Protein can be obtained from almost all food sources. Let’s discuss the different sources of protein
- Vegetable foods
- Animal sources
Vegetable sources of protein
Vegetables are usually considered poor sources of protein. Almost no vegetable food provides all the essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth.
They are not a complete source of essential amino acids. Some sources like soya beans have content of protein but they do not provide all the essential amino acids.
Some health experts recommend combining different vegetable sources. For example a mix of beans and rice can provide you all the essential amino acids you need. But the once you combine beans and rice the quantity of food you consume increases and the percentage of protein in rice+ beans is much less when compared to animal sources of protein.
While combining vegetable sources in a certain ratio can help you in maintaining optimum health, it won’t give you the quality and quantity of protein you need to build muscle tissue.
It is difficult to develop a muscular body on a plain vegetarian diet. On the other hand, a semi-vegetarian diet which contains eggs and milk can be conducive to building muscle.
Bill pearl won the Mr.USA and Mr. Universe while on a semi vegetarian diet. He is probably one of very few bodybuilders to have built an amazing body without consuming any animal meats.
However if you are considering building a great body then including animal meats in your diet will make your journey easier.
Animal sources of protein:
Animal protein contains almost all the essential amino acids in good quantities. Animal sources of protein include meat, eggs and milk. The only issue with animal sources is the presence of large amounts of saturated fat which works against your goal of losing fat and gaining muscle. Saturated fats also have other negative effects on the body as described in the previous pages.
The key here to consume only lean cuts of meat and leave out saturated fat content.
Choose meats cut from the top round and lean cuts of sirloin and flank. The round is the rear leg of the cow or lamb. A frequently used muscle, the meat from this area is lean but tender. Top Round Roast refers to a lean and fairly tender cut as compared to the other cuts from the round. It has 10% of calories from fat content.
Remove the skin in meat and avoid breaded forms of meat.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Again you want to leave out the saturated fat present in egg yolks and mostly consume just the egg whites.
Below is a list of sources of lean animal protein:
- Chicken breast
- Fish and sea food
- Turkey breast
- Eggs (Mostly whites-use limited yolks)
- Lean red meats (Top round, lean sirloin, flank)
- Nonfat or low fat dairy products
- Milk (Low fat 1-2%) instead of whole milk products.
These foods need to be present in every meal and you need to consume one meal every 3 hours in order to maintain a steady supply of protein.
The protein supplement industry is a multi-million dollar industry. It is build around the premise of supplying body builders with readily available essential proteins and amino acids.
The main advantage of consuming a protein supplement is convenience. All you need to do to consume the protein supplement mixed with milk or water and voila… all the essential amino acids are made available to your body instantly.
Even though supplement industries may convince you that protein supplements are absolutely indispensable for body building, you need to understand that your body get all it’s protein needs met if you consume the above mentioned meats at regular intervals( 3 hours apart).
Our body is designed to digest and metabolize foods. By supplying proteins in an instant form, you are reducing the metabolic exercise for your stomach and it is not recommended. Taking a mix of lean meat proteins and protein shakes is acceptable but not necessary. If you can get all your protein needs met from direct animal sources, then your body will experience the same gains as when you are on protein shakes.
The best type of protein powder on the market is whey protein. Whey is a high quality protein and if you plan on using protein supplements, you can’t go wrong with whey.