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Fuel Your Body: Get to Know Protein and Its Sources

Fuel Your Body: Get to Know Protein and Its Sources

Meat!

    Most people know that the vast majority of the protein we eat comes from lean (and fatty) meats. They are absolutely the best, and most complete protein sources available…but it leaves you to wonder what the protein in a loaf of bread leaves you with when you’re counting your calories at the end of the day.

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    Well think of it like this, protein is like a 2-Stroke engine. It runs off gas, it uses oil, but doesn’t have tanks for both – so you mix them. Mix 1/4 bottle of oil and 3/4 tank of gas, viola! Your weed-whacker runs like a champ again — same thing with a meal! You’ll have proteins in every form of food you eat (herbivores [the dinosaurs that ate leaves] had muscle right? They need to get their protein somewhere!) but the trick is to make them effective.

    Proteins are complex, otherwise I would get into it more, but it confuses even me. That’s the laymen’s terms, the best way I can think to describe proteins. It gets FAR more advanced, when dealing with BCAA’s and Esterfied proteins … anyone got a nutrient sciences degree around here?

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    Back to business, you must see it coming…yes! The 5 Best Sources of Protein!

    5) Non-Lean Foods! This is breads, fruits, veggies, beans, muffins – anything that’s not meat and protein. Not complete sources of protein, and not the best for you (compared to the next 4), but are needed in any and every diet since – well, vitamins, carbs, and fill-me-up food fits into this category!

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    4) Supplements. I’m sure there’s a pound of whey somewhere in most of our gym bags…but what’s better than that even? Well, whey is broken down into a few different types dependent upon how it’s made, according to whether it’s cold filtration, isolation, or just a powdered concentrate. Supplements provide a protein your body can readily absorb when it needs it most (mornings, and after a workout). How this plays into my diet is usually a ~25g protein shake first thing in the morning before cardio and depending on your size and intensity of workout, between 30 and 60 grams post-workout.

    3) Got Milk? No, Casein! A great source for protein, as Brett Favre and dozens of others have told you over the years, is milk. I’ve recommended it to kids as long as I’ve been in the gym. “I’m a skinny guy, and can’t put on weight … any supplements you recommend?” Well, yes…a good fork and a big appetite! Eat up, drink up! Milk is filled with vitamins, and loaded with protein. It’s especially great before bedtime, since casein is the slowest protein to break down and will last throughout the night. (That does NOT give you a reason to eat a bowl of ice cream!) Milk is also a great way to mix protein or weight-gainer shakes: more protein, vitamins, and a great tasting shake!

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    2) Huevos (Eggs). Ever wonder why Rocky downed them in a cup during his training? They might make the gas you pass smell like sulfur, but it’s a great source of protein and a great way to start the day. I usually buy egg beaters, pure egg whites, since the yolk is extra-high in fat and cost-wise…it’s about the same after separating a dozen eggs for breakfast one day. Dozen eggs, 6 pieces of toast, fruit, glass of milk, real PB on said toast… nothing better!

    1) Lean meats! Argh, Argh, Argh. Remember Tim Taylor of Home Improvement? Guys, this is where it’s at! If you want protein, you gotta eat! We’re omnivores (the dinosaurs that eat everything), we can handle it! Beef, chicken, fish, octopus, whatever! If it lived and had blood, it’s a good source of protein. Now, as sadistic as that sounds – it’s true. But, not just anything cuts it.

    Focus specifically on the leanest cuts you can; eye of the round, top round steak, top round roast, sirloin steak, top loin steak, tenderloin steak and check arm pot roast. These will be the highest amount of protein per ounce, with lowest amount of fat. Flank, is what I usually buy… since it’s cheap, and great with A1!

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    Last Updated on May 22, 2019

    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

    There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

    One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

    In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

    Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

    1. Cat Camel Stretch

    Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

    Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

    Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

    Here’s a video to guide you through:

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    2. Go for a Walk or a Run

    This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

    Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

    The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

    Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

    Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

    3. Jumping Jacks

    Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

    Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

    4. Abductor Side Lifts

    Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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    Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

    5. Balancing Table Pose

    This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

    Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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      6. Leg Squats

      Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

      Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

      The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

      7. Push Ups

      You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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      An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

      Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

      This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

      8. Bicycle Crunches

      There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

      Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

      9. Lunges

      Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

      Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

      This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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      10. Bicep Curls

      You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

      Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

      Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

      Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

      Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

      These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

      You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

      Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

      More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

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