12 Healthy Protein Food Sources for Athletes
Just like carbohydrates, proteins play an important role in our body. When we eat protein food, we stimulate the release of Glucagon that stimulates the metabolizing and burning of fat. While carbohydrates are required to keep you running for hours, proteins are essential for building blocks.
Often, we all tend to focus more on carbohydrate intake and give little importance to protein consumption. As a result, we recover poorly, that affects our performance and health. Protein food is made up of amino acids that help in the maintenance, repair and growth of lean muscle.
Take a look at the best sources of protein food sources for athletes that provide you with a rich supply.
Consuming any of these healthy protein sources will reduce recovery time, prevent muscle weakness and stimulate your immune system.
We have known eggs as one of the best sources of protein food for years. They are inexpensive, effective, contain a rich supply of proteins and can be easily cooked. Each white orb supplies around 6g of protein that is easily digestible. This best protein food source provides vitamins such as A, K, E and a variety of vitamins B. Eggs are also rich in zinc, calcium, iron and include all the essential amino acids that aid in optimum recovery.
You could consider starting your day with an omelet as it keeps you full for long. You can cook them in a variety of different ways and have them as a recovery snack. If you are an endurance athlete or a bodybuilder, protein food should be a part of your balanced diet. Make sure you eat the whole egg as it can provide you with all the benefits.
Cheese (high – Quality):
Cheese is the next best protein food source, however, it is important to know that processed foods do not count. So ensure to take a look at the ingredients and avoid those that contain chemicals that are unhealthy. Always buy high-quality cheese, it supplies your body with proteins, potassium, vitamins, calcium and more.
Athletes should make high-quality cheese a part of their diet as it can be useful to increase your protein food intake without affecting your carb consumption.
Yogurt Milk and Soy Milk:
Dairy products are packed with the richest source of proteins that qualify them as the best sources of proteins.
Often, we come across numerous varieties of yogurts and choosing from them can be a problem. This is because many of them contain high amounts of sugar and other different chemical additives and are not part of the healthy food. A combination of casein and whey protein, yogurt is a great protein-rich food.
Add some fruits or honey to make your serving exciting.
A single serve of soymilk contains high amounts of proteins, fiber, fatty acids, vitamins and essential minerals. They not only provide energy but also keep your body functioning at optimum levels and promote fast recovery. This best sources of proteins can prevent prostate cancer, postmenopausal syndrome, osteoporosis and more.
Those of you looking to promote weight loss should consume Soy milk regularly. Besides, Milk proteins, particularly caseins, have an appropriate amino acid composition that can aid in recovery.
This is one of our highly recommended best sources of proteins and is very easy to prepare. It makes a great replacement for rice or pasta. The bonus is that quinoa offers a huge amount of protein that can be consumed as breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. This best sources of proteins is also a rich source of iron, magnesium, fiber and potassium.
Quinoa is the best sources of proteins for vegans and vegetarians. It is even good for those who are looking for a low cholesterol intake.
Broccoli is an incredibly healthy vegetable that is not only high as a protein food but is also loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber and potassium.
That being said, this veggie is high in various bioactive nutrients believed to help protect against cancer.
Consuming one cup of broccoli (100 gms) will provide you with 3 games of protein.
Almonds are another best protein food source. Another great thing about almonds is that they help stabilize our blood sugar level. Avoid those that are salted or come along with a coating of chocolate. Almonds are also good sources of riboflavin, or vitamin B2, which is an essential nutrient for producing oxygen-based energy in the body.
This is a snack that you can carry around wherever you go. Eating a handful of almonds regularly can lead to more energy and stronger muscles.
Beans are a healthy protein food source too. There are a lot of beans available in the market. There are lentils, kidney beans, black beans and more. They can supply you with a high amount of antioxidants, fiber, calcium, iron and not-to-forget- proteins. You can make hummus, stew or add them to salads or just about anything. Whether you are a vegetarian or not we recommend you consume beans regularly.
Add these beans to your soup or salad or mix them with brown rice or steam vegetables and create a healthy meal.
You might be surprised these vegetables are also a healthy source of protein food and as meat and fish. While spinach is rich in vitamin A, D and B-12 and calcium, Asparagus is can also supply the same in abundance. Besides these, tomatoes, kale, peas and many others are also considered as a good source of proteins.
Asparagus is another protein food that helps you reduce water retention. It is also the richest source of Vitamin K.
As well all know, animal proteins are the first to come to your mind when we think of the best sources of proteins. Meat is high in amino acids that are essential for your body and also contain vitamin A, D and B-12 and calcium and some fats.
While buying meat, choose low-fat or lean meat. Avoid buying meat that is processed as it contains high amounts of sodium that is unhealthy.
Last but not the least, fish is another best sources of proteins that has high nutritional value and provides a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, iodine, Vitamin A and D are some that make it one of the rich sources of proteins. Fish such as salmon, tuna, cod and halibut are some that are rich sources of proteins. In general, fish is considered the best sources of proteins because it is low in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol and so on.
Fish is highly recommended for athletes, as it is rich in omega 3-fatty acids, DHA and has many other advantages. Eating fish thrice a week will reduce your chances of blood pressure, heart rate, depression, stroke and so on.
So if you are not meeting the requirements of our body, ensure to consume any of the above healthy protein food sources.
Editor: Nigel Buthello
Abhishek Tarfe, a man always on the move! A cycling enthusiast, a content writer by profession and a dreamer by nature. Abhishek always has something different up his sleeve! To know more, do follow him on his social media accounts.