Many of us have a pretty clear idea that proteins make us stronger, but did you know that the amino acid spectrum in your protein content can help you choose which proteins to focus on?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Generally, the broader the spectrum of amino acids a protein source contains, the more nutritious it will be for you.
Remember: protein is your body’s main source of growth.
Yes, protein can help support muscle growth, but it is so much more than that! Good protein content can also assist you in achieving a stronger bone structure, healthier hair and skin, and much more. It can also help prevent sarcopenia (loss of muscle due to aging) and frailty, lengthening your life span.
The question then does arise – what’s the best source of amino acids?
If amino acids are so important, which source of protein will give you the best spectrum?
Here are the top 4 sources of amino acids:
1. Eggs/Chicken. Both will provide a very good spectrum of amino acids – especially one specific amino acid called L-Leucine, which has been shown to be great for building muscle.
2. Soy/Tofu. Soybeans are a very good source of amino acids. While they may not contain a comparable amount of Leucine, the spectrum of amino acids is much better than beef, chicken, and some fish.
● This suggests that plant-sourced protein could be best for general growth, but those looking to build muscle quickly should look to dense sources of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.
3. Tuna. Have you ever heard how boxers often open up a can of tuna after a training session to boost muscle development? This is for good reason. Not only is tuna very low in calories, but it’s also quite high in amino acids and contains a wide and available spectrum.
● It will benefit you to make tuna and other fish a regular source of protein in your diet (unless you don’t eat meat or fish – then chow down on Tofu and beans).
4. Wild game. When it comes to maximizing your amino acid spectrum for muscle development, nothing really beats wild game. Animals like moose, bison, and even deer contain a very lean source of protein that is high in amino acids and low in calories.
● These animals provide the perfect combination of strength and mass. Plus, research has shown that the amino acid bioavailability (the amount you can absorb) is very high for wild game meats.
One last important thing to remember is that when it comes to amino acids, the matrix of each food will always be different. This is why it’s very important to get protein from various sources.
If you’re a vegetarian, ensure that you utilize a wide spectrum of protein sources like beans, nuts, seeds, and grains. If you’re a meat eater, vary your protein choices across all fish and many wild game animals.
For your best results, getting your protein from numerous sources always provides greater health benefits than restricting your diet to only a couple of kinds of protein – even when you’re trying to maximize your amino acids for certain purposes.