If you’re trying to improve your fitness, you’ll come to find that protein is an essential nutrient to stock up on. However, if you don’t enjoy protein shakes, how else can you get your dose of post-workout protein?
Protein is an essential nutrient to your diet if you are working out and trying to stay fit. The easiest way to do that is to grab a bottle of protein powder. But apart from the foul taste, protein powders are also chemically isolated. This means that protein is altered from its natural state, so our body does not know how to properly absorb it and extract the maximum benefit from it. Here are a few protein shake alternatives that are natural and healthy.
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Protein shake alternatives for your post-workout routine
One of the best protein shake alternatives, eggs is often the go-to choice for proteins. A medium-sized egg contains about 5.7 grams of protein. A lot of people are often of the opinion that protein is only found in egg whites, while the yolk is rich in fats. However, the yolk amounts to about half of the protein content of the egg. So when you eat the egg as a whole, with the whites and the yolk, you get a complete source of protein and other nutrients such as healthy omega-3 fatty acids and good cholesterol.
Tart cherry juice is known to help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage, because of its high content of antioxidants. This means it is a great way to relax your muscles post an intense workout. It packs in not only the proteins that your body needs but also a whole lot of other health benefits. It contains calcium, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, omega-3 and omega-6 fats. It is also believed to increase muscle strength while relaxing your sore muscles.
Cottage cheese makes for a great post-workout snack for its high casein content. Casein is a slow-digesting protein that feeds your muscles slowly rather than dumping it all into your digestive system at once. Not just that, it’s also quite low on fat content, thus making it a great protein shake alternative.
Overnight oats with chia seeds
With this, you combine the best of both worlds. Oats and chia seeds are both high in protein content. Overnight oats have become pretty common these days, as they are easy to make even on days you are running late, and of course, the whole lot of benefits it comes with. Oats contain 6 grams of protein per half-cup serving and chia seeds are high in fibres, protein, calcium and omega-3s.
Whole grain toast with peanut butter
Rich in carbs and proteins, this meal is just what you need after sweating it out at your workout. The health benefits from this simple meal are plenty, as they are high in complex carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and healthy fats. This mix of vital nutrients is perfect for building muscles and replenishing your glycogen stores. This makes it one of the best protein shake alternatives out there for your post-workout routine.
Fish like sardines and tuna are an incredible source of protein. One ounce of these fish contains more than 7 grams of real food protein and a whole lot of omega 3 fatty acids, which makes sure that the proteins are properly absorbed in your body. Sardines also help in reducing inflammation in your muscles and can help reduce soreness after a good workout. You can either have a good plate of grilled fish or mix some in your salad and you’re good to go!
Pumpkin seeds are full of fibre and iron. One-third cup of these seeds contain about 15 grams of protein and accounts for 30% of your daily recommended intake of iron, thus making these excellent protein shake alternatives. They are also high in minerals like magnesium and zinc. Not just that, with the tryptophan content present in pumpkin seeds, they boost serotonin production too!
With about 9 grams of protein per half-cup serving, lentils are perfect to control changes in blood sugar. Apart from protein, they are also high in fibre, iron and other minerals. The best part about lentils is that you can have them in a number of ways. You can either have your regular bowl of lentils, make vegan meatballs, or toss them in your salad.
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India.