What Are The Highest Protein Foods?

First, an athletes body needs protein because it is critical to help keep the body stable during competition.  It also allows for the muscles to repair themselves after competition, as well as allowing them to continually grow and get stronger . When planning a diet you need to keep in mind that not all proteins are identical, but regardless having protein as part of a diet is essential for your ability to perform.  One of the biggest mistakes athletes make is they simply do no eat an adequate amount of high protein foods.  Many people simply do not realize that you can eat as much protein as you’d like but at a minimum you should eat at at least 20-25 grams each day. When it comes to protein a simple rule is simply stop when you are full.  This is good news to hear for the weekend warrior but it’s even true for the experienced tri-athlete.

Because not all proteins are equal, you need to understand how the percentage of proteins relates to other nutrients in that specific food item.  In simplistic terms, protein is comprised of amino acids which are contained in certain foods that are primarily from animal products. Since some proteins do not absorb into the body as well as others, you always need to keep in mind when thinking about the type of foods are you eating.

Here is a list of the highest protein foods that are typically suggested by the best nutritionists as being best for supplying the athlete with a solid amount of protein.

  • Eggs: Eggs have always been known as one of the best energy sources for athlete due to the amount of protein it contains.  Some other great benefits of eggs are if you combine eggs with red peppers they will actually the ability for smoother skin.  Reason being is that red peppers contain more than 100 percent of the daily recommended level of Vitamin C and this element is actually good for your skin. This is good especially in the Winter time as both men and women struggle with dry skin. Eggs can also assist in producing lutein which can help protect your eyes from certai diseases.
  • Chicken Breast: Chicken has always been a solid food item for athlete.  The fact that a normal portion of chicken typically contains 23% protein shows that this one meal can provide you with your daily needed protein allocation.
  • Fish: Depending on the type of fish eaten (Tuna, Yellow Tail, Salmon, Snapper, Halibut, etc.) the amount of protein per 100 grams of fish can vary from as low as 26 grams in Atlantic or Pacific Halibut to 62 grams in Atlantic Cod.  (Note, you need to keep in mind the portion size to determine the exact amount but it’s typically between 1-3 cups.)
  • Beef: Ideally you should eat beef that has been grass fed only as it reduces the amount of pesticides and other hormone growth items that are many times added to animal food.  Typically a 3 ounce portion of beef will contain anywhere between 18 grams to 27 grams of protein.  Types of beef include, Top Sirloin, Steak, Ribs, 85% lean beef and Corned Beef.
  • Legumes: Soy Beans, Kidney Beans, Fava Beans, and Lima Beans are all great resources for protein in the Legume family.  The highest amount of protein can be achieved through eating Soy beans as they contain over 29 grams. Kidney beans come is a bit farther down the scale but still quite respectable in 17 grams of protein.  Fava Bean ironically are strong in the protein category as they contain over 22 grams of protein while Lima beans bring up the rear at 15 grams of protein.

Remember, protein is a much needed ingredient to the everyday athlete as it provides an excellent source of energy.  It also allows for the muscles to repair themselves quicker than a non athlete, especially after competition.   In order to burn fat and build muscle you will need to use the foods listed above as they have the highest protein foods you can eat.  If you eat these in each of your meals you will start to notice a difference after a couple of weeks.