After an intense workout, it is important to replenish your body with high protein foods. This will help you build and repair those muscles that you sweat so hard for! However, protein is good for more than just building muscle. It can help to reduce hunger pangs, increase fat-burning metabolism, and it is also an important building block of bones, cartilage, skin, and blood. So what foods should you reach for when your body needs protein? Here is a list of the most protein dense foods.
Greek style yogurts contain about twice as much protein as other versions of yogurt with around 23g of protein per 8 oz. serving. In addition to the extra protein, Greek yogurt also has about half the carbs and half the sodium compared to regular yogurts. And because of the creamy, thick texture of Greek yogurt, it can be substituted for other fats in baked goods. Skip out on the cream cheese, oil, butter, or sour cream in your next dish and opt for the healthier Greek yogurt instead!
Cottage cheese packs around 14g of casein protein per ½ cup serving. Casein is a slow digesting protein, which results in a slow but steady release of amino acids into circulation. This is in contrast with whey protein, which is fast-digesting and results in a rapid but short-lived increase in blood amino acids and protein synthesis. Because of this, cottage cheese makes an excellent and guilt-free snack. Just beware of certain brands of cottage cheese that add a lot of extra sodium.
Eggs are essentially the superhero of all protein foods. It’s biological value, which is a measure of how much protein from the food can be incorporated into the proteins in the body, is higher than nearly any other item that can be found in the grocery store. In addition to providing 6g of protein per egg, eggs also provide Vitamin A, Folate, Phosphorus, Selenium, and an assortment of B Vitamins. Bottom line; eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.
As mentioned above, whey protein is one of the fastest digesting and cleanest proteins on the market. It not only aids in muscle building, but also fat loss! Talk about killing two birds with one stone. This powdery substance packs 24g of protein per scoop on average and is low in calories. It is commonly taken immediately after a workout mixed with water or milk. Additionally, whey protein is so common that you can find it in just about any flavor that suits your taste.
This food delivers more protein than any other poultry at around 24g per 3 oz serving. Chicken also contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which can work as a natural anti-depressant. The amino acid gives you a comforting feeling and will increase serotonin levels in your brain, enhance your mood, and can even cause you to feel sleepy. Tryptophan is also found in turkey, which may explain why you feel so tired after Thanksgiving dinner!
Lentils are an excellent alternative to meat based proteins and offer up a good dose of fiber and minerals. These legumes are perfect in summer salads and spreads, and they’re also easy to cook! Simply simmer them in a pot of water until tender. Lentils also help to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, aid in digestion, and can even increase energy. Lentils can be used in a variety of different recipes, like a delicious lentil soup!
So, pump up your protein intake with these foods, which are among the most protein dense foods.