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Muscle-Building Essentials

Nutritionists and fitness experts believe that acquiring fitness goals are incomplete without a right diet…writes Puja Gupta

 If you are used to putting in long hours in your gym, lifting dumbbells and barbells, it is natural to expect bigger and stronger muscles.

Unfortunately, if you are not putting the same efforts in the kitchen to ensure you are eating the right food to sustain your workout regime, the impact of your exercise might be a little disappointing. 

Nutritionists and fitness experts believe that acquiring fitness goals are incomplete without a right diet.

In this case, right food means ‘protein’, which is vital for repairing and rebuilding the damaged muscles after a tough session. When people hear “protein” and “fitness” in the same order, they are most likely to portray images of bodybuilders eating tons of chicken and drinking protein shakes. Protein is a crucial nutrient, which should be included as a post-workout element.

Prateek Sood, Director, Grand Slam Fitness shares the importance of protein in our diet.  

“There are various benefits to adding protein-rich foods to your diet, including weight loss and increased muscle mass. Protein is necessary if you have lifted heavy or done an intense cardio session as they help build muscle, reduce cravings and fire up weight loss. It has the delightful knack of making you feel fuller for longer hours and lessens the likelihood of you tilting to sweet or fatty snacks to fill a hole. Additionally, your regular post-workout shake might not be doing your muscles any favours,” he says.

Sood tells you five real food alternatives that not only deliver a great source of protein but include a host of other vitamins and minerals that protein powders lack.  

Eggs are a handy way to ensure you hit your daily target. Rich in protein and also a great powerhouse of several other nutrients, eggs helps your body repair after an intense gym session. they make for the perfect post-workout food. You can also pair eggs with a piece of fresh fruit as its carbs will refill your glycogen stores, which are usually consumed after a tough workout. 

Green Peas 
Popeye might be a little offended, but a cup of green peas offers eight times more protein than a cup of spinach. You can eat them plain on the side of a protein or also can make pea pesto chicken if you have time. 

Greek Yogurt 
Greek yogurt has become a trending choice because it contains approximately double the amount of protein as regular yogurt. Rich in bone-building calcium and probiotic bacteria, Greek yogurt is great for gut health, enough to satisfy the craving of your body post-workout.  

Soya Protein
An excellent option for helping muscle recovery after a heavy workout, Soya Protein increases the release of natural growth hormone in your body, as well as nitric oxide levels. It is found to be equally efficient in building muscle as whey protein. Few common sources of soy protein include tofu, soymilk and tempeh.

If you have never addressed tuna as a go-to, post-workout snack, it might be time to give it a try. It’s an exceptional source of lean protein, which is ideal for anyone trying to build muscle and lose fat. Don’t hesitate to get creative with your tuna snacks, either. You can bake mini casseroles, stuff vegetables, or even just eat tuna with crackers. Tuna can also be combined with navy beans to create a protein-packed casserole.

What you eat after a workout is as important as what you eat before or otherwise. So, don’t forget to add one or more of these high protein foods in your regular diet. It brings you a step closer towards your desired fitness goals! 

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