The best protein sources should be the center piece of every meal.
If you are serious about getting the body of your dreams…
Or just a better body…
You have to undertake a complete weight lifting program consisting of weight lifting, diet, stretching, and cardiovascular exercise.
Set your mind to do something, and do it. No turning back.
If you want to maximize your results from weight lifting, you're going to want to increase your protein intake by consuming foods high in protein.
The best protein sources are VERY important to your progress.
You Need to Increase Your Protein Intake
If you want to build muscle and lose fat, you better raise that protein intake. You can do so by eating the best sources of protein discussed on this page.
I want to go over all the best sources of protein and give you a resource that you can always come back to when you are looking for food ideas.
I sometimes get tired of eating the same foods over and over and just want a change.
You can always come back here and check for different sources of protein you can add to your diet.
Direct And Indirect Sources Of Protein
I'm going to talk a little bit about direct sources of protein and indirect sources of protein.
My definition of direct sources of protein are foods that have higher protein content than carbohydrates or fat.
Indirect sources of protein are mainly carb or fat sources but have a high protein content too.
Let's look at an example. What is a direct protein source? We're looking for a food that consists mainly of protein. Chicken Breast is a direct source of protein.
Now for indirect protein sources. This will be a food such as peanut butter. Peanut butter is a fat source because it is highest in fat content, but it has a decent amount of protein.
You can add indirect sources of protein to your diet to really help your overall protein intake. Now let's get to the best protein sources.
Direct Sources of Protein
These are the absolute best protein sources out there. See the table below for foods high in protein.
You'll also get my thoughts and ideas on each source of protein. You really should read through all of these. You'll get some good ideas on how to use the best protein sources in your meals.
|Lean Beef is my favorite source of protein for building muscle. I absolutely love it! There's something about beef that really leads to muscle gains. I like to eat at least 92%. I won't go below 92%. Too much saturated fat for me at lower percentages. If I had to choose the best protein source for each and every day, I would choose beef!|
|I like to brown the meat and add it to healthy soups with lots of veggies and beans. I also like to have taco salads with a few chips, lots of lettuce, some taco seasoning, jalapenos, sour cream, tomatoes, cheese, and salsa. I'll buy low carb tortillas and make burritos and enchiladas with lots of lean beef. Very good stuff! I buy the large containers of lean beef and cut the pieces into equal serving sizes. I then place the portions in freezer bags and freeze them until I'm ready for them.|
|Salmon is another one of my favorites. A good piece of salmon is packed full of protein along with good fats and really tastes great. One of my favorite meals at Outback restaurant is the Salmon with grilled vegetables. If you don't eat salmon, you should try adding it to your diet.|
|Grilled Salmon and veggies with a little bit of butter really tastes great. Have some salmon once per week or more if you'd like. I also like to have rice with salmon and crab cakes every once in a while. Salmon and veggies is a great meal to have for dinner. Low carb and packed full of protein, good fats, and plenty of muscle building nutrients!|
|You can't beat a good steak in terms of taste and muscle building! Steak is special! It's just too expensive for me to eat every meal and time consuming to prepare. If I could afford steak, I would have it every day. Have you a good steak at least once per week. Set up a special day for steak. Have one after your toughest workout of the week. Go with the leanest cuts of meat.|
|Buy your steak at least a few days early so you have time to prepare. Get some good marinade and soak the steak. When you are finished, freeze the steak. This really makes the steak taste great when you grill it up! Grill that steak up and eat it with a huge baked potato loaded with smart ones butter, fat free sour cream, a little cheese, and some toppings. If you want to go low carb, have some grilled veggies. I also like to have rice with my steak sometimes. I'm hungry now! Steak very well could be the best protein source of all.|
|Chicken Breast can get really boring if you let it! Chicken is one of the best protein sources and probably the most popular. I love beef much better myself, but chicken really adds some variety. Shredded chicken breast really goes great in soups.|
|One of my favorite soups was made by my grandmother. Homemade chicken soup! It was the best soup I've ever eaten. My grandmother (who passed away) gave the recipe to my wife and she now cooks it for me every once in a while. Another great way to cook chicken is to marinade it in italian dressing. Let it soak. Freeze it, and then grill it outside on the grill on a nice summer day! Stick you some cut up potatoes with some butter, sliced onions and mushrooms in some foil. Put it on the grill too and have them with your chicken breast!|
