What is Protein?
When we think of protein, most of us probably think of animal products like chicken, beef or fish or some sort of protein supplement or powder. And, these are in fact sources of protein. But, at the most basic level, protein is a chain of amino acids that is essential to the body’s function. Protein plays a role in building muscle as many of us know, but it is also vital for immune function, hormone synthesis and building and repairing of body tissue.
As such, our bodies require protein to function optimally. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. But, that is the minimum. For people who are looking to build muscle mass, their intake would likely need to be higher.
5 Best Sources of Protein for Muscle Gain
- Lean animal protein: lean animal protein comes from sources like chicken, fish, turkey and lean beef. The recipe and cooking method options are limitless, so get creative or keep it simple and grill a piece of animal protein and toss it on top of a salad.
- Dairy products and eggs: dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese offer great ways to get protein that involve almost no prep making them great for a quick breakfast or snack that will keep you full. Eggs are also one of the most complete sources of protein and they are so versatile. Sure, most people think of eggs for breakfast, but don’t count out a veggie loaded omelet or frittata as an easy dinner option,
- Legumes: legumes like black beans, lentils and chickpeas offer an excellent, plant-based way to add protein to your diet. Recipe ideas include chili, soups, salads and grain bowls.
- Nuts and seeds: nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and hemp seeds provide easy and versatile ways to add protein to your day. They make for great grab-and-go snacks or can be excellent toppers for salads and yogurt. High quality nut and seed butters are a good choice too.
The bottom line is that protein is an essential part of building and repairing the body’s muscles. If you want to up your muscle mass, you should probably consider leveling up your protein intake. Get creative in the kitchen, or try our game-changing ioWHEY Protein and begin to elevate every day.