Protein for gaining muscle mass: is it better to choose protein foods or sports nutrition?

Protein for gaining muscle mass: is it better to choose protein foods or sports nutrition?

Protein (protein) is an indispensable substance for gaining muscle mass. This is known to everyone who regularly plays sports and has physical activity. However, the intake of protein foods helps not only to get a beautiful pumped up body, but also ensures the health of the body:

  • is responsible for building and repairing tissues (connective, bone and muscle);
  • tone of blood vessels, valvular and muscular apparatus of the heart;
  • enrichment with B vitamins;
  • hair and nail growth, etc.

Protein deficiency can weaken the immune system, as well as lead to muscle atrophy and various diseases of internal organs. Therefore, it is very important to control the amount of protein consumed.

Протеин в продуктах

How to calculate your daily protein intake

It is believed that the daily diet of an adult should contain at least 30% protein. For a more accurate calculation, medicine has derived the formula:

  • 1 gram of pure protein per kilogram of body weight (for people without regular physical activity);
  • 2 grams of pure protein per kilogram of body weight (for athletes).

So, if you weigh 70 kg and lead a sedentary lifestyle, your body needs 70 g of protein per day. But if you weigh 70 kg and cannot imagine your life without intensive training, then your norm is 140 g of protein per day.

If you are interested in calorie content, you can calculate it as follows: 1 g of pure protein – 4 kcal.

Thus, the daily protein requirement of 70 g is 280 kcal, and in 140 g it is 560 kcal.

More than usual, ectomorphs need to take protein foods – people whose physiology does not allow them to quickly gain weight, who have difficulty building muscle. Protein is also important for those who burn fat and want to lose weight.

Тонкая талия

Modern dietetics identifies 2 types of protein sources – animal and vegetable products with a high protein content and sports nutrition (protein). What to choose? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each protein meal option.

High protein foods

There is a misconception: a lot of protein is contained in boiled sausage, mayonnaise, yogurt, “curd” and other food harmful to the body. Yes, it really is in it. However, not in the quantity and quality that can be obtained in natural protein products of animal and plant origin. To maintain health and quickly build muscle mass, you need to eat healthy foods that are rich not only in protein, but also in vitamins and minerals.

Fortunately, the list of healthy protein foods is diverse. Of these, you can choose those that are optimal for you both in composition and in taste.

List of Animal Protein Products

Meat, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, cheese – these are the top 5 foods for gaining muscle mass. Remember them and try to consume them in moderation for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Below is a list of animal products with their protein content:

Proteins, g / 100 g (product)
Meat, offal, sausages
1st category beef 18.6
Category 2 beef 20
Lamb (1st category) 15.6
Lamb (2nd category) 19.8
Pork (meat) 14.3
Pork (fatty) 11.7
Veal 19.7
horsemeat 19.5
Rabbit meat 21.1
Beef liver, kidneys 17.9
Beef heart sixteen
Light beef 15.2
Beef tongue fourteen
Pork liver nineteen
Pork kidneys 13
Heart, pork lung fifteen
Pork tongue fourteen
Milk sausages 11.4
Sausage doctor’s 12.8
Amateur sausage 12.2
Semi-smoked sausage 16.5
Ham 22.6
Raw smoked loin 10.5
Beef stew sixteen
Pork stew fifteen
Minced sausage 15.2
Liver pate eleven
Bird, eggs
Chickens (1st category) 18.2
Chickens (2nd category) 20.8
Chicken egg 12.7
Goose 15.2
Turkey 19.5
Duck 15,8
Fish, seafood
Chum 22
Pink salmon 21
Herring nineteen
Burbot 18.8
Horse mackerel 18.5
Mackerel 18
Perch 18.3
Crucian carp, pike, river perch 17.7
Bream 17.1
Hake 16.7
Navaga 16.1
Flounder 16.1
Carp sixteen
Cod sixteen
Pollock 15.9
Capelin 13.4
Squid 18
Shrimp 18
Crab sixteen
Chum salmon caviar (granular) 31.6
Sturgeon caviar (granular) 28.9
Pollock roe 28.4
Cod liver 4.2
Dairy products
Cow’s milk (pasteurized) 2.8
Protein milk 4,3
Condensed milk (with sugar) 7.2
milk powder 25.6
Kefir (bold) 2.8
Kefir (low fat) 3
Curdled milk 2.8
Ryazhenka 3
Yoghurt (1.5%) five
Sour cream (20%) 2.8
Cream (10%) 3
Cream (20%) 2.8
Cream (dry) 23
Curd (fatty) fourteen
Cottage cheese (bold) 16.7
Cottage cheese (low-fat) 18
Cheese and curd masses 7.1
Cheese (Dutch) 26.8
Cheese (poshekhonsky) 26
Cheese (Swiss) 24.9
Cheese (Russian) 23.4
Cheese (processed) 24
Brynza 17.9
Butter 0.6
Ice cream 3.3
Margarine 0.3


