Looking to optimise your muscle sculpting goals through your food intake?
To repair the muscle fibers we tear when we train, our bodies require protein…it’s simple, protein intake = boosted recovery!
Training and nutrition go hand in hand…without effective nutrition to kickstart muscle repair and recovery processes, our training will not have an impact. This guide explores the importance of a healthy nutrition and also takes a look at LBL’s top recommendations for protein-rich foods to add to your weekly shop!
Carbs?! Protein?! Fats?!...It’s All About Balance
It’s widely known that the 3 main nutrient categories that the content of our nutritional intake fall into are: carbohydrates, fats and protein.
To be precise, these nutrients are known as “macronutrients”’ if we’re talking from a technical viewpoint. Each has their own role and each plays a key role in the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle.
Fat and carbs are bad! – Wrong.
A common misconception is viewing fats and carbohydrates in a completely negative light, when in fact they’re actually key components for a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
So, what do each of these nutrient types do?
Fats are absolutely essential to supply the body with energy, support cell growth and to also provide protection to the organs.
Fats aren’t just a source of energy and protection; they actually operate as the body’s structural building blocks and carry fat-soluble vitamins!
Carbs are the body’s supplier of the energy required to undertake and carry out daily tasks and activities.
They also serve as the primary source for the brain’s high energy demands, making their presence in our diets absolutely pivotal.
As this guide is based on boosting muscle repair and recovery processes, the star of the show is protein! So, the next section will focus on the world of protein and the value it offers to us.
It’s key to consider that macronutrients collaborate in an interlinked fashion, meaning that they’re all needed in order to keep ourselves fit and healthy! However, as the old saying goes- “too much of anything is bad”. Consuming too much of any macronutrient can and will lead to health risks!
Protein - The Muscle Recovery Macronutrient!
Protein has numerous roles, from supporting the growth and repair of tissues, to supplying energy, to allowing metabolic reactions to take place. This is key to those of us girls who dream of a more muscular and defined physique, because the bottom line is that the macronutrient which facilitates the repair of muscle fibers is the one and only, protein.
Now, when it comes to protein intake for muscle recovery, one of the first things that pops up in many people’s heads is protein powder. Though protein supplementation can provide high concentrations of protein, it lacks many nutrients which accompany the protein contained within food with protein.
High protein food is a necessity whether your goal is to strengthen, build or nurture your muscles. It’s also been scientifically supported that eating protein-rich meals can help with the following:
- Reducing cravings for snacking through lowering hunger levels
- Boosting metabolism and increasing fat burning processes
- Strengthening bones
- Lowering blood pressure
Now that we’ve explored the nature of protein and how it’s function is so heavily aligned with fitness, let’s take a look at some of the best protein food sources!
LBL’s Top Protein Food Sources
We bring to our top protein food recommendations to satisfy both your taste buds and your muscles!
When it comes to the most renowned big hitters, great choices include:
- Lean meat
- Milk and yoghurt
The Non-Meat Necessities
For those of us who happen to be vegan, vegetarian, allergic to dairy or are seekers of a diet where meat intake is limited, we have some great choices for you, including some real hidden gems!
- Quorn products
- Soy/Soy milk
- Green peas
- Nuts/Nut butters
With so many options to add to your weekly shop, why not try something new and see what protein-rich delights you can conjure up in the kitchen!
Balance, Balance and….Balance!
Without a healthy balance between the 3 key macronutrient groups our bodies will be unable to take on the tasks of day-to-day life let alone undertake effective muscle recovery processes!
And what about cheat meals? Will they kill muscle recovery and gains? The answer is…no! Cheat meals from time to time are actually great as allowing yourself to feel rewarded through indulgence can actually release endorphins which improve can improve our mental wellbeing.