Talk of protein and bodybuilders instantly think of muscles. Yes! That’s how the situation is and everyone, including bodybuilders knows and acknowledge. Protein is the backbone of good muscular health. The big question is do you take enough of it?
Further, do you know which are the best high protein foods lying around you, that can easily fill your daily needs? Fret not, we are here to discuss just this topic and will show you all that is available for you to choose from. For now, let us discuss about the focus.
So What is Protein by the Way?
A macronutrient needed for building muscles known as Protein. In terms of chemical constitution, it is made up of amino acids. This very protein when broken down within our body, it fuels and provides energy to the muscle mass and enhances our metabolism. And yes, it also enhances our bodily immunity.
So, now you know how beneficial protein is for bodybuilders.
Fantastic Sources of Protein
Milk has two best sources of protein with unique qualities. The slow digesting Casein and the quicker one Whey, which is the liquid part when milk coagulates. Whey also has large amounts of L-cysteine, an amino acid that helps prevent our aging process and the lifestyle disease diabetes.
Protein Supplements are the best to meet your daily needs
There are many manufacturers & suppliers of whey protein in India. The chosen best whey protein powders that provide the vital nutrient anywhere between 20-35 grams per serving are given here, for our readers’ benefit.
Even normal people can benefit from these protein supplements because they can easily be mixed in a shake, which is easy to drink and quick to digest. The list of tasty & delicious whey protein shakes can be found on our website and you can choose the ones you deem fit.
Now the Big Question: Are you Getting Enough Protein in your Daily Diet?
We have a list of pointers to help you identify whether you lack enough protein in your diet. This protein deficiency is the root cause behind many ailments people do not identify.
- Unable to Sleep Well Enough Insufficient Serotonin, produced by protein can keep you from having a good sleep. This triggers the problem which comes up next.
- Unsatisfying Workouts To sustain workouts, you need protein and if you had deficient sleep, the problem doubles.
- Feeling anxious and always moody Protein’s internal amino acids are also the building blocks for neurotransmitters which control your mood and anxiety. (Bad mood often ruins your whole day anyway and you lose the ability to focus too!)
- Your body heals slowly Protein is the bodybuilding food and the deficiency triggers slow healing.
- You feel Lethargic Less protein means your metabolism slows down too, reducing the energy needed for day-to-day functions.
- Irregular menstrual cycle It is because of a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS, which happens due to protein insufficiency.
If any one of the above applies to you, this is the time to wake up. Protein is deficient in your diet and adding more will certainly help.
Another Big Question: How Much Protein Should Everyone Consume?
Though actual needs may differ, especially for pregnant & breastfeeding women who need around 70 grams of protein daily, the normally recommended amount is 55 grams for men and 45 for women. Approximately, you need about 0.85 to 1.25 grams of protein daily per kilogram of your body weight. To simplify it further, refer to the table given below.
Age-wise Recommended Grams of Protein
School kids 20-33
Teenagers 52 for boys and 45 for girls
Adult 55 for men and 47 for women
How to Up your Protein Intake?
Well, that is very easy and you don’t need to change your diet at all. We give you the following tips that are easy to follow and provide plenty of options to choose from.
- Pop a few almonds after every meal. Not only they contain protein, but also magnesium and vitamin E, so good for your skin.
- Peanuts also work similar to almonds and should be eaten only after having your meals. Protein signals the food for “tummy full” and you may not be able to have your full meal.
- Greek Yoghurt is the best superfood containing around 18-20 grams of protein. Drain the excess water using a muslin cloth.
- Protein bars also present a healthy way to much in-between your meals. Not only they come in different mouth watering flavours, protein bars pack a healthy punch too.
- Consider having eggs in your daily routine as just 3 eggs provide over 18 grams or protein, of the animal variety having essential amino acids.
List of Top 15 High Protein Foods
Fortunately, there are a number of food groups we can have to supplement our protein needs. Each of this group has umpteen number of items which you can choose from and live a satisfied and ailment free life.
- Dairy & Poultry
- Seafood & Meats
- Vegetables & Fruits
- Legumes & Grains
1. Dairy and Poultry items with high protein
Eggs, milk and milk products like whey protein, casein protein, cottage cheese, tofu are some of the best items known to hold huge amounts. Cottage cheese, tofu, etc. is best when consumed before retiring to bed as they digest slowly and allow you to have peaceful sleep at night, as your tummy appears full.
- Just one cup of cottage cheese, loads around 30 grams or protein and over 155 calories. Sounds pretty interesting, isn’t it?
- One cup of egg whites has a whopping 25-28 grams of protein and it being low in fat & cholesterol it is ideal as a nutritious breakfast.
- One cup of Greek Yogurt packs 18 grams of protein and has ample amounts of Calcium, something our body cannot make on its own and Vitamin B12 which helps in producing red blood cells and also maintains good brain functions.
- Just one cup of Soy Milk unleashes 8 grams of protein and over 160 calories. The milk is so bland you can easily flavour it up with any aromatic fruit.
2. Nuts and Seeds available in different shape & size
Pumpkin seeds are flat and elongated whereas almonds and peanuts are bite sized. Each one of them packs hefty nutrition and are delicious too.
- Just a single cup of Pistachios pack over 24 grams of protein and over 700 calories. Munching a few every now and then should help you fill your deficiency.