List of plant-based protein products

Legumes, nuts, spinach, mushrooms – delicious and healthy plant foods are also rich in protein. Eat them to diversify your protein diet. A complete list of plant foods with an indication of the amount of protein in them is presented in the table below:

Proteins, g / 100 g (product)
Legumes, nuts, seeds
Soy 34.9
Lentils 24.8
Peas 23
Beans 22.3
Pumpkin seeds 30.2
Peanut 26.3
Sunflower seeds 20.8
Almond 18.6
Cashew nuts 18.2
Pistachios 20.3
Hazelnut 16.1
Brazilian nut 14.3
Walnut 13.6
Cereals, bakery and pasta
Hercules 13.1
Poltava groats 12.7
Buckwheat grain 12.6
Millet 12.1
Oat groats 11.9
Semolina 11.3
Pearl barley 10.4
Barley grits 9.5
Barley grits 9.3
Corn grits 8.3
Rice groats 7
Wheat bread (from 1st grade flour) 7.6
Wheat bread (from 2nd grade flour) 8.4
Rye bread 5.5
Pasta (egg) 11.3
Pasta (1st grade) 10.7
Pasta (premium grade) 10.4
Vegetables, mushrooms, dried fruits
Potatoes 2
Beet 1.5-2.5
Brussels sprouts 4.8
Kohlrabi cabbage 2.8
Cauliflower 2.5
White cabbage 1.8
Garlic 6.5
Spinach 2.9
Radish 1.9
Turnip 1.5
Carrot 1.4
Pepper (red sweet) 1,3
Pepper (green sweet) 1,3
Eggplant 1,2
Mushrooms (porcini) 3.7
Champignons 4,3
Dried apricots 5.3
Dates 2.5
Prunes 2,3
Raisins 1.9

How animal and plant proteins are digested

Remember: for one meal, the human body is on average able to assimilate 30 g of protein.

The degree of assimilation depends on various factors:

  • protein origin (animal and vegetable);
  • the way food is processed;
  • general condition of the body.

Scientists have found that proteins of animal origin are absorbed 1.5 times better than plant proteins: animal proteins – by 70%, vegetable proteins – only by 35–40%.

Protein digestibility in foods:

  • chicken eggs – 92–100%;
  • fermented milk – 90%;
  • fresh milk – 83%;
  • beef – 76%;
  • cottage cheese – 75%;
  • oatmeal – 66%;
  • products made from wheat flour – 52%.

To make protein foods easier to digest, they need to be steamed and consumed along with fruits and vegetables (non-starchy). When fried, they are enriched with fats and increase in calories.

Овощи с курицей на пару

For optimal digestibility, take carbohydrate meals with a small addition of protein for breakfast – oatmeal in milk, for lunch – poultry or beef, for dinner – lean fish (pollock, carp) or seafood.

Pros and cons of eating high protein foods for muscle gain


  • naturally derived and grown foods;
  • variety of products;
  • the ability to choose a protein product to taste.


  • difficulties in calculating the exact amount of protein in meals;
  • inability to take pure protein (all foods with maximum amounts of protein contain fats and carbohydrates);
  • direct dependence of the properties of a protein product on its storage conditions.

Sports nutrition (protein shakes)

Protein Blends are a modern alternative to natural products of animal and plant origin that allows people with active lifestyles to get their daily protein intake, prevent muscle breakdown during vigorous workouts and quickly restore them.

Силовые тренировки

However, many are afraid to take them, confusing protein with hormonal drugs and anabolic steroids. This is a big misconception.