|Turkey Breast is another great source of protein. I don't eat a whole lot of turkey, but I do really enjoy it when I do! I usually only have turkey a few times per year. It's a fairly cheap source of protein. Go buy you a turkey and roast it up! Mmmm.|
|Fix you up a huge turkey breast a few times a year and eat on it for a few weeks at a time. Have turkey soup, turkey sandwiches with mayo, turkey casserole, and more! Get creative. Moist turkey breast tastes absolutely wonderful. I love saving turkey for only a few times per year. I look forward to the holidays, and turkey is one of the best protein sources available.|
|Pork Tenderloin is another great tasting protein source. I have a whole pork tenderloin about once every 2 to 3 weeks. You can get them pre marinaded and ready to go at the grocery. All you have to do is throw them on the grill!|
|The only way I eat pork tenderloin is marinaded in my favorite marinade and grilled to perfection on the grill. You've got to try this if you've never had pork tenderloin. It's very lean, and tastes great. Have it with rice, corn, beans, pineapple, potatoes, or veggies.|
|Tuna is a cheap source of protein! Tuna may be one of the most used proteins by bodybuilders and weight lifters simply because it's convenient and cheap. You can eat it right out of the can.|
|I do not like to eat tuna straight out of the can. I have to have mine cold. I like to mix it with real mayo, and diced pickles. I have tuna about once per week for lunch. Another good idea is to get fresh tuna from the grocery! It's amazing.|
|Shrimp is an awesome protein source. The only bad thing about most shrimp is it's a little more costly than other protein. Sometimes you can find great deals on shrimp. I always make sure to jump on those deals because I love shrimp.|
|Shrimp stir fry is my favorite way to have shrimp. I love to mix in tons of veggies and eat until I'm about to explode (not really). I also love to have steak and shrimp at restaurants along with some veggies and possibly rice. I can't stand shrimp cold for some reason. I have to have it cooked and hot! Shrimp is one of the best protein sources, and you don't have to worry about too much fat or too many carbs. Pure protein with shrimp.|
|Let's go fishing! If you like to fish, plan you a fishing trip. You can catch you lots of free protein out there at the lake! And you can't beat the taste. Bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, and more. Go night fishing if you really like catfish. You'll have lots of fun while you are catching all that free protein.|
|I really like my fish fried that I catch on the lake, so I use those meals as my cheat meals at times. Fried bluegill is one of my favorites. I love using an ultra light weight rod to catch bluegill while casting. Better than catching bass! If you don't like them fried, throw them on the grill. Have a fish fry party at your home and invite all your friends. Some people even suggest that fish is the single best protein source out there!|
|I love cottage cheese as a protein source. It digests slow so it's a good source of protein to eat at night before you go to bed.|
|My favorite way to have cottage cheese is to eat it with a nice big salad before bed at night. I like to put a little less than half the plate full of cottage cheese and the other half salad with veggies, full fat ranch dressing, sunflower seeds, and more. During the day, I may have cottage cheese with pineapple, grapes, or other fruit. Many people like to have tomatoes and cottage cheese, but not me!|
|Eggs are one of the best protein sources available. I used to love eggs because they were the cheapest form of protein available. Not any more! Eggs went up in price, and my consumption went down. You just can't beat eggs for breakfast, though!|
|I like the plain old over medium eggs with some cut up potatoes, milk, turkey bacon, fresh fruit, oatmeal, and whey protein for breakfast. I don't eat tons of eggs any more. If you do plan on eating a ton of eggs, you might find them from a local farmer at a better price! Eggs are great if you can find them at a good price and from a great source.|
|Milk is not the greatest direct protein source out there. Why? Because with it, you're getting carbs and fats depending on which milk version you drink. I prefer whole milk from grass-fed cows (unpasteurized). I do like to add milk with many of my meals just to get the extra protein. I usually drink it before lunch time and rarely after lunch time.|
|I add milk to raw homemade cereal (nuts, seeds, oats, etc) in the morning, whey protein shakes, and I'll sometimes have it at night during muscle building cycles. I really do love the taste of milk and have always drank it. I don't plan on ever cutting it out of my diet. I don't consider milk one of the best sources of protein, but I do like milk very much!|
|Deli meats are great sources of protein! If you are tired of other protein sources, pick you up some deli meat, some whole grain bread, some cheese, mayo, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce and make you a nice big sandwich packed full of protein. Fast and easy preparation. Tastes great too! Get you some spicy mustard or your favorite condiments.|
|I like to eat deli meats on sandwiches. I also like to get low carb tortillas that are usually high in protein and make a nice big wrap every once in a while. You can also use deli meat for salads. Chop up your deli meat and add it to the top of salads. Even get a combination of deli meats. Try ham and turkey on your salads!|
