“You are what you eat” As the famous quote suggests, the things we consume in our day-to-day life play a vital role in our physical and mental health. It is well established that dietary protein intake supports muscle development and helps reduce the loss of lean body mass during weight loss.
Higher protein diets are helpful for muscle mass gains and greater strength when paired with resistance exercise. Muscle mass refers to the amount of soft muscle tissue in the body. There is also a term called lean body mass. It includes muscle mass, bones and bodily fluid. A good lean muscle percentage range should be about 70% to 90% to be considered healthy. Men tend to have lean body mass between 80 to 90%.
Now, let’s talk about protein. Tissues and muscles are developed through protein intake and to help maintain the body’s current state, one has to keep feeding the muscles with protein. Working out breaks down muscles, and the protein we eat throughout the day helps to build it back up, so we come back stronger, leaner, and faster.
We often hear, “Protein = Building a great body”, but, is that all which needs to be considered for men’s healthcare? How do you find out which items are rich in protein? Well, we are here to help you pick some of the most significant and readily available sources of protein for optimum muscle growth:
Many bodybuilders enjoy eating cottage cheese before going to bed. This causes a sustained release of amino acids into the muscles and blood all night, which helps in reducing muscle breakdown. Cottage cheese contains a type of protein termed, casein. Casein is the protein found in milk that also gives milk its white colour. Casein is a slow absorbing protein which promotes muscle gain and prevents muscle breakdown. Before consuming it in large quantities, make sure you are not lactose intolerant, as that can induce headaches, stomach pain and weight gain.
Numerous studies have shown that soy protein consumption promotes fat loss while preserving muscle. The amino acids arginine and leucine are essential for muscle formation and hypertrophy. Soy protein is also a plant-based & lactose-free alternative to whey protein. High amounts of glutamine and arginine found in soy protein make it good for fast muscle growth.
Seafood is an often overlooked food group but fish, shrimps and oysters are great sources of omega-3 and lean proteins. Fish is softer and breaks apart easily, which makes it easier to digest than denser proteins, such as chicken breast. For this very reason, it can also be a great pre or post-workout meal for muscle strength. Shrimp is a low-calorie and low-fat protein great for bodybuilders in the cutting phase. Oysters are essential for boosting testosterone levels that ensure high efficiency and performance.
Vegetarian foods are known to be great sources of carbs, fat, vitamins and minerals but not protein. But when it comes to chickpeas, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. According to a survey, the consumption of chickpeas led to a higher intake of several nutrients, like potassium, vitamins A, E, and C, folate, iron and magnesium. They are also inexpensive and readily available in India, and therefore ideal for muscle growth in all sectors of society.
Greek yoghurt’s fluid qualities make it easier for our body to digest. Greek yoghurt is also high in protein and other nutrients like zinc, potassium and Vitamin B12 that are essential for muscles. Calcium & vitamin D found in greek yoghurt aid in muscle contraction and signalling and supports all functions respectively. Greek yoghurt is an ideal snack as it helps to keep the stomach full for longer, which is useful when dieting.
Popular varieties such as black, pinto, and kidney beans contain around 15 grams of protein per cup and thus, act as vital ingredients for muscle growth in men. Beans contain fibre that is known to help bowel movement and regulate blood sugar levels. They are also a great source of iron & antioxidants and aid in preventing fatty liver.
Nuts are a good dietary staple to support your journey to get stronger and fitter. Figures from the USDA indicate that about a handful of mixed roasted, unsalted tree nuts have 5 grams of protein and roasted, unsalted peanuts have 7.9 grams of protein per ounce. Nuts are also nutritionally rich and one of the main sources of omega-3 fatty acids. This makes nuts a useful addition to your balanced diet.
1 Tablespoon = 4g Protein.
Peanut butter is a very rich source of protein for building muscle in the body and is preferred by many athletes including the Indian wrestler & 2-time gold medallist Sushil Kumar. What’s more? It also contains monounsaturated fat and antioxidants that help the body stay healthy and function properly for long durations. Just make sure, you opt for a version that is
Brown Rice is often overlooked as a protein source by those looking to build muscle mass.
In reality, by weight, brown rice protein has 78% protein, 31% essential amino acids, and 16% BCAAs. It is a 100% vegan and vegetarian option for those considering a plant-based protein. It is an easily digestible food that is known to aid weight loss, burn fat and help in fast muscle recovery. Highly nutritious and full of antioxidants, it’s a must-have, in order to reach peak athletic performance.
The good old choice. Eggs are always the principal choice for post-workout meals as they are a great source of high-quality protein and contain all 9 essential amino acids. Many body enthusiasts skip the yellow yolk to avoid cholesterol and calories, but the yolk also has healthy fats vitamins A & B that can help the protein digest in your body. To efficiently build muscle mass, eggs are a must-have!
Protein must be an essential part for men looking to gain muscle, build stamina and overall potency. These foods are also great for boosting male libido and testosterone levels. Consuming protein & nutrient rich foods described above will help you reach your peak self!
We’d also like to add that protein is good for health but without proper sleep and a workout regime one can’t expect results. A consistent workout ritual is crucial to create a wholesome body. Of course, strength training is pivotal but short forms of cardio like HIIT training can also benefit. Sleep, if avoided can stunt your recovery and development even after conscious efforts; that is why a minimum of 8 hours of sleep is required for maximum efficiency. We hope this article helps your fitness journey towards better muscle growth and physical prowess.