Now we all know that protein is required to build muscle, but how much exactly? Research is mixed and suggests anywhere between .5 grams and 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. We like to make the recommendation of .7-1 gram for most people. That said, the traditional choices of chicken, beef, fish, eggs and milk are not only obvious but sometimes not permitted in people’s meal plans depending on their style of eating. These 10 undercover proteins provide amazingly potent alternatives that can either substitute or supplement the high protein diet you are already eating. Let’s break them down one by one.
First up, we have whole wheat pasta. While traditionally labeled a carbohydrate, whole wheat pasta provides 7.5 grams of protein per cup. Now, a cup of pasta really doesn’t take up much room on the plate, so we can likely double that number, bringing the protein content up to 15 grams. For someone trying to build muscle, including this protein source is a great idea.
While whole wheat pasta is an incomplete protein, we can pair it with another to fill in the gaps all the while driving up that protein content. The perfect pairing? Green peas. Peas have 4 grams of protein per .5 cup, which also doesn’t take up much room on the plate. Putting these two together will help to boost any bodybuilding diet that is being used for more muscle growth.
A less sneaky source of protein, but certainly one that is higher in content than you might’ve expected, is parmesan cheese. With 11 grams per ounce, that’s significantly higher than the 6 grams found in cheddar cheese.
Another protein source that you might not have expected to have as much as it does is spinach. That’s right, Popeye’s favorite food is a potent muscle builder, packing 5.5 grams of protein in a cup of cooked spinach. The fact is, if you’re eating to build more muscle, you’ll want to include this leafy green in your diet, too.
We all know that nuts and seeds are a solid source of protein, but did you know that pumpkin seeds have the most? A whopping 8 grams per ounce! Not only that, but pumpkin seeds are one of the most cost effective sources of proteins in comparison to other nuts and seeds.
Dairy is an obvious source of protein, but there is one dairy product that might be higher than you think: cottage cheese. With 30 grams of protein per cup, cottage cheese should find its way into your meal plan as you look to build muscle.
Another food that is traditionally looked at as a carbohydrate but contains a surprising amount of protein in it is quinoa. Not only does it contain 8 grams per cup, but it is also a complete protein. This is an important factor to consider when choosing protein sources as alternatives or supplements to your current protein intake.
A food that is high in protein that you might not have thought of, is edamame. While soy is often debated on its health benefits and drawbacks, it is commonly agreed that natural soy is better than processed soy. Edamame is not only a natural soy product, but it is a complete protein, and packs 21 grams of protein per cup!
If you want to start your day off right with a meal that will help you build muscle, I suggest adding oatmeal to your morning routine. You might not have known that oatmeal contains 8-9 grams of protein per only .5 cup. Add in the fact that you can add further protein sources such as milk, nuts, or even protein powder.
One of the most powerful alternative protein sources is lentils. Lentils contain 18 grams of protein per cup and not only that, but also packs 16 grams of fiber in that same cup. This protein source is not one to be overlooked as it will provide plenty of benefits to any bodybuilding diet.
Last, but certainly not least, is the food source with the most protein on the planet – spirulina. Containing 57 grams of protein per 100 grams, there is no other food that concentrated. Adding it to a shake is quick and and easy way to get the most protein possible.
The fact is that outside of the standard protein sources, we have plenty of high protein options to act as alternatives or supplements to our current muscle building diet. If you are looking for a training program with a step-by-step meal plan included, then head over to athleanx.com using the link below. Start training and eating like an athlete today.
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