|Ground Turkey can be found in the grocery and looks just like ground beef. This is a great source of protein, and will take the place of ground beef in many recipes. Give it a try! I still prefer beef, but ground turkey is a good change of pace sometimes.|
|Make you some chili with ground turkey instead of beef. White chili is great with ground turkey. Make you some turkey burgers and put them on a big whole wheat bun with ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onions, and cheese. Sound good? It is!|
|Crab is another food high in protein and tastes great! I love crab legs and anything that has crab in it. I love eating crab meat at restaurants.|
|Go out to most Asian Buffet's and you'll find tons of crab legs. Get all you can and go to town on those crab legs. Most buffet's will also have some type of casserole with crab meat. Very good! Give it a try next time you're at an Asian Buffet.|
|Hungry for breakfast? Turkey Bacon is a good source of protein when you really want some bacon. I love some crispy turkey bacon, but don't make it too crisp as some of that crispy stuff contains things that aren't too great for your body..|
|Pick you up some turkey bacon, eggs, whole wheat pancake mix, fresh fruit, turkey sausage, potatoes, and milk and have yourself a huge breakfast this coming Saturday or Sunday. Get up early and see how happy your family is to see the breakfast you've made. Add some whey protein to the pancakes! Healthy and high in protein!|
Indirect Sources of Protein
Are you looking for other foods high in protein?
These are foods that you can add to your diet and receive extra protein intake while getting other benefits. I love adding any of these high protein foods to my meals.
They aren't the best protein sources, but they do add extra protein to your diet. They help to give your diet good variety and provide many benefits other than extra protein.
For example, take the cheese listed above. Two pieces of cheese added to a sandwich will give you 10 extra grams of protein on your sandwich.
I am a believer that you should eat the largest variety of food that you can. Each food has different benefits, so always have a variety of foods high in protein as a part of your weight lifting diet.
The best protein sources should be combined throughout the days and weeks. You just can't beat a variety of the best protein sources!!!
Variety is KEY.
Eating a variety of the best protein sources will also taste much better ALL the time — you'll enjoy the food you are eating instead of dreading those dry and cold chicken breasts.
If you are one of those people that get tired of the protein you are eating, try some flavor. Add some spices. Shred the meat to make it easier to chew and swallow.
Whey Protein — Last But Not Least
I discussed all the best sources of protein that you can get from whole foods. I left this section for discussion on whey protein.
Whey protein is a weight lifting supplement and should be treated as such. You do not need whey protein to make progress.
You do not need any supplement to make great progress. I do include whey protein in the list of best protein sources because it is pure protein and it does work.
I would rather you get all of your protein from the whole food sources I mentioned above.
Let's face it; the food above will always taste much better than whey protein and will be enjoyable to eat as long as you take some time to prepare it.
Whey protein does have its place in your weight lifting diet, though.
Sometimes we just don't have the time to prepare the food or eat the food. You can always plan ahead and fix the food when you have time, but there's always the time it takes to actually sit down and eat the food.
Go With Whole Foods if Possible
The whole food best protein sources listed above cost more money and do take more time to prepare and to eat.
This is where whey protein comes in — I love whey protein because of the convenience it provides me during the work week.
I don't have much time to sit down and eat at work between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So, I use whey protein to keep my protein intake high during those time periods. The rest of the day I try to eat the best protein sources from whole food.
Another time of the day in which whey protein should be used is post workout. Directly after your workout, I recommend a protein shake and simple sugars.
I always used BCAA's and Waxy Maize Starch in the past. Then, 30 minutes after that, I have whey protein with more carbs.
I definitely recommend you get you some whey protein for post workout supplementation at the very least. You don't have to, but over time I think it leads to better results in the muscle building department.
I also want you to realize that whey protein is about the cheapest form of protein that you can find throughout the list of best protein sources.
Foods high in protein are starting to get more expensive than ever before. The price of whey even went up, but it's still the cheapest protein available.
The only source of protein that comes close in price is tuna in a can. I don't know about you, but I just can't eat that much tuna out of a can.
Get you some whey protein today.
And remember to always eat a variety of the best protein sources on this page to get the benefits of each.