Build Muscle With Good Protein Sources
About the Author
Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author of One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan, one of Amazon's Top Gluten-Free and Weight Loss Diets. (You may read more about Abby at the bottom of this article.)
"I'm an athlete and have been competing in my league of sports for some time now. It seems like chicken is always part of my daily menu plan. Isn't there some other good protein source for me to maintain or build muscle?"
Just as a well-worn pair of shoes, the skinless chicken breast has earned the same dependability badge for those in the world of sports, bodybuilding, or weight loss. Three ounces of chicken not only provides a whopping 27 grams of protein. Those three grams also provide your body with a plethora of essential vitamins and other nutrients to help your body transform some shapely, lean, and sexy muscle. Just like shoes, there is still a wide variety of other high-quality choices. You just need to take your pick!
3.5 ounces = 23 grams of protein & 190 calories
Many cuts of beef have a high content of fat which slows down digestion. Thanks to its relatively low-fat content, flank steak serves 3.5 ounces of protein. Digestion will not be slowed which means faster amino acid delivery to your muscles.
One serving of flank delivers 32 percent of your daily recommended value of zinc, an important mineral in energy metabolism which is important during exercise as well as post-training recovery.
One serving also provides you with 27 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin B12, which plays an important role in red blood cell formation and is your body's primary delivery mechanism for oxygen. Vitamin B12 also helps the body maintain the integrity of the nerve sheaths, which means better signal transmission during workouts.
Have you ever tried bison meat?
4 ounces = 31 grams protein & 190 calories
Bison, also known as buffalo meat, has all the taste of beef with less fat and cholesterol.
Since buffalo are grass-fed, bison contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and healthy fats. CLA and healthy fats help reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. They also are a great aid in post workout muscle recovery.
Bison meat provides an impressive load of B vitamins, which help protect bodily functions such as nerves, hormones, and the brain. It is important to keep up these functions, especially with fitness as your regimen. One serving of bison provides 41 percent of the daily recommended value of B12, 14 percent for B6, and 10 percent of B3. The complexity of the B vitamins are used in protein metabolism and fat breakdown. They also provide an energy boost.
Muscle Building Recipes
- Supreme Egg Breakfast Pizza Recipe
Do you need quick breakfast ideas that are super yummy? If you've enjoyed cold pizza for breakfast but want healthy breakfast foods or options, then try this Supreme Egg Breakfast Pizza Recipe.
- Best Healthy Crab Cake Recipe
If you're a seafood lover, you'll have to try this Best Healthy Crab Cake recipe! Save on calories and carbs with this gluten free crab cakes recipe. Just add a salad or veggies to complete your meal.
1 egg = 6 grams protein & 75 calories -OR- 3 egg whites = 10 grams protein & 50 calories
Eggs deliver a concentrated source of branched-chain amino acids, otherwise known as BCAAs, which are needed for muscle repair, rebuilding, and growth.
Each egg yolk contains 140 mg. of choline which is approximately 25 percent of your daily recommended value. Choline has been found to reduce systemic inflammation which is a condition linked to a number of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
One egg contains more than 20 percent of your daily recommended value of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid known to elevate the "feel good" brain chemical called serotonin. Tryptophan also helps you sleep better due to it elevating the brain chemical called melatonin, which is important for muscle gains.
One whole egg also provides up to 15 percent of your daily recommended value of iodine, which is a trace mineral essential for good thyroid function. A healthy thyroid keeps your metabolism in check.
4 ounces = 29 grams protein & 207 calories
Want strong bones and teeth? Salmon is your go to source! It is one of the few dietary sources rich in vitamin D, which can help boost athletic performance and reduce levels of depression. Sockeye salmon contains the highest dose of vitamin D with 739 IU while chinook salmon contains 411 IU.
Salmon is also known for its healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. One serving provides almost 90 percent of the daily recommended value. Omega-3 has been proven to reduce stress levels, blood pressure, and triglycerides (body fat). It also provides significant cardiovascular benefits, as well as blood flow - both crucial for training and recovery.
Salmon helps you metabolize all macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fats because of its high content of vitamin B3. One serving contains nearly 60 percent of your daily recommended value. Vitamin B3 also helps regulate sex hormones which is important in maintaining anabolism.
You don't have to stop with the four sources of quality proteins given. Experiment with other good protein sources such as turkey, shrimp, and other seafood. Try Greek yogurt which provides twice the amount of protein in one serving compared to regular yogurt. Whey protein is also a great source, especially in times on the run or after a good workout at your gym. And, tofu is a great source for vegetarians and vegans. As you can see, there are many good sources of protein to build muscle. Just diversify your meal plan and enjoy!
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About the author
Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author. For the past 10 years, she has coached thousands of women locally and online to lose body fat and lead healthy lifestyles. Her clients have lost thousands of pounds, reclaimed health, and call her “Coach No Gimmick.” She is from Northern Virginia but now resides near Charlotte, North Carolina. Abby has been married for 20 years and has three grown daughters, one of which is autistic. She is a 19 year cancer survivor.