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We all know that we need protein to build, repair, and maintain muscle. So, which protein-rich foods should we be eating for maximum gains? There are many options that you can go with no matter what type of diet you’re following.
What Is the Link Between Protein and Muscle Growth?
How exactly does eating protein help us with muscle growth? Protein contains amino acids which we need to repair and grow muscle mass, and these come in the form of chains called peptides. These peptides can alter how our body reacts both to exercise and food.
When you eat enough protein, these amino acids start producing human growth hormone which is exactly what you need to grow significant muscle. That’s why, while you may be sweating it out in the gym, you can get significantly more gains by including the right proteins in your diet.
Which Proteins Are The Best For Muscle Growth?
You should be looking at consuming protein at a rate of around 35% of your macros for the day. If your diet is 3000 calories, for example, you should be eating around 1050 of those calories as protein. Here are some of the best sources of protein:
Those looking for high protein vegetarian foods often turn to eggs as one of their protein sources. They not only contain plenty of protein but also other crucial nutrients. Just one whole large egg can contain as much as 126 mg of choline and 11% of your daily vitamin B12 requirements. Note, the choline is found in the yolk, so don’t just eat the egg whites!
Choline supports the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This is what stimulates the contraction of our muscles, which can help you perform better in the gym and on the field.
One of the best things about eggs is that they are rich in the amino acid leucine. Leucine can help greatly with muscle protein synthesis, making it a fantastic option for bodybuilders. It can also help with recovery after a tough workout.
Dairy is a fantastic protein source when you select the right type. The first thing to be aware of is that many yoghurts and other dairy products may contain a lot of hidden sugars. Look for a quality Greek yoghurt with little or no sugar. Greek yoghurt can contain up to twice the protein of regular yoghurt. It has plenty of amino acids in it to help you get shredded in the gym.
Due to the straining process it undergoes, Greek yoghurt contains an abundance of casein. This is a form of protein that is digested slowly over time. That’s why casein can help sustain you and provide energy over a longer period. It can also help you synthesize protein so that your body doesn’t break down muscles for energy. Casein is also about 20% glutamine and is high in threonine and arginine, two other gluconeogenic amino acids that help spare muscle breakdown and enhance recovery.
One of the foods most associated with bodybuilding and getting shredded is chicken. But how much protein is there in chicken breast? It manages to pack in around 21 grams of protein per 100g of lean chicken breast (uncooked weight). This is a great way of getting in low fat protein, depending on how you cook it.
Chicken contains niacin, which is a vitamin that transfers protein, fat, and carbs into useable energy. Even just one chicken breast holds even more than your daily recommended intake of niacin. This can help you really get those effects from your time spent in the gym.
Chicken breast also contains fewer calories than other parts of the chicken, and contains the most protein by weight. This is largely why it is so popular amongst body builders and athletes.
Are Protein Supplements Useful?
We all know that eating a lot of whole foods is good for your diet and overall health. So where can protein supplements fit in?
International Protein believes in eating foods rather than drinking them, but when it comes to Protein, you often need fast-absorbing proteins that can be digested easily. The idea of eating a steak after every workout would not only be time consuming but particularly difficult to digest.
There are different types of protein supplements, some which are ideal for consuming post-workout within 30 minutes for fast absorption, and others for pre-workout with fat-burning ingredients, such as our Iso-Cuts product.
International Protein’s Extreme Mass is a balanced 45/45/10 with protein, carbs and fats for recovery and extreme growth. Simply add 3 scoops to your protein shaker along with your milk of choice, and shake.
This protein supplement contains many ingredients that will help you make those gains you’ve been striving for. It contains a mix of proteins for optimal release into your system. That’s why it has slow-release proteins such as micellar casein and egg albumen. These both offer amino acids over a longer period for muscle repair. Kicking in much faster are the ingredients of whey protein isolate and concentrate, and whey peptides. These combine to give you an immediate energy boost.
Thanks for reading this International Protein article about which types of protein you need to grow your muscles. Please ask any questions you have about muscle growth in our comments section below.