- Just a handful of Almonds packs over 6 grams of protein and around 180 calories and the distinct aroma fills your mouth with pleasure.
- Capable of preventing the formation of Gallstones, Walnuts are a healthy addition to your diet. One cup of chopped walnuts adds around 20 grams of protein.
- Pumpkin Seeds are the most loved ones. Packing in a wholesome 15 grams of protein in a cup, you can easily munch them throughout the day without getting bored.
- Copper and Iron loaded Cashew Nuts pack not only distinctive flavour, but also other goodies. An ounce has over 6 grams of protein and 156 calories.
Though this list can go on, we think it will give the idea that how simple it is to add your protein intake.
3. Red & Green Beans
Beans, of all variety pack huge amounts of protein and other nutrients for smooth functioning of our body. Some of them even contain Molybdenum which detoxifies our body. Just one cup of green vegetable beans pack over 16 grams of protein.
Kidney beans pack 1 gram per tablespoon. Loaded with Vitamin B1 beans help in improving our memory. All other beans have more or less the same nutrient quotient.
Indians are fond of using and their favourite dish Raajma Chawal is too popular.
4. Chole (Chickpeas)
Imagine just one cup of boiled chickpeas contain 15 grams of protein, natural fiber and other nutrients. No wonder this is the staple food of most north Indians. They digest slowly increasing the satiety levels and good for maintaining blood sugar levels.
Packing laudable amount of calories, over 270 per cup, chickpeas prevent overeating and hence aid in weight loss.
5. Green Peas
Usually seen in winters, the protein content appears lowly, at 9 grams per cup, but the presence of highly acclaimed nutrients make up for the loss.
Green peas are rich in iron, copper, zinc, calcium, manganese, and vitamin K – all of which aid numerous bodily functions and prevent brain damage that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Laudable Barley contains a generous amount of protein, above 24 grams per cup and gives over 656 calories. Rich in fiber, barley is a good digestion aid and balances blood sugar and cholesterol. You can easily cook barley and add to your foods for increasing their nutrient quotient.
A good storehouse of soluble fiber, Oats pack over 25 grams of protein in a cup and also 600 calories for that energy kick. The fiber prevents digestion and prevent colon cancer. Soups taste better when Oats are added while cooking.
8. Vegetables & Fruits
Do you really think vegetables are far behind? In fact, no! These vegetables look innocent but have dozens of other nutrients that make them chase worthy.
Bodybuilders will simply love this information. One cauliflower head has over 16 grams of protein and packs over 200 calories. It is also rich in Choline, which aids in sleep, helps with muscle movement. Moreover, it it so tasty many prefer eating it raw or in a salad. Small florets can also be added in soups.
Not to forget is the presence of Vitamin K which promotes stronger bones, a quality bodybuilders love. The high water content prevents constipation, increases satiety and cuts risk of colon cancer.
Containing almost double the protein value than cauliflower, 1 broccoli stalk contains 4.3 grams of protein and 52 calories, which meets 9% of your daily protein needs. It is touted as the best food to fight cancer because it is replete with phytochemicals. Loaded with soluble fiber regulating blood glucose, it helps prevent diabetes and heart disease too. The presence of vitamin K improves calcium absorption, a boon for bodybuilders.
11. Sweet Corn
The large corn has over 4.7 grams of protein leveled with 122 calories the food is everyone’s favourite. Rich in Potassium and Vitamin A, low fat content comes as a surprise. To tell you the truth, Vitamin A is an antioxidant, so useful for all of us.
We all lose Potassium through our sweat and Corn provides it as a supplement. The high fiber content also has its benefits we have seen before.
Rich in Potassium, banana increases satiety because of over 2 grams of protein and 120 calories it packs. The soluble fiber content regulates the bowels and prevents constipation. Helpful in reducing blood pressure as the fruit relaxes muscle valves.
The green Guava contains chlorophyll and has ample amounts of Vitamin C that boosts immunity. Loaded with around 1.5 grams of protein,it also packs around 40 calories for that energy boost. The flesh takes care of proper bowel movement and the taste and aroma lingers much after we had consumed the fruit.
Non-Vegetarian Protein Sources (Meat & Seafood)
Most meat & seafood eaters are aware of the benefits they bring along. However, for maintaining continuity in this discussion, we are adding these items.
14. Chicken Breast
One large portion gives a whopping 28 grams of protein and over 140 calories. Those needing copious amounts of protein can easily rely on it. Preparing bone broth is also helpful as it also brings much needed protein on the table, as just one-fourth cup packs 20 grams protein.
15. Meat (Lamb, goat, etc.)
Favoured by many for protein and cheap compared to chicken, it packs around 8 grams of protein and also gives 75 calories and more. Meat is rich in amino acids that can help reduce blood pressure and provide strengthened connectivity to the tissues. The soup made from boiling pieces for 8-10 hours not only is highly nutritious, provides instant energy especially in winters.
Protein is highly valuable in our lives and especially bodybuilders and athletes. It not only helps build our muscles, it also brings satiety so that we eat less and help ourselves in losing weight. This list of protein sources should work as an eye-opener to many, who almost overlooked the innocent looking veggies and fruits. Make sure to pick your choices, ones for that healthy life you all wanted.