Protein for Fighters
How much protein did you consume yesterday?
If you can’t answer this question, then you might have a reason for not reaching your full potential. Keeping track of how much protein, fat, and carbs you eat each day can help you make the most of your fitness routine.
Whether you’re attempting to build muscle or shed some body fat, protein is vital. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissue, including muscle tissue.
But, what is the best protein for fighters?
There are the obvious answers, such as chicken and fish. Though, if you want to eat a balanced diet, you should include a variety of protein sources. Here are some suggestions…
Why Do You Need Protein?
First, it might help to review the importance of protein. As mentioned, your body needs protein to repair and build muscle tissue. But, it's also essential for making enzymes and hormones – including the testosterone hormone.
Your body also requires more protein as you gain muscle, which leads to an increased metabolic rate. This means that eating more protein and building more muscle can help you burn more calories throughout the day thanks to a stronger metabolism.
How Much Protein Should You Consume?
If you want to maximize your ability to build lean muscle, burn fat, and get in better shape, you need an adequate supply of protein. But, how much protein? This depends on your goals.
The recommendations vary, but the average range is between 0.8 and 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. But, if you want to get toned and build lean muscle mass while also losing weight, I’d suggest around 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound.
Along with the amount of protein, the quality of the protein can also have an impact on your health and fitness goals. To get the best results, you want the best protein for fighters…
The 9 Best Protein Sources for Fighters
To be considered a “complete source” of protein, a food must have all the essential amino acids. You’ll find complete protein from animal sources – meat, eggs, dairy, fish, and poultry.
Plant-based protein, such as the protein found in certain beans or grains, doesn’t contain the complete amino acid profile. By including a variety of these protein sources, you can make sure that you continue to get all the amino acids that your body needs.
Quality sources of protein ensure that you’re receiving the right balance of amino acids. These essential amino acids are important for virtually every bodily function and system. This includes your ability to build muscle and maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair.
Here are the 9 best sources of protein for fighters. Explore each source and discover the pros and cons of each:
#1 – Fish
One of the best proteins available is fish – especially salmon. Fatty fish like salmon contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Most people lack a quality source of omega-3 fatty acids while consuming too much omega-6 fatty acids found in whole grain foods. This imbalance can lead to a variety of health complications, including an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Luckily, you can easily avoid that problem by adding more fish to your diet. Grilled salmon served over a bed of brown or wild rice is a great go-to meal that is easy to prepare and packed with nutrition.
#2 – Poultry
Poultry is another option. Chicken is a staple of the health conscious, because it is affordable, tastes great, and it’s an excellent source of lean protein. You should stick with white meat. The dark meat tends to contain a little more fat.
#3 – Dairy
Dairy provides several great sources of protein. This includes milk, cheese, and yogurt. Though, yogurt doesn’t generally contain as much protein as cheese or milk. But, all three are wonderful ingredients to keep around in your fridge for breakfast recipes. They also contain calcium, which is necessary for healthy bones.
#4 – Eggs
The incredible edible egg is, of course, another perfect source of protein for fighters.
You can scramble them, hard boil them, or fry them in a pan. They can be made into omelets or poached. They are one of the most versatile foods and contain about 6 grams of protein per egg.
#5 – Pork
Pork is also a suitable option. Over the years, the fat content of most cuts of pork has decreased. And, it tends to be cheaper than quality lean beef.
#6 – Lean Beef
Lean beef is another complete source of protein. It also contains plenty of vitamin B12, iron, and zinc. Ensuring you get enough zinc can help improve testosterone levels, which is necessary for muscle development.
#7 – Beans
For vegetarians, you’ll need to rely on plant-based sources of protein. Remember, you should eat a variety of these foods to get all the amino acids that your body requires. In addition to beans and soy, you could moderate amounts of protein from certain nuts, legumes, and seeds.
#8 – Soy
Soy is another great vegetarian option. If you don’t eat meat, soy can be a useful ingredient for ensuring you get your required protein. And, consuming soy could help lower your cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
#9 – Protein Powder
Making sure that you get enough protein throughout the day isn’t always easy. Protein powder can help. This includes whey protein powder, which is one of the only protein powders that contains a nearly complete amino acid profile.
With the protein powder, just one or two scoops can instantly transform a glass of milk, water, or a smoothie, into a protein-filled beverage. This is a convenient way to get your protein for the day.
When you’re pressed for time in the morning or for lunch, you can quickly prepare a protein shake with your choice of fruit and vegetables and the powder. If you’re interested in learning more about protein powder – check out our review of the Best Protein Powder for MMA.
You should consider adding these protein sources to your regular diet. If you want to build muscle, lose weight, or get shredded to become a better fighter, your path starts with a good diet and regular exercise. These foods will help you reach your goals.
Good luck – and don’t forget to check out the rest of the articles on this site for more advice.