Perhaps, the biggest challenge I face on a day-to-day basis is getting my athletes to eat enough protein. The ability for athletes to gain strength and size depends heavily on consuming adequate levels of this macronutrient. The following are three quick tips to boost your daily protein consumption, helping you to improve your strength and size, while speeding recovery time.
1. Midday Snacks
When athletes reach for a midday snack, they usually choose a high carbohydrate or fat option from a vending machine. These snacks are quick and easy but leave much to be desired in the nutrition department.
A cheaper and healthier alternative is to pack snacks to take with you to school. My favorite option is hard-boiled eggs, but foods like deli meat and canned tuna are also great. These snacks are super quick and easy, while offering 10-20 grams of protein per serving.
2. Cook in Bulk
After a long day of school and practice, few athletes have the time or energy to thaw, prep and cook a healthy meal. Most of the time, instead, they go for the quick takeout option or a “ready in 15 minutes” box meal. Both of these options tend to be less than ideal for your nutritional needs.
A good way to get your protein at dinner without spending an hour in the kitchen is to cook in bulk ahead of time. By cooking in bulk one to three days a week, you can have food readily available whenever you need it. Simply warm up your protein, add a side and you have a healthy meal ready in only minutes.
3. Daily Shake
In a perfect world, we would get all of our nutritional needs from the foods we eat. In reality, this is not always practical. Adding in a shake to your daily routine is a fast, safe, and effective way to up the amount of protein you are consuming. There are many options out there, but it’s important to find a quality brand with a good amount of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) per serving.