When it comes to Bodybuilding, muscle gain, and bulking adding proteins into your diet is key.
But when it comes to what kind of animal protein to consume, many would say that chicken ranks superior to beef and fish. Is this a fact or a hoax? Let’s find out.
In this article, we’ll be looking into the importance of varying your meat sources to maximize your muscle growth as well as your overall health.
The importance of Proteins
Protein is one of the 3 essential macronutrients. It’s made up of chains of different types of amino acids and it does more than just muscle building.
Proteins also help your body to:
– Repair damaged body tissues
– Produce immunity to fight off infections
– Production of signals and hormones
– Circulate oxygen throughout the body
– Promote satiety and fullness to prevent overeating
Proteins can be easily found in many foods and products such as Protein Powders and Protein Bars. However, the consumption of proteins from whole protein foods contains a high amount of macros, micronutrients, and antioxidants that are vital for your health.
As the micronutrients in whole foods – Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats work together as a whole to help regulate bodily processes, resulting in muscle growth and recovery after a long workout or training.
What are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that most of which your body can’t produce on its own.
Did you know?
Consumption of whole foods is just more than muscle building and muscle growth, it could also potentially protects your body from certain diseases and boost your immune system.
IS STICKING TO JUST ONE PROTEIN SOURCE BETTER?
It is best recommended to mix your protein sources around as all protein-rich foods are created differently hence, having to solely rely on one protein source might cause you to miss out on other micronutrients that other protein sources have to offer.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT’S THE BEST PROTEIN SOURCE FOR ME?
When it comes to choosing your protein sources and protein portion sizes there are also a few variables to consider based on individuals as these may influence the portion size and specific cuts of meat to consume.
Variables examples such as:
– Activity Level (Type, Intensity, and Duration of Exercise)
– Health Conditions (Chronic Disease, Kidney Disease, etc)
– Fitness goals (Bodybuilding, Bulking, Fat Loss)
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANIMAL PROTEINS AND PLANT PROTEINS?
Animal Proteins are complete, high-quality proteins for our bodies as they contain all essential amino acids which are more readily digestible and their protein composition and structure are similar to ours compared to plant proteins.
Additionally, animal products such as meats and dairy have a higher concentration of leucine compared to plant proteins.
What is Leucine?
It is a primary amino acid that is responsible for triggering muscle protein synthesis.
To maximally stimulate muscle growth 2-3 grams of leucine is needed and the amount of leucine would equate to 20-30 grams of proteins per mealtime.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER PROTEIN SOURCES?
PROTEIN SOURCE: BEEF
Beef is a high-quality and nutritious source of protein as compared to Chicken and Fish. It is made up of mainly just protein and fats.
A 100g (raw weight) serve ground beef that’s 90% lean contains around 25g worth of protein and 10g of fat.
Fresh Beef is also an excellent source of:
– Vitamins (B3, B6, B12)
– Minerals (Iron, Zinc and Phosphorus)
– Leucine (Triggers Muscle Growth)
– Creatine (Provide energy and strength for your muscles, especially during High-intensity training, and aids in muscle recovery)
Did you know?
Lean beef is the best source of carnosine, which is an antioxidant that helps to reduce inflammation.
Grass-Fed Beef is a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
HOW DO I INCORPORATE BEEF INTO MY MEALS?
The Vitamins and Minerals in Beef can help you achieve optimal performance during your workout by keeping you energized and at the same time preventing you from feeling fatigued.
As Beef is a source of slow-digesting protein, you can include Beef as a source of protein in your Pre and Post-Workout meals to fuel for a long endurance workout session.
Ways to incorporate Beef into your diet:
– Include Beef in 3-4 meals per week in 100-200g (raw weight) portion sizes. (Limit of 650g per week)
If you are on a fitness diet goal of Bodybuilding, muscle gain, or bulking, opt for 200g portion size Beef instead.
– Have Beef in your Pre and Post-Workout Meal Preps as it supplements energy and aids muscle recovery during and after your workouts.
– Include Beef in your Non-Training Day Meal Preps as your muscles would continue to recover for the next 72-hours post-exercise.
– Feel free to have additional Just Proteins in your meals if you’re not going to be having proteins for a period of time.
Consume in Moderation, why?
However, excessive consumption of red meat could potentially increase the risk of heart disease due to its high saturated fat content as well as its sodium levels. Also, its excess fats may not be ideal if you are looking to get lean or are already consuming much fat from other foods.
Add foods that are rich in Vitamin-C to enhance iron absorption.
For example, Citrus fruits and Tomatoes.
PROTEIN SOURCE: FISH
Fish is another source of nutritious lean protein with other health benefits. In terms of its macros, fish is made up of protein and some fat as well.
Did you know?
Fatty fishes such as Salmon – it is the best source to obtain heart-healthy Omega 3 fat.
Omega 3s are also a source to help stimulate muscle growth and recovery by reducing inflammation.
Fish is also an excellent source of:
– Vitamins (B3, B12)
– Calcium & Vitamin D (Build strong bones and health to prevent Osteoporosis)
– Minerals (For Metabolism, immunity, muscle growth, and performance)
– Creatine (Improve Performance)
– Amino Acids (Muscle Building and improve blood flow)
Fish has lesser saturated fat compared to other meats, which is a great option for individuals with heart conditions or looking to lose weight.
Fish is also faster-digesting than Beef, which would make a great source of protein to include in your Pre and Post-Workout Meal prep.
However, try to avoid eating fish with a higher level of mercury such as Shark and Marlin which is toxic when eaten in excess. Choose seafood that is lower in mercury levels such as Salmon, Tuna, Tilapia, and Shrimp.
HOW DO I INCORPORATE FISH INTO MY MEALS?
Ways to incorporate Fish into your diet:
– Include 2-3 serves of fish per week, a serving of roughly 150g (raw weight).
– Include fish in your Pre and Post-Workout Meal Preps.
– Feel free to include fish as Just Proteins in your meals as additional proteins as well.
HOW TO VARY MEAT INTAKE THROUGHOUT THE WEEK WITH FRESHER PERFORMANCE MEALS
This meal plan is a simple fundamental guide. However, depending on your own personal fitness goals you may or may not need more meals and snacks.
Fresher Performance Meal: Guidelines
On High-intensity workout and training days – Pre and Post-Workout Meals are recommended.
On non-training days or low-intensity workouts or training days – High Protein, Low Carb Meals are recommended. Also, feel free to include additional Just Proteins into your meals or to consume them as snacks in-between workouts.