekick helping you meet your daily protein needs.
And because they’re certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and totally delicious, you can be sure that you’re feeding your body only the best!
This is the only body you’ll ever have. Be sure to treat it right!