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11 Clever Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake

Easy swaps to make your meals and snacks more satisfying


Alongside carbohydrates and fats, protein stands as an essential macronutrient. Not only does it provide you with energy, but protein is also essential for proper bodily functions like regulating hormones and maintaining healthy cells.

If you frequent the gym, you might already be monitoring your protein intake to optimize your gains. However, protein plays an important role in all diets, from children to older adults, athletes to office workers. Looking for clever ways to up your protein intake? Keep reading!


Make mung bean pancakes

This delicious gluten-free breakfast option tastes like a cross between a pancake and an omelet. Simply blend soaked mung beans into a batter and cook them into delicious, protein-rich pancakes. Top with fresh fruit or a dollop of yogurt, or serve with hummus and a few grilled veggies for a savory option.


Add collagen powder to coffee

Upgrade your morning brew by incorporating collagen powder! This versatile supplement is perfect for adding a protein boost to your coffee. On top of its potential benefits for hair, skin, and joint health, collagen powder dissolves easily, seamlessly integrating into various hot or cold beverages like lattes and matcha (immune-boosting bonus!).


Eat your beans and lentils

Beans and lentils bring a flexible and budget-friendly protein punch to any meal. Cooked lentils pack 12 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving, and pinto beans and black beans offer 8 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving. Eating beans may also improve low-grade inflammation and play a role in managing risk for immune-related diseases.


Use protein powder in overnight oats

Amp up the protein content of your breakfast by adding protein powder to your overnight oats. Mix your preferred protein powder into the oatmeal and let it soak overnight for a convenient and nutritious morning meal. Just make sure you use enough liquid to avoid a chalky texture!


Increase your protein portion size

Sometimes it’s as simple as it sounds: one of the easiest ways to up your protein intake is by increasing portion sizes. Whether it’s a larger serving of lean meats, an extra scoop of beans, or an additional egg, boosting protein portions ensures a more substantial and satisfying meal.

A good rule of thumb is to aim for 20 to 25 grams of protein per meal, recognizing that individual needs may vary based on factors like age, gender, and activity level. Keep in mind that increasing portion sizes also means increasing calories, so be mindful of your goals, activity levels, and overall calorie consumption.


Try protein pastas

Looking to jazz up your pasta night while getting some extra protein? Try swapping out traditional pasta for protein pasta. These innovative alternatives, often made from ingredients like chickpeas, lentils, or edamame, provide a tasty twist while delivering an extra dose of protein. Try protein pasta in your favorite dishes, from classic spaghetti to creative pasta salads.


Have a savory breakfast

Look beyond traditional sweet breakfast options and explore protein-rich savory dishes like breakfast bowls or tofu scrambles. Research suggests that enjoying protein in the morning can contribute to improved satiety, enhanced muscle preservation, and sustained energy levels throughout the day.

Tip: not a fan of savory breakfasts? Keep it sweet and still high in protein with this Strawberry Muesli Pudding.


Keep nuts nearby

Packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, nuts provide a satisfying and nutritious solution between meals. Whether it’s almonds, walnuts, cashews, or pistachios, these portable powerhouses not only contribute to your daily protein goals, but also make for a crunch-worthy, energy-boosting snack that will keep you fueled throughout the day.


Cook rice in bone broth

Elevate the nutritional profile of your rice dishes by opting for a cooking method that combines flavor and protein. This simple substitution not only enhances taste, but also introduces the benefits of collagen and additional protein to your meal. Whether you’re preparing a comforting bowl of risotto or a side dish for your favorite protein, using bone broth adds depth, nutrition, and delicious flavor to your culinary creations.


Add silken tofu to smoothies

Give protein powder the morning off by adding tofu to your smoothies. With a neutral taste and creamy texture, silken tofu works well as a thickener in your favorite berry smoothie. Whether you’re vegan or simply looking to diversify your protein sources, this secret smoothie ingredient is a great way to amp up your daily protein intake.


Snack on dessert hummus

Satisfy your sweet cravings while boosting your protein intake by making dessert hummus. With chickpeas as its base, and then sweetened with ingredients like maple syrup, cocoa, or peanut butter, this innovative and protein-rich dish provides a tasty alternative to traditional desserts.

Try this Cookie Dough Hummus for the ultimate protein-packed treat! Pair it with sliced fruit or pretzels for a delightful and satisfying snack.



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