With summer just around the corner, many of us are thinking about the perfect beach body!
Whilst exercise and training is one key element of this, the other vital cog in the wheel is nutrition. The importance of protein in your diet when trying to build muscle is second to none. Your body needs protein to help build and repair tissue, cells and muscle. The most effective way to up your protein intake is through consuming foods that are high in protein.
We recently spoke to professional bodybuilder Suki Hayer, organiser of Swansea’s Next top Fitness Model and owner of Sukifit, about the importance of protein and diet in his journey to becoming a qualified personal trainer, USN sponsored athlete and bodybuilder.
Q: What are the best meats to eat if you’re looking to build and maintain muscle?
Suki: “All of the lean meats are best. Chicken, Turkey, Lean Beef and Pork all high high levels of protein combined with low levels of fat which is really what you should be aiming for if you’re trying to build lean muscle. Of course you can get protein from other sources like eggs, fish, nuts and cottage cheese as well, but I’ve always found that the best sources have been lean meats.”
Q: What time should you eat high protein meals and how do you balance them with other nutrients like carbohydrates and fats?
Suki: “For myself, I make sure I have protein in each of my meals. I have 5 meals a day, not including my protein shake and I will always make sure my protein intake per meal is around 30-40g of protein. I will always have fats in each of my meals, which comes from peanut butter, almonds and avocados. I mostly have my carbohydrates around my workouts – so always have my fasted cardio (80-100g of oats), fast acting carbohydrates before I train and then the bulk of my carbs will be after my weight session which is around 300g of sweet potato.”
Q: What sides are best to accompany meats when you’re trying to build muscle?
Suki: “It’s important that you have a balanced diet and you definitely need to have carbohydrates and fats as part of that. I eat a lot of brown rice, whole wheat pasta and sweet potato as well as things like cashew nuts, oily fish like salmon and tuna and avocado’s. Whilst these health benefits they are also really tasty and adding side dishes to your meat ”
Q: Can you give us an example of some of the meals you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Suki: “So one of my favourite breakfast meals is probably steak and eggs, it’s important to try and get energy in to your body as soon as you’re up as well as protein to enable your muscles to continue building and recovering after resting through the night. At lunchtime I’d usually have some marinated chicken with either brown rice or maybe some sweet potato and salad. In the evening I’d usually go for another meat based dish so maybe pork or turkey, I’d try and have this with a lower amount of carbohydrates as I don’t want to be eating carbs too late at night.”
To kick-start your protein –filled diet, our Muscle Box offers a selection of lean protein delivered direct to your door or office across all SA postcodes. Including large chicken breasts, steak, pork and lean mince, the Muscle Box is £35.