Whey protein is absorbed faster than any other protein, making it ideal for fuelling muscle growth before, and after training. It also boosts your immune system. People who are lactose intolerant should take whey protein isolate as this has less of it. You should take at least 20 to 30 grams of whey before and after training and its best absorbed with 40 to 50 grams of carbs. The carbs supply energy to train and replace muscle glycogen after you’ve trained – plus refined sugars cause the body to release insulin, which after training has a very anabolic effect and enhances protein synthesis.
Soy is very low in saturated fat and research has found that it was equal to whey at building muscle. It’s also very rich in iron, which provides additional oxygen to our muscles, thereby allowing us to do cardiovascular exercise for longer.
It has a reputation of building man-breasts though. Don’t discount soy entirely though as a recent study found no change in the subjects’ oestrogen (female hormone) levels, which is the cause of the chest inflation.
Vitamin C will increase the amount of iron you’ll absorb by up to 12 percent, and is an ideal compliment to soy protein for this reason.
Cod is an animal protein with one of the lowest saturated fat contents, serving just 0.5 grams of fat per 100 gram serving. A 300 gram serving will provide our RDA of magnesium, which generates the energy needed for us to train. It also protect us against muscle cramps, and helps our muscles to contract. It’s high in sodium, but a seawater fish is going to be regardless. Eating foods high in selenium, like the cod, with sulforaphane-rich foods like broccoli, make the meal 13 times more powerful at attacking cancer than when they are eaten alone.
Clams will provide 302% of our RDA of vitamin B12, which keeps our nervous system healthy, gives us energy and is used to metabolize fats, carbs and protein. We’ll also get 128 percent of our RDA of the antioxidant selenium. This antioxidant boosts post-exercise recovery and will reduce post-training stiffness. It’s high in cholesterol (130 mg) which is bad if you have high cholesterol, but eating cholesterol can help to add muscle if your cholesterol levels are normal. Vitamin-C which will help us absorb more of the 10 mg of iron found in this protein source.
In Tofu, we receive 184 percent of our RDA of manganese. This mineral is used to strengthen bones and metabolize carbs, amino acids and cholesterol. Tofu also has 24 grams of unsaturated (good) fats and a study it was found that when people ate unsaturated fats after exercise the blood flow in their arteries increased by 45 percent, which resulted in more anti-inflammatory agents being rushed to the working muscles. This means tofu will help you recover from training faster.