Men’s Health: The Power of Protein
Protein rich foods can help you get the lean, sculpted look you've been striving toward.
While lifting bigger, heavier weights is key to getting those guns in shape, it really won’t do much good if you’re not feeding your body the proper amount of protein (a vital part of achieving a high level of health and fitness.) Protein is a macronutrient that’s used to repair and build muscle mass after a tough strength workout. It also helps maintain, repair, and replenish skin, bones, teeth, hair, and other body structures.
Getting What You Need
If you workout
regularly, .8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight would be an adequate total for the day. A simple rule to follow is to eat complete protein-rich foods (found in animal products, such as whole eggs, chicken, turkey, red meat, and milk) with every meal. This will give you a steady stream of protein throughout the day to help regulate blood sugar levels and aid fat burning.
Try consuming a carbohydrate- and protein-rich pre-workout meal of 250-300 calories, and a post-workout meal containing about 30-40 grams of protein 30-45 minutes after your workout. This replenishes your glycogen stores, repairs your body, and helps it recover for the next workout.
Whey is the best post-workout protein to consume because it’s quickly and easily absorbed into the body. But unless you’re willing to drink glass after glass of this liquidy substance (you know, the stuff that Little Miss Muffet ate) which results from combining dairy milk
with a coagulating agent, you might want to try powdered whey supplements instead.
These powders are available in concentrate (70-85% protein), isolate (90% protein), and hydrolyzed (95+% protein) forms. Whey concentrate is the least expensive, while hydrolyzed is the most expensive and preferred by bodybuilders.
By combining the raw power of protein and putting in those hours in the weight room, you’ll soon be showing off those well-formed muscles for years to come.
What's your favorite protein-rich food?
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES, is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut, and Sports Fitness Hut. He provides long-term lean body solutions without gimmicks.
Photo Credit: Flickr/tarale