The human body contains thousands of different proteins, each with a specific function determined by its unique shape. Some act as enzymes, speeding up chemical reactions. Others act as hormones, which are a kind of chemical messenger. Antibodies made of protein protect us from foreign substances. Proteins maintain fluid balance by pumping molecules across cell membranes and attracting water. They maintain the acid and base balance of body fluids by taking up or giving off hydrogen ions as needed. Finally, proteins transport many key substances such as oxygen, vitamins, and minerals to target cells throughout the body.
Apart from a whole host of important functions in the human body, protein is also crucial for muscle building.
For adults, the RDA for protein intake is 0.8 gram per kilogram of body weight. The RDA for adults translates into a daily protein recommendation of 56 grams for the average adult male and 46 grams for the average adult female aged 19 to 24. When calculated as a percentage of average energy intake, the protein RDA for adults provides about 8 to 11 percent of energy intake. However, if you are working out hard daily especially with resistance training with weights, etc, even up to 1.5g per kilogram of body weight is fine.
I know that supplements are popular, but believe me, the easiest way (and most beneficial way) to get this amount is to eat whole protein with each meal.
Here are 10 Proteins you should focus on for muscle building:
1. Low Fat Chocolate Milk – After rigorous weights training, knock back a carton of low fat chocolate milk. Why chocolate? Because that provides the energy, post work out. And milk, because it is packed with protein, which helps muscle recovery and to build muscle as it heals.
2. Canned Tuna. 40g protein/can. Buy tuna in spring water or brine, or my favorite is extra virgin olive oil.
3. Whole Eggs. 7g protein/egg. Eggs are good for you. Even the yolks is packed with the ‘good’ fats, so eat it whole. The yolk also contains half the protein and vitamins A, D, E.
4. Whey. 1 scoop whey is 24g protein/30g serving. But I only recommend this if you totally cannot get your hands on any natural protein – it is far better to eat chicken or fish, than Whey, but as a replacement, it does have its role. One should always vary one’s protein intake.
5. Ground Beef. 25g protein/100g. Buy only lean ground beef of course. Fat is still fat, and goes straight to the hips otherwise!
6. Chicken Breast. 25g protein/100g. This is my favourite cut from the Chicken. Leg or thigh is fine as well, but it contains more fat and tendons.
7. Cottage Cheese. 12g protein/100g. High in protein and great in taste – have this with whole grain crackers for an immediate protein boost, post work out.
8. Ground Turkey. 25g protein/100g. Also a great source of protein but harder to come by in KL.
9. Canned Mackerel. 23g protein/100g. Canned mackerel is high in omega-3, might contain less mercury than canned tuna, and tastes a lot better too.
10. Calves Liver. 20g protein/100g. Low fat and nutrient dense. Contrary to what you might believe, liver is safe, and healthy too, when eaten in moderation.
Suggestion for Diet in A Day :
Breakfast: 3 whole eggs with spinach
Snack: 200g cottage cheese with apple
Lunch: 1 can of tuna with bok choy
Snack: 500ml low fat chocolate milk and banana
Post workout: 1 scoop whey with oats & 500ml milk
Dinner: 150g chicken breast with pasta & broccoli
Pre bed: 200g cottage cheese with berries & flax seeds