Protein: building blocks of muscle

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Muscular endurance and strength

Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, or body builder, you need muscle. Even for those couch potatoes out there who don’t lift, muscle is still needed for everyday basic functions such as walking and sitting upright. Or for those times you have to carry every grocery bag all at once (team one-trip!). But outside of skeletal muscle, there’s also the important cardiac and smooth muscle that keeps our organs intact and functioning properly. In order to build all muscle properly, we need to consume protein. And while you may think meat is the only option, I’m here to tell you it’s not.

Veggie protein

proteinMany people instantly think of chicken, beef, or pork when I mention protein sources. While meat has a high amount of protein, the animals we eat get their protein from their diet. And guess what? Cows, chickens, and pigs are all vegetarians. So we are just eating veggies through their carriers. While this may seem like a workaround and a reason for you to stop eating vegetables, it isn’t. Vegetables are still needed thanks to the awesome fiber and complex carbohydrates they provide. So be sure to cook up some veggies to eat with that meat!

Good sources of protein

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Tofu
  • Chia Seeds

And if you’re sitting here wondering where protein shakes and/or bars fall into this list, I’m here to tell you that natural sources/foods are always going to be better than a shake or bar. But when in a pinch, they work. Just be sure to pay attention to how much sugar is included. I recommend going with the 0g of sugar option when available. The less sugar the better, unless you’re looking to get some carbs.

What’s your favorite food to fuel your muscles?

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