Good Cheap High Protein Food Sources

Are you looking for some good high protein food sources? if you want good quality protein for muscle development and repair at a reasonable cost then read on.

Whey protein supplements are heavily advertised and some of these protein supplements can be very expensive and you might not want to spend that much which is understandable. The foods below offer some alternatives for those of us on a budget.

Good Cheap High Protein Sources

Eggs

Eggs are definitely cheap and they are a great source of protein. They also include amino acids which help with muscle recovery. Plus there is a wide variety of ways in which they can be prepared.

Whole Milk

Milk provides similar benefits to protein shakes, giving your body a quick release of protein into the body. Milk is ideal to drink just after your workout and anytime to top up your protein levels and it offers a cheaper alternative to whey protein supplements.

Tinned Tuna

I always have my cupboard stacked full on tinned tuna. Tuna is an excellent high protein food, it is tinned in a variety of different ways, for example with spring water, sunflower oil and brine. You can also buy it flavored with herbs and tomato to name a few examples. A small 80 gram tin can include nearly 20 grams of protein.

There have been some studies that suggest that the high levels of mercury in tuna can be bad for our health so just don’t over eat it.

Chicken Steaks

I often buy pacts of chicken steaks from the supermarket, they are normally good quality chicken and you can get up to 8 steaks per pact at a low cost, providing the content for 3 to 4 high protein meals. I normally include vegetables to make it a complete meal.

Beans

Beans are a nice cheap option, there are many different type of beans and their protein values differ, however they are all still a good protein source. Some example beans are Lentils, Black beans, Pinto beans and Soy beans.

Yogurt

Yogurt, maybe surprising to some but it is actually a good source of protein. Greek yogurt has the highest quantity of protein making it the best choice of yogurt for bodybuilders.

Peanuts

Peanuts are really cheap and they provide a high percentage of protein, avoid salted or crispy coated peanuts because they are not very healthy. Peanuts do have a high percentage of fat but much of the fat is non-saturated (good fat). I know peanuts are not actually nuts, however on the subject of nuts you may also want to consider cashew nuts, walnuts and almonds.

Foods you Should Never Eat!

Foods to Never EatSo what are these foods that you should never eat if you are looking to lose weight and burn body fat?

Some foods are just useless when it comes to providing our bodies with nutrients. When the foods we eat don’t provide the nutrients our bodies need we will continue to be hungry, and if we continue to be hungry we will continue to eat, and if we continue to eat we will get fat, plain and simple.

Foods you should never eat!

Bread

Bread is a complete waste of time and it should be excluded from our diets, even whole wheat or brown bread is not that good for us and it should be avoided if you are looking to lose some body fat. Excluding bread completely from our diets may be a little extreme but bread should definitely not be a big part of our diet as it is almost completely useless in terms of providing our bodies with nutrients.

Soda

Some people live on this stuff, it’s basically just liquid candy which can contribute greatly to gaining body fat, plus it’s very bad for our teeth.

Fried Foods

Fried foods are very high in fat, especially saturated and trans fats which increases cholesterol and blood pressure which can lead to all sorts of health problems. Plus fat has twice the calories of protein and carbohydrates so it has the potential to make us fat. They are often the cause of stomach problems such as stomach pain and acid re-flux.

Fruit Juice

Fruit Juice is often considered as something healthy and in some ways it is, the trouble is a glass of orange juice for example has a hell of a lot of sugar in it. This sugar can cause weight gain plus it is very bad for our teeth. A single glass of orange juice can contain the juice from as much as 5 oranges, have you ever seen anybody eat 5 oranges? the answer is no and eating 5 oranges is not good because of the above reasons.

Sports Drinks

This is another one that may seem healthy mostly because of the way they are advertised, you see a sports star or professional athletic drinking them and we naturally think they are healthy, however actually they are not. Sports drinks are high in sugar and calories and unless you are training like an athlete they should be avoided. Even if you are training like an athletic the benefits that these drinks provide are questionable and unproven.

Bacon

Bacon maybe delicious but it is one of the worst things that we can eat, it’s high in sodium and trans fats which greatly increases the risk of certain serious health problems. Trans fats should be avoided at all costs it’s a chemically man made fat and expects are know realizing the potential health risks.

