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There’s no reason to worry yourself crazy about how you are taking in the protein you need. Combining different sources of protein, either during the course of a day or during the course of an individual meal will not compromise the quality of the protein entering your body. If you want to eat a tuna fish sandwich with a side dish of cheese, go right ahead.
A major concern for any bodybuilder regarding protein is the quality of the protein being consumed. Basically speaking, there are two kinds of proteins: complete and incomplete proteins. Complete proteins contain all 12 essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Incomplete proteins do not contain all 12. Foods that lack the full complement of proteins are hardly without value, especially if they’re rich in other important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals or provide high quality carbohyrdrates or fats. And don’t forget, in your hurry to stock your body with muscle building protein, that you still need carbohydrates and fats in your diet.
Major sources of complete proteins are all meats, eggs, and fish. While most people think of red meat as the protein powerhouse, don’t forget that the overall healthier meats such as chicken are high in protein, as are such vitamin and mineral rich foods such as tuna fish. You should choose only the best red meat sources.
Actually, such foods as eggs and whey protein provide more rapidly assimilated protein than meat. This is important to keep in mind when planning meals on workout days.
A big advantage of planning meals around complete protein sources is simplicity and ease. All your protein needs are lying right there in that slab of steak or can of tuna. But incomplete proteins can be combined with each other to make complete protein meals. Vegatarians- the wise ones, not the extremists- are especially have become adept at combining foods so as to provide their bodies with complete proteins. Here is a list of vegetarian sources for protein.
A good basic technique for matching incomplete proteins is to eat legumes (beans) with a grain dish. Rice is the most common grain dish. Many cuisines such as Mexican and Indian, feature many dishes of rice and beans.
But for variety, there are many other grains out there. Bulger, spelt, and barley are all tasty and work well with beans. If you tire of beans or don’t digest them very well, look to soy products. Soy foods include tofu, a dish which combines well with grain to give you the complete proteins you need.
Since your muscles will be doing a great deal of their recuperating and rebuilding when you are asleep, try giving them a little protein boost before you hit the sack.
We’re not talking here about eating a burger or downing an egg, of course.
Casein protein supplements (available in health food stores) are gentle on the system. Their rate of digestion is slow and directs protein to those rebuilding muscles. You can also consume casein based supplements on those days when you’re not pumping iron. On workout days, don’t count on them providing enough protein fast enough for your body’s high octane needs.
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