Protein FAQ’S

How does the Protein Calculator work out how much protein I need?

The energy value and protein ranges we’ve given you are based on the Ministry of Health Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. These provide guidance on desirable energy intakes for healthy populations, as well as acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges which help you to meet micronutrient needs and support optimal lean body mass. Find out more information about how your protein range was calculated.

What is a protein intake range?

A protein range can help to give you an idea about the amount of protein you should be aiming for each day, for optimal health. It is based on the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR), which has been accepted by the NZ Ministry of Health and Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. The AMDR recommends that we get between 15-25% of our energy from protein. Click here more information about the AMDR for protein and other macro and micronutrients.

Why do protein ranges differ between people?

Protein needs can vary between each individual, depending on age, gender, physical activity levels and overall energy needs. If you are very active throughout your day you will need more, but if you often find yourself sitting at a desk, you’re unlikely to need as much.

Aren’t New Zealanders getting more than enough protein?

Most New Zealanders eat more than the minimum amount of protein required to meet their Recommended Dietary Intake (RDIs), which are set to cover physiological needs and achieve a balance between the protein we eat and the protein we lose. For most people aged over the age of 14 years, this is between 45-81 g of protein per day.

Intakes above this level however, may provide additional health benefits and this is reflected in the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR), which was developed to help prevent chronic diseases, meet micronutrient needs and support optimal lean body mass. The AMDR recommends that protein should make up between 15-25% of your total energy intake. So for someone with an overall energy need of 2,000 Cal (8,360 kJ), that’s between 74-123 g protein each day. For someone with an energy requirement of 2,500 Cal (10,450 kJ), their optimal protein target would be in the range of 90 – 150 g of protein each day.

The latest NZ Adult Nutrition Survey from 2008/09 found on average, women and men were getting on average 71g and 102g respectively, which was around 16% of their overall energy intake. Click here For more information

Why do you say on packaging that 90g of protein meets the needs of most healthy adults?

For optimal health, the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range recommends that between 15-25% of our overall energy intake comes from protein. We think that 90g is an appropriate protein target for most healthy adults, as it’s the minimum for someone consuming 2,500 Calories (10,450kJ), and the middle of the range for someone consuming 2,000 (8,360kJ) Calories.

We acknowledge that certain populations may need more or less than 90g for optimal health. To find out your individual protein target, you can access the Protein Calculator here.

How much do my kids need for health and why does it differ?

The protein range determined by the AMDR does not apply to kids as the proportion of protein they need from energy is not as high when compared to people aged over 14 years. The below table outlines their minimum requirements for growth and maintenance of lean body mass.

Age

Recommended Dietary Intake of Protein per day (Boys)


Recommended Dietary Intake of Protein per day (Girls)

1-3 years
1.08 g/kg of body weight
1.08 g/kg of body weight
4-8 years
0.91 g/kg of body weight
0.91 g/kg of body weight
9-13 years
0.94 g/kg of body weight
0.87 g/kg of body weight

For example, a child aged between 1-3 years who weighs 14kg (on average) would need around 14g protein per day. A child aged between 4-8 years who weighs 22kg (on average) would need around 20g protein per day. Click here for more information on protein needs for children under the age of 14.

What does protein do and what are the benefits?

Protein is one of the major macronutrients found in our food and plays an integral role in our bodies. It consists of chains of smaller building blocks called amino acids that are used by our body to help build and maintain muscle, maintain strong bones and build and repair body tissues. Protein can also be used as an energy source.

Every tissue in our body contains protein – including our muscles, bones, brain, skin and body organs. We are about 40% protein by volume and need protein to stay active and mobile. So without it, our bodies would have little structure or function. Find out more about the number of incredible roles in plays in our bodies.

How can I get more protein across my day?

You may be surprised to find out that a large variety of foods and beverages that we eat every day contain protein. Sources of protein can range from meat and dairy products (such as beef, poultry and fish, as well as milk, yoghurt and cheese), right through to eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds and some wholegrain breads. Including a wide variety of protein-containing foods, spread throughout the day will ensure you get enough to meet your individual requirements.