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Biggest Diet Mistakes for Building Muscle Mass

Biggest Bodybuilding Diet MistakesWhat are some of the biggest diet mistakes that weight lifters/bodybuilders make when trying to build muscle mass? this article is about the top diet mistakes that I have noticed and witnessed.

Eating well is a very important part when it comes to muscle development and fitness in general. Unfortunately there are a fair few myths and misconceptions floating about which people sometimes pay attention too.

Some of these diet misconceptions will not only limit development they could also potentially lead to health problems and increase the risk of injuries.

Over the years I have encountered many weightlifters and potential bodybuilders and I have heard all sorts of different advice and stories on what to eat to make the best gains. Unfortunately much of what I was told was completely nonsense or at best an exaggeration of the truth.

Below are some of the biggest diet mistakes for building muscle.

Consuming too much protein

One of the most common pieces of bodybuilding diet advice is to consume massive amounts of protein! Some guys will have diets consisting almost entirely of meat and protein supplements, and much of it will be poor quality and high in saturated fat. The trouble is the body can only cope with a certain amount of protein at any given time so much of the protein will simply not be used by the body.

Consuming too many calories

Has anybody given you this advice? “just eat eat and eat” or “just eat as much crap as possible” the reasoning behind this is to consume lots of calories. It’s true you do need a calorie surplus to build muscle mass, however this idea can just be taken to the extreme which is what happens here. Simply consuming too many calories will make you fat, and if those calories are coming from junk food you are not going to be getting the right nutrients into your body, and without the right nutrients you will not improve or develop.

Only eating protein on workout days

I am not sure if this is common but this is something that I use to do. I use to think that protein was only necessary on days that I went to the gym. However this is a big mistake because our bodies need protein continuously. Our muscles grow and our bodies repair on our rest days and during sleep, so consuming quality protein is essential during rest days.

How Much Fat Should I Eat?

We have different types of fats, for example saturated and unsaturated fats, how much should you be eating? and which fats should you avoid?

Fat is made up of the same components as carbohydrate and protein, those components are hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, however these elements are combined differently than in other forms of nutrients to give them a different structure which makes fat more energy dense. Fat is more dense than other nutrients and it contains around twice the amount of calories per gram as protein and carbohydrates, so basically eating too much fat could make us fat. Not all body fat is a negative thing, a few of the benefits of body fat is outlined below.

What are the benefits and functions of fat?

  • Fats in the body help to protect and cushion the organs in our bodies, so not enough body fat could potentially harm our health.
  • Fat provides energy reserves, commonly known as body fat. Whenever we exercise we use both energy from food that we have consumed as also from fat that our body has stored (body fat) which makes fat essential for energy and performance.
  • Body fat also helps us to keep warm in cold temperatures.

Fat we eat, what fats are good and what fats are bad

Basically saturated fat is the bad one, it can increase cholesterol which increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and various other health problems. We should look for foods that contain unsaturated fat instead, unsaturated fat can actually reduce cholesterol and most of us should be eating more of it.

Some fat in our diet is actually recommended as it provides some necessary functions and benefits to the body such as providing us with energy, essential acids and helping to absorb certain nutrients.

Example foods which contain saturated fat

  • Butter/Lard
  • Cheese
  • Red Meat – Beef, Lamb, Pork
  • Egg yolks
  • Processed meats
  • Some cakes, biscuits and chocolate.
  • Creams, including ice cream

Example foods which contain unsaturated fat

  • Nuts and seeds – cashews, peanuts
  • Certain Fish
  • Certain fruits and vegetables

Even for a professional bodybuilder with a very low body fat percentage, their diet balance will still be around 15 – 25 percent fat. Fat intake should be controlled and limited especially saturated fat, however keep in mind that fat is a very important part of our diet and not consuming enough will hinder our fitness and muscle building goals and even our health.

So to directly answer the questions “Is fat good or bad and should we be eating more or less?” that all depend on how much of it you are consuming in the first place.

Should I Eat Carbs?

So are carbohydrates good or bad? carbs often get a bad reputation for being bad for us and being responsible for gaining body fat. However it’s not as simple as that, carbohydrates are a very important part of our diets.

Carbohydrates are the easiest form of energy that our bodies can use and also the main source of energy. Our muscles store carbohydrates as glycogen which is what gives them energy. Carbohydrates create glucose once it has been digested, then it will travel around the body by our blood where it will be converted to energy while it’s in our cells.

