When you want to increase your protein intake, what are your go-to foods?
Right? Sure, these are some of the best sources of dietary protein for most people. They’re easy to find and relatively inexpensive. And they’re already a part of most people’s diet.
But there are excellent sources of protein beyond these that can help you build lean muscle and get strong.
Macronutrients - carbohydrates, fats, and proteins - are all essential for healthy and building muscle. But protein is of special interest if you want to lose weight and build lean muscle at the same time. Why is that?
Protein is used to maintain, repair, and build muscle. Research shows that your body needs protein - especially after each workout - to repair the damage done during exercise. That leads to less soreness, reduced injury, and greater muscle growth.
Eating plenty of protein also helps you stay feeling full throughout the day. That prevents overeating and binging on empty junk calories.
Want to expand your dietary options and maximize your protein intake? Add these natural sources of the essential muscle building macronutrient to your diet.
This versatile dairy product contains about 26 grams per cup. While it might be a bit bland on its own, you can add fruit for a sweet, high protein treat. You can even use it to make a lighter, yet still delicious, mac and cheese dinner.
Greek yogurt does not contain liquid whey. That makes it thicker and more concentrated. The result is a creamy texture and a protein content close to double that of regular yogurt. One 6-ounce container of greek yogurt can pack up to 20 grams of protein.
Versatile and tasty, peanut butter (and almond butter, and any other nut butter) contains roughly 3-4 grams of protein per tablespoon. Put it on celery and carrots for a quick and easy high protein snack.
Nut butter is also great for adding to a protein shake. It brings flavor, nutrition, and texture. Try chocolate milk mixed with two scoops of peanut butter and a ripe banana. It’s tasty and high in protein.
A cup of chickpeas contains about 15 grams of protein. Not sure how to cook them? Try them mashed in hummus. It’s a great dip for vegetables and offers the benefits of a high protein snack.
This popular high fat fruit also contains 4 grams of protein per cup. Add it to toast, put it on your salad, or mash it into guacamole and enjoy.
These natural sources of protein can help you stay in shape and build lean muscle. If your goal is to get strong and increase lean muscle mass, research shows you should aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. That will ensure that your body has plenty of protein available for essential functions and for synthesizing new muscle.
Picky eater? Not excited about adding new sources of protein to your diet? Slowly add some of the foods mentioned in this article. Research recipes online. Be brave and open up to the possibility of new flavors you haven’t tasted before. Little by little, you will adapt to new protein-rich foods.
In the meantime, use a whey protein supplement to make sure you’re getting all the protein you need. It will help you remain at peak health and avoid reduced muscle gain because of limited protein in your diet.
Keep working hard at the gym. Don’t stop using a whey protein supplement and the best supplements for muscle gain to get strong. With patience and willpower, you can improve your diet and enhance your health.