In my last post, I briefly mentioned how I joined the Supplement Centre blogger network, after my blog was featured as one of their Best Blogs by Remarkable Runners. Below is the first guest post by these friendly folks, on a topic vital for recovery and performance for all runners: protein. I’ve also included links to recipe ideas previously posted on I Eat Therefore I Run.
Top Protein Sources for Runners
Protein. It’s the building block of muscular development and a must for every runner. Even if you have a healthy, balanced diet, chances are you’ll need more protein if you work out.
As well as helping athletes build lean muscle mass, protein assists with recovery, helping tired legs heal and reducing the chances of injury. Protein is good for you immune system too; it boosts your body’s defenses after long runs or intense training.
But not all proteins are equal. Here we take a look at ten best protein-rich foods, the top of the protein pops.
10. Low-fat natural yoghurt: For better digestion and good protein levels, low-fat natural yoghurt is a valuable addition to any healthy diet. Always buy natural and check the labels to make sure there isn’t any added sugar. If you’re having it for dessert, you can sweeten it with honey, or add some berries for an extra treat. Yoghurt is our #1 protein-rich dessert, with 5.2g per 100g.
9. Tofu: This is a great low-fat source of protein, and it’s incredibly versatile too. Simply cut into chunks and add to vegetables for a delicious stir-fry. Or why not try ready-made tofu sausages, or our favourite, smoked tofu. It’s full of the good stuff, with 8.5g of protein per 100g.
|Easy and delicious tofu stir-fry anyone?
8. Eggs: Protein-packed and full of essential minerals. They contain cholesterol too, but there’s nothing wrong with the occasional omelette or boiled egg as part of a healthy diet. Eggs contain 12.4g of protein per 100g.
7. Lean beef mince (or lean ground beef): Containing 20.3g of protein per 100g, minced beef packs a healthy protein punch! But beware of the fat: even lean mince contains 5% saturated fat, so consume in moderation.
6. Mackerel: As an oily fish, it doesn’t always travel well, but it’s delicious when smoked. And with 20.5g of protein per 100g, it’s a great protein provider. Mackerel is also high in heart-healthy Omega 3 fats, making it a top choice.
5. Albacore Tuna: It has the added advantage of being a sustainable stock, for the most part sustainably fished, and contains 22.1g of protein per 100g. The only drawback is it’s price, but as an environmentally sound treat, you’re onto a winner!
4. Almonds: If you’re going to nuts for nuts, almonds are a top choice. They’re very healthy and contain 21.g of protein per 100g. As nutrient-rich as nuts are, they’re a calorie dense food, so measure out your portions (a small handful), and chomp with care.
3. Chicken: Skinless chicken breasts are a great low-fat, high-protein meal solution. They contain a whopping 23.7g of protein per 100g. One of the most versatile meats on the planet, chicken goes with everything!
Try Loaded-with-Vegetables Chicken Cassoulet.
Top with rocket (arugula) and sprinkle on a little feta or parmesan cheese for a delicious and filling meal.
2. Lentils: Split red lentils offer an inviting 23.8g of protein per 100g – a high concentration – but like all pulses (or legumes), they’re not a source of complete protein on their own. Mix with other beans and whole grains for a protein-rich veggie option.
1. Whey protein powder:
For ‘whey’ more protein, a powdered nutritional supplement is a great way to combine a protein blast with a healthy diet. Matrix Whey Protein
delivers 51g of protein per 100g – the perfect solution for anyone who works out.
NOTE: All figures quoted are from nutritional information about products featured on the Waitrose website.
What’s your favourite source of protein?
Are you a fan of protein powders? If so, which one do you use?