Protein Without the Powder

How much protein should an athlete should take in per day?  I get asked this question, a lot.  Rule of thumb for an adult endurance athlete is .6 to .7g per pound of body weight.  For example, an endurance athlete that is 150lbs would need approximately 90g to 105g of protein intake each day to allow the body to recover and become stronger.

Athletes reducing meat consumption and those with a vegetarian or vegan diet have a challenge in finding non-meat protein packed options.  Many resort to the abundance of protein supplement powders on the market.  Some athletes try to eat their nutrients in whole foods limiting and/or avoiding supplements.

Listed here are some protein packed Vegetables and Fruits


Soy: 19g per cup.

Artichoke:  4.2g per cup, cooked.

Beans:  Black-eyed, kidney, lima, navy, and pinto- 14g per cup

Black beans- 15.2g per cup.

Broccoli- 4.6g per cup, cooked.

Cauliflower- 3g per cup

Corn- 5g per cup

Spinach- 6g drained (frozen/canned), or 5.3g cooked, per cup

Sweet potato- 5g per potato, don’t remove the skin- that drops it to 3g


Avocado:  4g  per cup

Banana:  3.89g

Coconut:  3.33g per cup

Concord grapes:  2g per cup

Going nutty trying to find protein?  Brazil nuts pack the most protein bang at 23.4g!  Walnuts 15.23g.

I hope these give you an idea for some other protein options.  Planning your meals ahead will help you to make sure you are getting the protein you need.

Be Healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun

Coach Kristie

*this post was originally published and can be found on the PRSFit Nation blog



2 comments on “Protein Without the Powder

  1. Christian says:

    Excellent post! Quick question, knowing that most vegetables don’t supply complete proteins, do you have any recipe in particular that you enjoy that has a combination of vegetables to ensure we get all essential aminos? Thanks!

    • Thank you for taking the time to read Christian. Soy is a complete protein, another bonus to that protein power punch. Rule of thumb is to have a lot of variety in your diet with fruits and vegetables, with the variety there won’t be a worry of “pairing” to ensure the essential aminos. Think variety and lots of color and you’ll be good. Also, pairing doesn’t have to happen in the same meal. For example beans and rice complete each other…but do not have to be consumed in the same meal.

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