Having toned muscles can do wonders for you appearance. But apart from satisfying your vanity by looking great with a trimmed physique, there are actually so many health benefits to keeping muscles in good shape. Healthy muscles improve endurance and strength because these maintain or even boost bone and joint strength. With more well-developed and well-nourished muscles, the body is also able to fight off diseases much better.
The building blocks of muscles are amino acids, which come from protein. There are basically 4 main protein sources, and these are: eggs, meats, dairy products, and protein powders.
If you think that eggs will increase your bad cholesterol, then cast that thought aside. Reduce your body fat in order to get rid of unhealthy cholesterol instead of throwing your yolks away. Eggs, with the whites and the yolk, are very good sources of protein. Each egg packs a lot of punch, about 7 grams of protein per whole egg. Plus, these are also quite cheap.
Lean meat is the way to go. Examples are beef, pork, chicken and turkey. When opting for pork or beef, always choose lean portions. Between chicken and turkey, the latter is the healthier option as this packs more calories, is less fattening, and it also contains more essential vitamins and minerals. A variety of fish meats are available too. Go for omega-3-rich wild salmon, sardines, or mackerel. Crabs, scallops, mussels, shrimps, and oysters are seafood loaded with protein. Other animal sources include the following: duck, quail, goose, rabbit, as well as game meat from elk and deer.
Dairy products are stuffed with vitamin D, calcium, as well as protein. Still, there are some items that can easily meet your daily protein requirements, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. The best option is evaporated condensed milk. This contains more than 20 grams of protein per serving. Enjoy your milk by mixing it with shakes or fresh fruits. As for cheese, there are so many different varieties. Cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Swiss cheese can give you about 5 to 10 grams of protein per one ounce. Cottage cheese, on the other hand, can pack 28 grams per cup. Yogurt is also a great protein source, with many varieties, like low-fat or fat-free types, containing about 8 to 13 grams of protein a cup. If you want more protein, go for Greek yogurt, which has about 20 grams a serving.
Protein powders can be blended and made into shakes. Because of their liquefied form, protein shakes are much easier to consume and digest, which makes them apt for all kinds of athletes, including pro players, like Tiger Woods. Most powders contain a certain amount of protein, as well as fats and carbohydrates. Protein not only comes from one thing, but from different sources. For instance, natural protein powders can contain whey, soy and rice. Casein and egg protein shakes are very common as well. Generally, you can choose any type of protein powder or protein shake you want because any of them can greatly help in muscle building.
Loading Up on Protein
It’s important to know how much daily protein is needed by the body so that you will be more than able to meet dietary requirements. In general, the daily protein requirement for a regular adult will largely depend on his weight. About 0.75 to 1 gram of protein each day, or about 45 to 70 grams daily, is sufficient. Athletes or those who regularly exercise should have more protein per day.
Protein is not only essential in muscle development, but also in muscle restoration. During exercise or intensive competitions, cells, most especially muscle cells, sustain damage due to oxidation. Hence, it’s vital to rebuild muscles to make sure that they stay healthy and strong.