Protein provides the building blocks for muscle cells. This nutrient is essential to muscle growth and recovery. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have the time to cook protein-rich meals daily. So how can you add more protein to your diet? What if you don’t have the money to constantly buy fresh meat?
The average person needs anywhere from 50 to 100 grams of protein based on his bodyweight and fitness goals. However, athletes and bodybuilders have special nutritional requirements. Some need as much as 200-300-400 grams of protein a day. Here are five easy ways to increase your protein intake and fuel your muscles:
Have a Protein Shake
Protein shakes are affordable, convenient, and flavorful. These supplements promote muscle growth and help your body recover from exercise. Since they come in powder form, you can mix them with water or milk. Protein powders can also be used in various recipes such as omelets, pancakes, low-carb cookies, and homemade bread. These products come in a wide range of flavors, from chocolate and vanilla to banana, strawberry, and tiramisu.
Eat Some Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein. Due to its low content of fat and carbs, it’s perfect for dieters. Half cup of cottage cheese provides over 13 grams of protein. Mix with eggs, protein powder, nuts, or flax seeds to increase its nutritional value. This is one of the most popular foods among bodybuilders. It contains casein protein, which makes it ideal before bedtime. Casein is a slow digestion protein that helps your muscles recover faster after intense training.
Buy Canned Tuna
A can of tuna has approximately 40 grams of protein and no carbs. Mix tuna with salads, eat it with veggies and cottage cheese, or cook protein-rich meals. Don’t worry about the mercury in tuna! Health experts seem to agree to that one can a day is safe.
Add Nuts and Seeds
One of the easiest ways to increase your daily protein intake is to add nuts and seeds to your favorite foods. Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, and cashews are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They have a delicious taste and make great snacks between meals. You may also add walnuts and seeds to omelets, prepare a homemade frittata, or sprinkle some seeds over coked meals and sandwiches. Many bodybuilders cook desserts with protein powder, nuts, cottage cheese and other protein-rich foods.
Try Different Types of Meat
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Are you tired of eating chicken breast and grilled beef all day long? Add more fish and seafood to your diet! Try lean meats like turkey, tuna, salmon, shrimps, and ground chicken. Cooked ground meat makes an idea post-workout meal. It’s easier to digest than regular meat and can be mixed with herbs and spices for extra flavor. Look for lean cuts for ham, veal, lamb, beef, and even pork. Game meats are rich in protein too. The way you cook them makes all the difference. Grilled, boiled, roasted, and steamed meat is your best bet.