How do carbs make us fat?

When we consume excess carbohydrates which forms glucose, this excess glucose will be converted to glycogen, this glycogen is stored in your liver and in body fat (fat gain). This process is reversed when our bodies need energy when it can’t gain that energy from food we have consumed, glycogen will be converted back to glucose so it can be used by the body for energy (fat loss).

Good carbs and bad carbs

All carbohydrates are not equal, on one side we have what we call simple carbohydrates and we also have complex carbohydrates.

Simple Carbohydrates (simple molecule mixture)

This is the one that gives us a quick energy release, simple carbs provide instant energy and usually very little nutritional value except for some fruits which are classed as simple carbs. simple carbs are high on the glycemic index which means that they are metabolized by the body quickly. The following are examples of simple carbs, white bread, chips, white rice, biscuits, cakes, chocolate and soft drinks to name a few.

Complex Carbohydrates (complex molecule mixture)

These type of carbs have a low glycemic index which means that they are a slower form of energy release. Examples of complex carbs are whole wheat bread, brown rice, bananas, oats, vegetables and generally foods that are nutrient rich.

Why are carbohydrates so important?

  • Supplying our muscles with energy which is incredibly important for reaching muscular failure, the more energy our muscles have that much harder we can work them therefore resulting in better results.
  • The glucose we gain from carbohydrates not only supplies our muscles with energy, it’s also the main source of energy for our brains to function properly. Insufficient energy and nutrients for the brain can affect our mood, our mental ability and our personalities in general.
  • If the body gains sufficient energy from carbohydrates it will not need to gain energy from other nutrients, for example the protein that we consume will be used for its intended purpose and not for energy.
  • Your muscles will look larger when they have water and glycogen stored in them.

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How Much Protein Do You Need?

Our bodies use protein for all sorts of different reasons, some of these reasons are obvious and some are not so obvious such as for skin and hair. No matter what our bodies use protein for, certain other things need to be present before our bodies can use the protein we consume.

This is where amino acids come into play, amino acids are often over looked by many less experienced bodybuilders. Without the right amino acids in our bodies, much of the protein that we consume will not be used.

In bodybuilding we consume protein for the propose of building muscle, however the body cannot actually use the protein that we consume unless it has the necessary amino acids. Our bodies do produce a certain amount of amino acids naturally, however many foods also have high levels of amino acids, so it’s a good idea to know what foods have high levels of protein and the right amino acids combined.

Complete protein

Foods that are considered to be complete protein foods will have all the amino acids necessary for muscle growth and development. An example of the these complete protein foods are

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Soy Beans

So is protein percentage important?

Yes it can be but it’s not that simple, our bodies can only use a certain amount of protein at any given time. Amino acids is what allows our bodies to actually make use of the protein that we have consumed. This makes paying attention to the protein percentage in our food and the grams of protein that we consume less important. It’s more about the amount of usable protein that we consume, if our bodies can’t use the protein then the excess protein is just wasted and what is the point of that! I maybe repeating myself here but the point is very important and worth repeating a few times.

Incomplete protein

Certain foods such as various nuts, various beans, rice and potatoes contain a fairly high amount of protein. However these foods lack many of the various amino acids that the body needs to utilize that protein, these forms of protein are referred to as (incomplete) protein. There is nothing wrong with eating foods that have incomplete protein, however for the greatest results you should look at mixing them with foods that contain the necessary amino acids.

A basic look at protein

Protein is made up of several different elements, these elements are hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and nitrogen. Sometimes you will hear lifters talking about positive and negative nitrogen, they are referring to anabolic state (positive nitrogen balance – building muscle) or catabolic (negative nitrogen balance – losing muscle).

How much protein do you need?

Getting back to the original question. 1 gram, per 1 pound of body weight is the usual recommend protein consumption when trying to increase muscle mass. So a 200lbs man requires around 200 grams of protein per day. However when you are talking about body weight, this is lean body weight, so an over weight 300lbs man doesn’t require 300 grams of protein per day. Plus remember those amino acids.

Gains can still be made by consuming considerably less than the recommend 1 gram per 1 pound of body weight, so don’t think this recommendation is set in stone. In fact some say the 1 gram per 1 pound of body weight is way too much.