The major sources in the Australian and New Zealand diet are meat, poultry and fish (about 33%), cereals and cereal-based foods (about 25%) and dairy foods (about 16%). Vegetables also provide about 8%. While some of these foods may surprise you, this is because foods like bread and vegetables are so commonly eaten that they end up contributing relatively high proportions of protein to the New Zealand diet.

What are the different types of protein I can get and why do they differ in quality?

As well as considering how much protein we eat, protein quality also has a role to play in supporting optimal health. There are around 20 different amino acids that make up protein. Nine of these are what we would consider to be ‘essential’ (or indispensable). While our bodies are very good at creating and assembling amino acids into the types of protein our body needs, we cannot synthesize essential amino acids, which means we need to source them from our diet.

High quality proteins contain a complete set of readily absorbable essential amino acids that are needed for protein synthesis in the human body. Low quality proteins may lack one or more of the essential amino acids, have them in amounts that are too low, or may not be digested completely. High quality proteins are commonly found in animal derived foods and some soy products, while lower quality proteins are often found in other plant sources. Dairy protein is of particularly high quality protein as it is contains a complete set of essential amino acids that are easily digested and absorbed by the body.

Why should I spread protein through the day?

Typically, protein consumption is skewed heavily towards the evening. Emerging research suggests that spreading the consumption of protein more evenly across your meals during the day may actually help stimulate muscle synthesis, and lead to positive muscle balance more effectively than skewing your intake in the evening.

Doesn’t too much protein lead to kidney disease or bone damage?

Confusion around protein and kidney disease may stem from the recommendation that people diagnosed with existing kidney disease may need to have lower protein intakes because their kidneys have to work harder to process the protein they eat. However there is little evidence to suggest protein intake leads to kidney disease in healthy individuals.

You may have also heard that too much protein is bad for bones. There is also little evidence to back this up. Adequate protein intake is in fact very important for the development and maintenance of healthy bones.

Can too much protein make you fat?

Getting enough protein can be helpful in managing optimal body composition, when combined with exercise. For example, adequate protein intake assists muscle growth from physical activity and also helps to preserve muscle mass.

However, protein, like all macronutrients (such as carbohydrate and fat), contributes energy and if calories are consumed in excess, it can make you gain weight. If consumed in excess, amino acids can be converted to fat and stored for later use.

Isn’t protein something that body builders use to get huge? I don’t want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Protein is needed by the body for a wide range of functions – not just for building and maintaining muscle. In order to build any form of new muscle as an adult, you need to combine weight bearing exercise with a healthy balanced diet which contains adequate protein. Bulking up would require hours of heavy weight lifting exercise designed for increasing muscle growth and a specific diet high in protein.

What does a serve of dairy look like and how much protein do I get?

The below table will help to give you an idea of what a serving of dairy looks like, and how much you will get:

Dairy Source
Serve Size
Protein per serve (g)
Anchor Standard Full Fat Milk 250 mL
8.3 g
Anchor Trim Milk
250 mL
10 g
Anchor Protein+ Milk
250 mL
15 g
Mainland Edam Cheese
40 g
10.7 g
Mainland Tasty Cheese
40 g
9.3 g
De Winkel Natural Yoghurt
150 g
8.4 g
Anchor Protein+ Natural Greek-Style Yoghurt
150 g
12.3 g
Anchor Cottage Cheese
45 g
6.2 g

Why does trim milk contain more protein?

Trim milk contains slightly more protein. This is because when you remove a component of milk, such as fat, the levels of everything else within the milk, including protein, naturally increase proportionally.

What about other dairy products (e.g. butter, sour cream)? Are they a source of protein?

Other dairy products such as butter, sour cream, cream cheese and cream are not considered sources of protein. This is because they do not contain the full goodness of milk and are a more concentrated source of dairy fat. Butter, cream, cream cheese or sour cream will provide you with no more than 1 gram of protein per serve.

