Vital for your workout recovery and to keep you strong and functioning in your day-to-day life too, protein is a necessary fuel you shouldn’t and can’t skimp out on, as it helps you repair AND build your muscles. But how do you ingest that protein to make sure that you’re hitting the daily recommended amount? Oftentimes, your mind may head right in the direction of the most popular protein source around—meat.
Your daily protein can certainly be chicken, pork, or steak, but it doesn’t ever have to be. Whether you’re a vegetarian or just switching it up and looking for alternatives, there are plenty of other ways to get the daily recommended amount of protein that don’t involve meat. Here are 10 of them.
Blend some yogurt, fresh fruit, and your hydration of choice in a blender for a protein-packed, post-workout snack. Bonus if you add protein powder to the smoothie.
It’s a myth that eggs are bad for your heart. While eggs do contain cholesterol, scramble them up with veggies or make an omelet guilt-free, knowing they are low in saturated fat and great sources of protein, as well as B12 and vitamin D.
Made from soybeans, tofu contains iron, calcium, and 12–20 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving. While tofu doesn’t have a strong taste on its own, it easily absorbs the flavor of the ingredients it’s prepared with and can be used in a variety of recipes, from soups, to stews, to curries.
In the protein game, dairy always wins. Besides being a great source of protein, yogurt contains lots of calcium that will help keep your bones healthy and strong.
5. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain healthy, unsaturated fats and protein. You can add them to foods such as salads or pasta, mix up a batch of homemade trail mix, or you can eat them plain as an easy snack.
6. Hummus & Falafel
If you want to have a recovery meal post-workout, optimize your protein intake with a Middle Eastern feast. Hummus alone has 7.9 grams of protein per serving.
The magical fruit really is kind of magical. Between baked, boiled, grilled, oven-roasted, or stovetop-cooked beans, you can’t really go wrong, but boiled soybeans, AKA edamame, supply the highest amount of protein among all of the different beans, boasting 32 percent of the recommended daily protein value.
8. Nut Butters
Out of all of the different types of nut butters made in the year 2022—almond, cashew, coconut, hazelnut, pistachio, sunflower seed, walnuts, and more—it turns out peanut butter is not only the most affordable but also has the highest amount of protein per serving out of all of the nut butters. Being antioxidant-rich doesn’t hurt either.
9. Whole Grains
Not an obvious protein choice, but a very solid choice indeed. Combining legumes or nuts with whole grains, such as brown rice with beans or bread with hummus or nut butter, can give you as much protein as a piece of meat.
10. PWR LIFT
Made for before, during, and after a workout rehydration, this 10-grams-of-protein-containing, electrolyte-diverse beverage was found to help the body physically and mentally recover after strenuous exercise, resupplying the body with lost nutrients and impacting hydration, without using any sugar or artificial flavors and sweeteners during the replenishment process.
Please consult with a certified health professional for any dietary and nutritional recommendations and before making any changes to your diet.