A vital component to any diet or training program is protein.
PROTEIN. PROTEIN. PROTEIN.
Protein is made up of amino acids, lots and lots of amino acids. These amino acids are what builds up your muscles and what makes them bigger and stronger. Consuming enough protein to give your body the proper amount is essential to muscle growth.
So if everyone knew that protein is so vital to muscle growth, why do so many of us struggle to get the proper amounts? Well, I can tell you that it’s probably from the food you’re eating, you silly! In this blog, I’m going to go through my top 5 favorite foods for protein consumption. Eat these, and you’ll have a great start to getting the accurate amounts of protein for your training day!
Did you expect anything less? Seriously?
Chicken is awesome! It’s packed full of amino acids and proteins that are essential for muscle growth. This high quality protein gives your body great resources for muscle repair, bone strength, and helps control your weight. Also, on top of all these great qualities, there are almost endless ways to prepare it, which means it’s difficult to get burned out on it.
- Lean Beef
Making it in at number two on this list is: lean beef. I know, a lot of people out there are upset that I chose chicken over beef, but trust me it’s not necessarily a competition between the two. Both are excellent sources of protein, packed with great nutrients essential for gaining muscle.
At just three ounces, beef contains around 150-160 calories, lots of vitamins and amino acids, and of course protein (lots and lots of protein). Why did I choose chicken over beef? Chicken has 27g of protein per three ounces, at 138 calories. So, if I were going to argue over which meat is better for the protein-to-calorie ratio, chicken wins in my book.
Fish is great for any lifter who is looking to put on muscle. Take tuna for example. Tuna, at just four ounces, has 20 grams of protein at just 90 calories. Not only that, fish is stuffed with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are great for metabolism, heart health and brain health.
- Grains (Rice and Quinoa)
Grains like rice and quinoa are a unique and healthy way to meet your protein goals. I included them on this list because they provide useful services for both digestion, and protein consumption, in just one cup. Boosting your energy, hormones, and metabolism are just some of the benefits. Another is 8 grams of protein per 280 calories with 0 cholesterol, which is a big issue with getting your protein from meats.
Oatmeal, oh how I love oatmeal.
Oatmeal is perfect for breakfast to start your day off with carbs at a low GI index. On top of that, it can be used as a snack in between meals, and help keep away hunger and fat gains. Also, for 320 calories worth of oatmeal, you get 8 grams of cholesterol free protein.
These five foods are great for adding protein and other essential nutrients to your diet. The meats are great for protein and amino acid consumption. However, grains like quinoa and oatmeal are great for adding in other nutrients to your diet while keeping your metabolism and energy high consistently and naturally.
My Advice: Pick and combine options that work best for you! Just keep an eye on your cholesterol and sodium intake, and you will be golden!
- This post was based off of top suggestions for foods to consume for protein intake. I did not consider whey protein powder, or any other supplement on this list, because I do not consider them Though supplements are great and awesome for any lifting program, they’re meant to supplement a diet, not be your diet.
- Do you agree with my list? Feel free to comment and leave feedback, let’s have a discussion!