You probably already know that protein is vital in any decent diet especially if you work out a lot or if you’re an athlete. I aim for about 220g a day as I weigh 220lbs. Once you’ve worked out your calories, protein is the first thing you should work out for your nutritional programme. However you will have realised too that meat and fish (great protein sources) in general are expensive and getting more and more expensive due to energy and food costs of raising/catching the animal. I was a skint student once and the truth is a lot of people are struggling with the costs of living nowadays and especially where I live in London town! So I thought I would drop an article about good protein sources on a budget.
Cottage cheese – Great source of slow release protein and fairly low in fat and calories. I like it on an oat biscuit or with a salad. As I write this it’s £1.49 in Tesco for 300g and each 100g has about 10g of protein so 20g of protein per £1 is quite good.
Liver (lambs) – Love it or hate it liver is one of the most nutritionally dense foods you can find. I wouldn’t recommend eating it every day but twice a week is fine. It contains roughly 20g of protein per 100g and costs £1 for 450g so that’s 90g of protein per £1. Boom! A lot of people don’t like the taste but if you add a sauce to it it tastes much better. It also goes well with bacon or mash potato.
Beef protein powder – I recently found beef protein powder. It’s good for people who are lactose intolerant but it’s also very cheap and fairly tasty mixed in shakes etc. I got one from myprotein.co.uk which has 87g of protein per 100g serving. 1kg cost £16 so thats over 50g of protein per £1! Now you see why powders are good if you’re too busy to make some real food or just to reach your protein goal for the day.
Sardines – The tinned sardine has a special place in my heart and they’re great for your heart too packing a decent amount of omega 3 and they’re VERY nutritionally dense. One of my ‘dinners’ as a student was pasta, tomato sauce, onions and sardines. 100g will give you 17g of protein and a 120g can at Tesco is £0.35 so that’s over 20g of protein for 35p!!
Whey powder – The one a lot of people drink after a workout. It has a fast absorption rate, high in leucine, convenient (as powder), low in fat so it is popular as a post workout drink. It’s actually fairly cheap and great in shakes mixed with veg or fruit. I prefer whey isolate as I find it gives me no gas!! It’s got 22g of protein per 25g and costs (depending on brand) £22 per 1kg. So that’s 44g of protein for £1.10 which is good.
Eggs – Eggs are and always will be one of the best protein sources mother nature has to provide. They’re so versatile as well in terms of cooking and still fairly cheap. You can buy 10 eggs for £2 and so it works out as roughly 35g of protein per £1.
Tuna (canned) – Classic body building food which is fairly cheap. I wouldn’t suggest having it everyday but a few times a week is fine. Tuna pasta was another staple as a student too! 23g protein per 100g and at 66p per 100g it works out cheap.
Turkey – This has become a staple for me. It goes well with loads of things (stir fry, curry etc) and it’s packs in the protein with little fat and carbs so I can save them for something else! 400g is £3 at tesco and 100g has roughly 22g of protein. 88g of protein for £3 is pretty good if you ask me.
So there you go. I realise there are others and obviously if you buy in bulk it works out a lot cheaper but these are nice options to include.