All protein shakes are just sports supplements with a high protein content (concentration ranges from 70-95%). They come to the rescue when there is no time to eat (before or after training) or it is impossible to accurately calculate the amount of protein in the dish. Handy when planning your daily diet.

According to the method of production, protein is divided into synthetic and organic. According to the production technology – for whey protein concentrate and protein isolate, which differ from each other in protein concentration and cost. The first contains up to 80% of protein, and the second – up to 95%, therefore it is more expensive.

You can find out more about what whey protein is and how to take it here.

How to take protein correctly

The daily protein intake is calculated using the standard formula: 2 g per 1 kg of body weight. A daily portion must be divided into 6 equal parts – mixture receptions. The protein is mixed with water or milk in a shaker at the rate of 25-50 g of powder per 300-500 ml of liquid.

Protein shakes come in many different types, each with its own benefits and features. Check them out in the table below:

Benefits Opening hours Speed ​​of assimilation Biological value Recommended serving Time of appointment
Whey Relatively inexpensive, mixes well with liquid, has a powerful amino composition, is quickly absorbed 1-2 hours 10-12 grams / hour 90-95% 30 grams Morning, before and after training
Whey hydrolyzate One of the best sources of quality protein Up to 1 hour 20-25 grams / hour 99-100% 25-30 grams Before and after training
Casein Longer operating time, slower degradation into amino acids 4-10 hours 4-6 grams / hour 75-85% 35 grams Before bedtime
Lactic A fairly inexpensive product that is a derivative of conventional whey 3-4 hours 4-5 grams / hour 85-90% 35 grams Between meals
Egg Contains all the amino acids necessary for the body, as well as vitamins, minerals and other useful substances 3-5 hours 9-11 grams / hour 99-100% 30-35 grams In the morning, before and after training
Soy Long-term absorption, lowers cholesterol levels, great for the female body 3-5 hours 3-4 grams / hour 70-75% 35 grams Between meals, after exercise
Complex It is a mixture of balanced proteins with different digestion rates, suitable for the implementation of any tasks Up to 8 hours 5-8 grams / hour 70-95% 30 grams Between meals, before and after training

Protein Contraindications

Protein mixtures help prevent protein deficiency in the body, however, they are contraindicated in people:

  • with renal failure and other kidney diseases;
  • a genetic predisposition to kidney disease;
  • obese;
  • acne;
  • individual intolerance to the components.

Спортивное питание

Pros and cons of taking protein for muscle gain


  • accurate calculation of the components in the mixture (free from carbohydrates and fats);
  • absence of impurities and additives;
  • the ability to take pure protein at any time (most convenient during the protein window).


  • lack of vitamins and microelements found in protein-rich foods;
  • taste that is boring;
  • individual intolerance.

An Overview of Successful Protein Blends

The range of protein mixtures is varied. We have selected for you 5 sports nutrition products that are optimal in terms of price-quality ratio. Find the right one for you!

Iso Sensation 93

Brand: Ultimate Nutrition
Type: whey
Protein – Fat – Carbohydrates: 93% – 0.0% – 3%
Price: 3 098 rubles. for 2.27 kg


Manufacturer: Nutrabolics
Type: hydrolyzate
Protein – Fat – Carbohydrates: 90% – 0% – 1.5%
Price: 5 590 rubles. for 2.04 kg

Iso Whey Zero

Manufacturer: BiotechUSA
Type: whey
Protein – Fat – Carbohydrates: 85.6% – 0.9% – 2.9%
Price: 4 200 rubles. for 2.27 kg

ProStar Whey Protein

Brand: Ultimate Nutrition
Type: whey
Protein – Fat – Carbohydrates: 83.5% – 3.3% – 6.5%
Price: 2 850 rubles. for 2.39 kg

Whey Gold Standard

Manufacturer: Optimum Nutrition
Type: whey
Protein – Fat – Carbohydrates: 75% – 3% – 15%
Price: 3,590 rubles. for 2.35 kg

Nutrition and Workout Program for Building Muscle Mass

To get a beautifully shaped body, it is not enough to drink protein shakes and take protein foods. Without intensive training, you cannot gain muscle mass. Personal training will help you achieve good athletic performance. Our instructors will create a personal training program and an optimal protein nutrition plan – everything you need to be successful in fitness!

Персональные тренировки

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *