4. Greek Yogurt
Eating the proper amount of calcium is vital when building muscles, as it plays a huge role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles. If you don’t get the necessary amount of calcium, you can experience muscle cramps while working out. Greek yogurt has almost twice the protein found in regular yogurt and is packed with gut-friendly probiotics and bone-strengthening calcium. A 6-ounce serving of Fage Greek yogurt has 20 percent of the daily recommended calcium intake and 18 grams of protein. Be sure to keep an eye on pre-packaged flavors, as they can be full of sugar.
Seafood is one of the best sources of protein, but salmon is by far one of the best options to eat. Salmon is full of fat-fighting, cognition-enhancing omega-3 fatty acids. A good amount of omega-3s combined with regular exercise has been shown to reduce body fat more than just working out. Three ounces of salmon can provide you with 23 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of omega-3s.
2. Lean Ground Beef
A 3-ounce serving of beef has 23 grams of protein and is a substantial source of iron, which amounts to 15 percent of the recommended daily intake. Iron is very critical to proteins involved with oxygen transport, and if you have low levels of iron you can experience fatigue and low immunity. Be sure to go for the 90/10 or leaner versions of your favorite cuts to avoid the consumption of extra fats and calories.
1. Protein Powders
When you’re on the go, preparing a protein-rich meal sometimes isn’t possible, but protein powders can be used as a meal replacement and post-workout recovery option. However, not all powders are created equal. Healthy protein powders should contain at least 15 grams of protein per scoop and have at least as many grams of fiber as sugar. When it comes to buying protein powders, look for those that also have vitamins C and D, iron, and calcium.
So the next time you’re wondering why your muscles aren’t as big as you’d like them to be, consider looking into your diet and keeping an eye on your daily protein intake. It can be the missing piece keeping you from achieving the results you want.Related: 10 Fat-Burning Plant Foods That Have More Protein Than an Egg