Are the Anchor Protein + products overly processed to get the extra protein in the milk? Are the cows fed something weird to get it in there?

No the cows are not fed anything different to increase the level of protein found in Anchor Protein+ milk – in fact, all Anchor milk comes from the same cows. Anchor Protein+ milk simply undergoes a different process, called ultrafiltration, which naturally increases the level of protein. Ultrafiltration works like a large sieve, concentrating protein on one side. This is the same process used for other Anchor products, such as Anchor Calci+.

Are ingredients used in Anchor Protein + products genetically modified?

No – protein+ products are not genetically modified in any way. We use the same milk for all of our Anchor products.

Shouldn’t there be enough protein in dairy anyway?

Dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese and milk, all deliver a source of protein in every serve. However our protein+ range all contain at least 25% more protein than the category average and deliver at least 10 grams of protein in every serve, making them high in protein. Having a naturally higher level of protein in your dairy products can help you to spread your protein intake more evenly over the day and more easily, by helping you to enjoy more high quality protein at times of the day when you typically eat less protein.

Is this safe to give to my kids?

Yes it is safe to give protein+ products to children, however the proportion of protein they need from energy is not as high when compared to people aged over 14 years. The below table outlines their minimum requirements for growth and maintenance of lean body mass.

Age

Recommended Dietary Intake of Protein per day (Boys)


Recommended Dietary Intake of Protein per day (Girls)

1-3 years
1.08 g/kg of body weight
1.08 g/kg of body weight
4-8 years
0.91 g/kg of body weight
0.91 g/kg of body weight
9-13 years
0.94 g/kg of body weight
0.87 g/kg of body weight

For example, a child aged between 1-3 years who weighs 14kg (on average) would need around 14g protein per day. A child aged between 4-8 years who weighs 22kg (on average) would need around 20g protein per day.

What’s the difference between your smoothie powder and the stuff you get from the sport supplement shops?

Anchor Protein+ Smoothie Booster is designed to be an ingredient which can be added to your smoothie rather than a stand-alone protein powder. Vanilla and Strawberry may be mixed with milk if you prefer. Our smoothie powder is a blend of whey protein concentrate, skim milk powder and calcium caseinate which ensures you are getting a good source of high quality dairy protein in every serve. Our smoothie powders also contain 2g fibre, and less than 5g sugar in every serve.

Are Anchor Protein + products vegetarian?

Anchor Protein + Milk and Anchor Protein + Smoothie Boosters are suitable for vegetarians.

For Protein + Yoghurt;

-The plain, vanilla, honey, blueberry & passionfruit variants are suitable for vegetarians.

-Strawberry and Mixed Berry are not suitable for vegetarians as they contain the colour carmine (derived from animal origin).

I thought protein was from meat and eggs.

The protein in Anchor Protein+ products comes from cow’s milk, which naturally contains a source of protein.

Are you going to make any other Protein + products? Like butter or sour cream etc?

Products such as butter and sour cream do not deliver very high levels of protein. In fact, a single serve of butter, sour cream, cream cheese or fresh cream will provide you with no more than 1g protein. Certain dairy products need to contain a certain proportion of fat under the food standards code – for example, butter must contain no less than 80% milk fat.

If dairy is so good for you, why do you need to add more protein?

The most recent NZ adult nutrition survey found that New Zealanders are getting around 16% of their total energy from protein, on average. Dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese and milk, all deliver a source of protein in every serve, along with the added goodness of calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin and vitamin B12 and potassium. The New Zealand Ministry of Health guidelines recommend we consume between 2-3 servings of dairy each day.

The Anchor Protein+ range all contain at least 25% more protein than the category average and deliver at least 10g protein in every serve, making them high in protein. This allows you to easily select higher protein options of common dairy products you already use to easily boost your intake throughout the day, helping you to enjoy high quality protein at times of the day when you typically eat less protein.