Proteins are the body’s building blocks. They are vital to maintaining good health, allowing your cells and tissue to grow and repair. It’s no surprise that protein is also every muscle builder’s best friend, as it plays a vital role in both gains and recovery. So what are the best sources of protein?
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Often, when we think of protein, the most obvious food that often comes to mind is chicken. Chicken is a great source of protein and one of the most easily found in the western world, which is why it takes the top spot. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should hit KFC after every gym session.
A natural follow-up to chicken is the egg. Don’t feel like you have to swig raw egg yolks every morning. Instead, enjoy this protein-packed food every day or several times a week, mixing up the preparation and cooking methods to keep things interesting. Just try not to use too much oil or butter when you’re frying or scrambling.
Milk is one of the easiest ways to get your protein fix. Whether you drink it straight, mix it into your shake or add it to your coffee, it’s an awesome way to get those numbers up without trying too hard. Try to steer clear of any milk with added sugar, such as chocolate milk.
All meat contains protein, with some types being the most nutritionally dense. Consider lean cuts of beef, pork and turkey, which will add a bit of variation to your diet. If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, many meat substitutes offer similar protein benefits – just be sure to read the label.
As well as meat, fish is an incredible source of protein. It’s also naturally lower in fat and is an awesome way to get more healthy fats into your diet. Tuna or salmon is a good choice, but there is plenty of other fish to choose from to keep your diet varied and exciting.
Seeds are an incredibly effective way to add more protein to your diet. Enjoy a handful of mixed seeds as your mid-morning snack, or sprinkle them onto your breakfast or dessert. Pumpkin seeds are one of the best choices, along with sunflower seeds, hemp seeds and sesame seeds.
Nuts and nut butter are a tasty way to up your protein intake, including walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans and pistachios. A plant-based and paleo option, nuts will help you to build muscle as well as enjoy clearer skin and shinier hair. If you are opting for nut butter, just be mindful of any added sugar.
Finally, beans. There are so many beans out there to choose from, from kidney beans and cannellini beans to broad beans and butter beans. Whether you want to cook up a three-bean chilli, some bean burgers or a tasty burrito, you’re sure to get a powerful punch of protein.
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.