Proteins are one of the most important nutrients to a human body. They are essential for healthy living. Low protein intake impairs muscle strength, muscle function, bone health, immune function and muscle mass.
Eating the right amount of proteins and at the right time is important for the general health but importantly effective for weight loss and muscle gain. Sufficient intake of proteins when losing weight will help maximize fat loss and minimize muscle loss. Also, keeping your muscle stores high prevents the reduction of the resting metabolic rate which would otherwise make it harder to lose body fat or even maintain healthy weight.
How much protein should you take?
According to study, an individual should take 1.2-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to prevent bone and muscle loss. This amount is also enough to maximize workouts.
Example, if you weigh 150 pounds = 68kg, you should take 68 x 1.2=82grams of proteins daily on the lower end and a maximum of 68 x 1.6=109grams of proteins daily
Best protein sources for your muscle
Not all protein sources are ideal for muscle gain. This is because the quality of protein in different foods varies due to the availability of EAA (Essential Amino Acids) as well as the digestibility of the proteins.
Here is a list of 7 best protein source for your muscle
- Lean Beef
If you want to gain muscle, you should make lean beef a staple of your diet. It is loaded with all types of nutrients that enhance muscle growth including B vitamins, Zinc and iron. Most importantly, lean Beef provides the body with quality protein and high level amino acids that work together with insulin to promote the growth of muscles.
If you trying to lose weight, lean Beef also comes in handy. A 3oz of lean beef provides almost the same amount of protein as 1.5 cups of beans but contains half the amount of calories.
- Skinless chicken
Just like beef, chicken is a great source of high quality protein that is essential for muscle repair and maintenance, weight maintenance and bone health. In addition, chicken contains relatively low amount of fat which is mostly the unsaturated type that protects one against heart disease.
- Cottage Cheese
Not many people are aware that cottage cheese is a great source of protein. It contains a high ratio of both casein and live cultures. Casein is a slow digesting protein meaning it is ideal for muscle maintenance. This is especially useful for people who intend to stay for long periods without eating. The live creatures which are also referred to as good bacteria helps the body to break down nutrients as well as enhance their absorption leading to bigger and stronger muscles.
Cottage cheese is also a great source of calcium, vitamin B12 among other important nutrients.
Eggs contain nine essential amino acids, high quality protein, vitamin D and the right type of fat. Eggs are not harmful to your health and they provide the best value for your money.
- Whey Protein
The reason why whey protein is one of the best pre workout and a popular fitness supplements is due to the fact that it is a convenient and fast source of protein. It is also priced reasonably. Most bodybuilders mix them with their meals, right after a workout and when they wake up to enhance their muscle mass gain.
If you choose to use whey protein as a boost, it is important to also get high quality protein from whole foods
- Tuna and Other Fish
Fish is well known to be packed with high quality proteins as well as omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 aids in weight loss as well as enhances the functioning of different body process including metabolism.
- Soy protein
Lastly, soy protein is one of the most common vegetable based source of protein. It is a by product of soya bean and it has almost all the nutrients required by the body for muscle growth including fiber and flavones. Though it is not as affordable, it is a great choice especially if you cannot absorb lactose or gluten.
Increase your protein intake increases metabolism helping you to maintain your muscle mass all of which helps with fat burning. This makes proteins one of the best thermogenic fat burner. In fact, the body burns more calories when you eat sufficient proteins rather than when you digest carbs or fats.