Without protein, new muscular tissue cannot be built and existing muscles are unable to recover after intense effort. While the world in general, with many athletes included, are moving towards vegetable sources of protein, many still rely on dairy, meat and fish. Some prefer a well-cooked steak, while others load on chicken, and many voices claim that fish is the smartest choice.
What should you shop for?
It appears that it is not enough to simply know the top choices when it comes to meats rich in protein. It can also make a huge difference to know which variations to opt for, or in which form to get these. Such information will help you navigate the market better and make the right choices.
The Bodybuilding.Com website has published its list of the top 40 foods as protein content, where lean steak and chicken breast are almost leading the chart, with 24 g, respectively; 21-23 g of protein per 3 oz. Ground beef comes in closely with 19 g of protein. The first two are almost topping the chart because the best seems to be the yellow fin tuna. Light tuna isn’t far behind, though; its protein content stands at a solid 22 g per 3 oz.
Here are a few tips concerning each of the three types being discussed:
Beef – If you only want lean meat, choose beef with very little fat or none. Good quality beef is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, it is a good source of Iron, Zinc and Phosphorus, plus natural creatine. Avoid the rib-eye and the T-bone cuts, as these have the highest fat percentage. Do not be fooled by filet mignon, as it’s usually fatter than advertized. In general, beef may be good as far as protein content is concerned, but is not suitable as a daily choice. Red meat is known as a cause of many diseases and of premature aging of tissue.
Chicken – Gym bros may be praising chicken day and night, but it isn’t the Alpha and Omega of muscle building. Chicken is a good protein source as long as you’re avoiding the skin and the greasier parts. The nutritional profile can vary greatly in fact, depending on how the chicken was raised. Its dark meat variety tends to be fatter. Note that chicken may not exactly have the nutrient profile you desire, tough. It isn’t rich in Iron; thus, a diet based on it will require Iron supplementation.
Fish – Fish is a great choice thanks to its creatine and Omega-3 fatty acids content (actually being the best source out of the three) and for the easier digestion. Preferably, try to consume only fish caught in the wild (although the location matters greatly in this case, since some waters are heavily polluted). Canned tuna is a satisfying choice and is also inexpensive. The hype is real and is backed by science – tuna is very good for your muscle building efforts.
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