18 Sep Best Types of Protein for Muscle Gain and Weight Loss
You have heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” This is especially true when it comes to muscle growth and weight loss. For instance, studies estimate that weight loss is affected 25% by exercise and 75% by diet.
But keep in mind that eating right isn’t just about avoiding bad foods. It’s also about filling your diet with good nutrients, like vitamins and protein.
When adding protein to your diet to lose weight and gain muscle, it’s important to eat the right types of protein. Getting the right protein from the right sources is key to healthy bodybuilding.
If you’re ready to start eating right, here’s what you need to know about adding different types of protein to your diet.
Why Is Protein So Important?
Before we look at what types of protein are best for your diet, let’s take a closer look at what makes protein so important.
Protein Helps You Stay Full and Eat Less
When you are trying to lose weight, it is important to avoid foods that contain empty calories, such as fatty foods or those with added sugar. While these foods taste good, they don’t include many nutrients that the body needs. This is why you will often feel hungry again shortly after eating junk food.
By contrast, your body needs protein for many essential functions. For this reason, eating protein will slow down your digestive system. This makes you feel fuller longer, which will help you eat less and lose weight.
Also, eating protein helps slow down your body’s absorption of sugar. This can help stave off “carb crashes,” and can prevent you from having cravings.
Digesting Protein Burns Calories
What if I told you that there was food you could eat that would help you burn calories? It might sound too good to be true, but protein does just that.
Basically, protein has a high “thermic effect of food” (TEF), which is the energy your body expends to digest. So, while eating protein won’t necessarily replace your workout, it will burn more calories than eating fat or carbohydrates will.
Protein Promotes Muscle Growth
When your body breaks down the amino acids in a protein, it absorbs them and uses them to perform several important functions in the body. One of these functions is repairing muscle tissue. This is why getting enough protein is so important to muscle growth.
Keep in mind that your protein needs will increase when you work out. This is because exercise creates small tears in the muscles, which the proteins you eat will repair.
Also, eating protein while you are working on losing weight will help you lose fat without losing too much muscle. This will help keep your body lean.
Getting the Protein You Need
While eating protein is important, it’s also important not to overdo it. Eating more protein than your body needs could lead the excess protein to be converted into fat.
Understanding Types of Protein
“Protein” is a broad term that describes chemicals found in several different types of food. To get the right protein in your diet, you need to know what types of protein there are.
Complete vs. Incomplete Proteins
There are many foods that contain protein, including meats, eggs, beans, and nuts. But while all of these foods have protein, they are not all considered sources of complete protein.
Proteins are made up of amino acids; in all, there are 20 amino acids that can make up a protein. Of these 20, there are 9 amino acids that humans cannot produce on their own. Complete protein sources are those that contain all 9 of these amino acids.
Lean Sources of Complete Protein
As we mentioned above, meat is a common source of complete protein. But, while meats and eggs can be a good source of protein, they can also be high in fat and cholesterol. To optimize weight loss, it’s important to vary your sources of protein with some leaner options.
Two of the best lean sources of whole protein are quinoa and buckwheat. These grains will provide a great source of protein, and can also combat problems like high cholesterol and high blood sugar.
Fish is another great lean source of protein. Fishes like salmon and tuna, in particular, are high in creatine while being low in fat.
The best way to get your daily protein is to eat a balanced diet of whole foods that are high in protein. That said, protein supplements can be a good option, especially for folks who might not have time to prepare protein-rich foods.
Here are some of the types of protein supplements you can consider adding to your diet.
The main types of protein that come from milk are whey and casein. Whey is absorbed quickly, which makes it effective for building muscles. By contrast, since casein is absorbed more slowly, it can help you feel full.
For the best results, we recommend mixing whey and casein proteins together. This will apply the maximum dose of amino acids to your body.
Egg White Protein
For those with a dairy allergy, protein from egg whites is a good alternative. The speed of absorption is between that of whey and casein, so it provides a good mid-range option.
Those with dairy and egg allergies or vegan diets will do best with vegetable-based proteins. Perhaps the well-known veggie protein is soy. This plant-based protein has the added benefit of lowering cholesterol.
Some folks have difficulty digesting soy. A good choice, in this case, is pea protein, which comes from yellow split peas. Keep in mind that peas are not a complete protein, so they should be paired with rice to get all the essential amino acids.
Getting the Right Types of Protein for Your Diet
At Muscle Up Meals, we work to ensure that every meal you eat is filled with the proteins and nutrients you need to get fit.
If you have more questions about how our meal prep service could help you get the best types of protein in your diet, contact us. We will work with you to get the right meals for your health.