You want to lose fat and get lean? You want to pack on pound after pound of muscle? Protein is the fuel you need!
Protein is a macro nutrient composed of amino acids. Amino acids are necessary for growth and function of the human body. The body can manufacture 10 of the 20 different amino acid types that are essential, therefore the other 10 has to be obtained from the food you eat.
The human body cannot store protein so you need to keep a constant intake of protein up daily. To achieve the best results in the shortest time you need to consume 2 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight every day. This ensures that your body will not be held back by lack of fuel. Excess protein is burned up in the body and used for energy but not enough protein results in a disfunctioning body and muscle deterioration.
Protein is used most effectively when eaten with a starchy food, full of carbohydrates. Around 20-30g of protein to 40-50g of carbs pre and post workout is the ultimate fuel. The carbs give you energy to train, this enables your body to use the protein for a fast recovery, rather than being burnt up as energy. The carbs replaces muscle glycogen after training leading to a faster recovery.
Here are the 10 building blocks for your muscles!
- Milk-8g protein per glass
This is an easy, cheap way to get good protein into your body fast. The average glass of milk has about 8 grams of protein. Drink full fat if you are looking to put on serious mass or drink semi skimmed if you are wanting to get lean.
- Lean Beef- 36g protein per 100g serving
Lean beef can take a while to digest so best use it as an evening meal food, not post workout. A 100g serving provides you with a massive 36g of protein, let alone being the best natural source of creatine which boosts your strength and aids muscle building.
- Chicken Breast-33g protein per 100g serving
Chicken is ideal for gaining lean muscle mass due to its low saturated fat content. It is also rich in niacin, which helps your body convert your food in to the energy you need.
- Egg’s-19g of protein per egg
A perfect little punch you should take to the gym (hard boiled). 19g Of protein and helps keep a constant blood sugar level, preventing craving for foods packed with sugar. Excellent for losing weight but putting on muscle.
- Cod-63g of protein per 100g serving
Cod should be named a super food. Its super low in saturated fats (0.5g per 100g) packed with protein(63g per 100g) and is a good source of magnesium: helps your muscles contract and prevents cramp.
- Tuna- 30-35g per can
A great tasting, fast protein boost (30-35g) that you can eat within many healthy meals! A great meal would be tuna on a jacket potato. Stick to tuna in brine or spring water, chilli tuna and tuna in sauce only gives you unwanted fat. Try and eat with light mayonnaise if you cant eat it alone.
- Salmon- 22g per 100g serving
Another tasty option that can be eaten easily on its own or within a meal. Watch out though, don’t eat more than twice a week due to the mercury content.
- Turkey-28g protein per 100g serving
Turkey is the best you can eat if you are looking to lose weight but stack on muscle. It contains 0.5g of saturated fat per 100g but packs a punch with the high protein content (28g per 100g serving). Choose turkey whenever possible!
- Pork-22g per 100g serving
A tasty alternative to white meat, pork has 22g of protein per 100g. It has a higher fat content than white meat so don’t eat too often.
- Nuts and Seeds- Up to 29g protein per 100g serving
Nuts and seeds are an excellent high protein snack that you can eat anytime of the day, even whilst working. They are rich in fiber, essential fatty acids and vitamin A and E. Pumpkin seeds pack a whopping 29 of protein per 100g and peanuts contain 25g of protein per 100g. Try not to eat salted peanuts as too much salt is bad!
Incorporate all of these foods in to a healthy balanced diet and your hard work in the kitchen will help you reap your rewards at the gym!