When you’re building your body and packing muscle into place, you know that one of the best ways to do it is by increasing your protein intake. Lifting weights and pushing yourself physically is, of course, the most important way to increase your muscle. However, diet plays a huge role too. One of the most effective way to develop and maintain lean muscle mass is by eating a lot of protein. Protein provides your muscles with the amino acids and chemical process that’s so crucial to bodybuilding. There’s not way to get stronger without protein. This doesn’t mean you should eat a steak every night. There are a number of ways to increase protein. Get creative so you don’t get bored.
The Basics: Red Meat
Most people think of protein and they think of red meat. This makes sense. Red meat such as beef, veal, pork, and lamb are excellent sources of protein and high in other vitamins and nutrients such as iron and zinc. Red meat gets criticized for its high fat content, and it’s true – this source of protein is higher in fat than others. However, you should still eat it. Simply diversify your protein diet so it’s not all red meat all the time.
There are several different ways to enjoy red meat and take advantage of its high protein levels. Grill a steak, make some beef stir fry, or cook up some sausage and beans. If you really want to challenge yourself, try some goat chops or mutton. Horse meat can even taste good in stews and sauces.
Lighten Up: Poultry
White meat is an ideal alternative if you think you’re eating too much red meat. This includes your poultry, such as chicken, turkey, and more exotic bird meat such as guinea fowl and quail. With this type of meat, you’re still getting a lot of protein, but with fewer calories and less fat. If you’re trying to sculpt your body and lose fat while you gain muscle, eating more white meat and less red meat is one of the best things you can do.
Water Sports: Fish is Fun
When you really want to lighten up, think of fish. There are a lot of varieties of seafood and crustaceans that provide a powerful punch of protein. You also get a lot of great and health fats – like omega 3 fats, which is good for brain development and excellent for your overall health. Try some salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, and even swordfish, cod, or shrimp. You can eat more fish because it’s less filling and better for you. If you’re not already incorporating a healthy portion of fish into your diet, consider starting. You can grill it, broil it, roast it, and poach it.
Other Proteins: Eggs and Nuts and Seeds
Add protein to your snacks and side dishes. While it’s usually what you build a meal around, you can find other protein sources in things like nuts and seeds. A bit of granola will give you the fiber and energy you need while also contributing to your protein power. Eggs are the best way to start any day. They’re very high in protein and low in calories. Scramble them or fry them. Eat them on toast. Boil them and toss them into a salad.
When you’re looking to grow muscle fast, increase your protein. And don’t reach for the same protein sources day in and day out. Try something different. Ostrich and bison are high in protein, and you might find you like them. Learn to cook, and think outside the box. You’ll look and feel stronger super-fast.