A fundamental part of gaining muscle mass is an increase in protein intake; scientifically proven to help repair and instigate muscle growth. Now, contrary to what many believe; taking in the correct food does not necessarily constitute an increase in your weekly food bill. Inexpensive protein sources are vastly available; knowing what to look for, however is the task we’re going to cover throughout this article. Firstly; we’ll discuss the obvious – what exactly is meant by a higher protein intake? Whilst many with a limited knowledge of nutrition believe an increased protein intake correlates to the purchasing of supplements – they are merely that – supplements or ‘replacements’ if you will of the protein you would otherwise acquire eating whole foods high in protein. Protein supplements are not a necessity in gaining muscle – and they are certainly not the only source of protein; albeit they are perhaps the most expensive example. However, in saying that; supplements offer another benefit – they are a convenience item – requiring very little cleaning up afterwards and are quick and easily accessible to replace a meal – not an entire day’s meals.
A higher protein intake, is exactly that; an increase in the amount of protein you’re eating each day – recommended daily intake is 1g per 1lb of body fat.
Lentils: Amongst the most inexpensive consumable protein sources is, lentils. Offering 26 grams of protein per 100g of dry weight; lentils are exceedingly affordable offering 120g protein for every dollar. Not only that, but lentils offer a number of benefits in cholesterol reduction, constipation prevention, energy increases and stabilized blood sugar levels.
Canned Tuna: A personal favourite, despite the many naysayers believing it has no flexibility. Canned tuna comes in at under $1 a can, subject to store and brand pricing. Offering roughly 30 grams of protein to every dollar; tuna can be combined with a number of sides including oranges, rye bread, brown rice and soy sauce to easily equate for one meal throughout the day. Ensure you limit yourself to no more than two small cans each day as tuna has been revealed to contain mercury which can be dangerous in large quantities.
Eggs: Among benefits including cancer fighting antioxidants and heart disease prevention, eggs come in as one of our most inexpensive sources offering 36 grams of protein to the dollar. Eggs offer a number of amino and glutamic acids which offer an incredibly beneficial formula to be used for muscle regrowth and repair.
Chicken or Turkey: Otherwise regarded as lean white meats; both chicken and turkey (when bought in bulk) are both inexpensive and high in protein; providing 25 grams of protein for every hundred grams (skinless). Whilst turkey may not be as versatile as chicken, the two can be used to make simple, quick meals ranging from sandwiches to salad sides. For more information on cooking chicken in bulk, visit our post on meal preparation.