If you’re trying to get bigger and stronger, you need the best protein for muscle growth. Working out is very important but muscle growth doesn’t happen in the gym. Strength training breaks down muscle tissue meaning; that while you’re getting that pump at the gym, you’re literally tearing your muscle fibers apart. During recovery that tissue rebuilds stronger and bigger, but that can’t happen at an optimal state if you’re not supplying your body with the right nutrients and whole foods it needs.
What you eat, and how much, are the two main components for muscle gains. Exercising and doing strength training without adequate nutrition, especially without enough protein, is like putting water in your gas tank and expecting it to run like you used premium gas.
Both proper nutrition and physical activity are extremely important if you want to gain lean muscle. The essential nutrient, protein, is a non-negotiable part of your diet if you want to build stronger muscles. Continue reading to see the 10 best protein foods to help strengthen muscle.
10 Best Proteins for Muscle Growth:
1. Egg Whites:
Egg whites contain high-quality protein, essential amino acids, healthy fats, and other important nutrients like vitamin B and D and choline. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are particularly important for muscle gain.
2. Chicken Breast:
The breast is the leanest part of chicken and is the type of meat that should be included in your diet, if you want to gain muscle. They are filled with high-quality protein. Apart from proteins, chicken also contains essential vitamins; riboflavin, niacin, biotin, B6, B12, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. These nutrients develop a healthy nervous system and higher brain function.
3. Greek Yogurt:
For those of us who have an unquenchable sweet tooth, this is for you. Dairy products not only contain the mineral calcium but are also rich in high-quality protein. You can literally eat yogurt with anything; breakfast, a snack, and even dessert. My favorite yogurt is Oikos. They have a robust selection of flavors and are super high in protein. Each cup has about 15 grams of protein.
4. Cottage cheese:
Another dairy product packed with protein is cottage cheese. It contains a significant amount of muscle-building amino acid leucine. Cottage cheese is an excellent source of calcium, a mineral that plays a major role in tooth and bone health, and aids in the prevention of osteoporosis. It also helps you to regulate your blood pressure.
Salmon is highly considered one of the most nutritious foods in the world. It is an amazing source of protein, healthy fats, and various vitamins and minerals. Salmon is plush in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and decrease risk factors for major diseases.
Beans are such a crucial source of protein because they contain amino acids, which are the protein building blocks that the body uses to make new tissues, such as bone, muscle, hair, skin, and blood. Even better, they are essential minerals with great sources of fiber, vitamin B, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Some of the most popular bean varieties include:
- lima beans
- black beans
- black-eyed peas
- kidney beans
- garbanzo beans
- navy beans
- pinto beans
- red beans
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a great source of both carbohydrates and protein. Chickpeas help control blood sugar, and have a low glycemic index — meaning your body absorbs and digests them slowly. Most importantly, chickpeas have been proven to boost one’s mental health. Chickpeas have choline, a nutrient that helps make imperative chemicals for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions.
Shrimp is low in calories but rich in nutrients — especially protein. Three ounces (85 grams) of shrimp contain about 12 grams of protein and only 60 calories. What’s more, shrimp contains antioxidants like astaxanthin, which reduces inflammation and oxidative damage to your muscles. Often times, we don’t think about the restorative aspects of training. Shrimp has ambiguous traits to its dietary value — a great amount of protein and high antioxidants to help that muscle recover and grow optimally.
Tuna is very low in calories and fat, meaning it’s an almost pure-protein food. Three ounces (85 grams) of cooked tuna contains about 25 grams of protein and only 110 calories. It’s also a good source of B-vitamins, plus minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Tuna also has antioxidant properties due to its high amounts of selenium. Tuna tends to contain some mercury, but its high selenium content helps protect against mercury toxicity.
However, it has been proven that pregnant and nursing women should not eat raw, boiled, or grilled tuna more often than once per month.
Lentils are a rich source of protein making them a great alternative to meat or fish. Commonly amongst other legumes, lentils are low in a couple of essential amino acids, primarily methionine and cysteine. This is easily combated by combining lentils with cereal grains such as rice or wheat. Studies demonstrate that routinely eating lentils reduces your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease. This is due to their rich content of protective plant compounds called phenols.
Most people struggle to gain the muscle mass they desire, and this is caused by a multitude of reasons. One effective way to grow your muscles and live better is to incorporate more protein into your diet. Hopefully, you found value from this article and have all you need to grow your muscles and improve your health. Please share if you found any value in this article, and make sure to subscribe to my newsletter (BELOW) for tons of other free content.