12 Nutritional Must Haves

12 Nutritional Must Haves

Nutrition is the ultimate key to unlocking your goal physique. Start with these 12 nutritional absolute must-haves if you’re serious about your fitness.


12 Nutritional Must Haves

Increasingly in the U.S., the refrigerator has become a nutritional wasteland. Greasy takeout containers jostle with cola bottles for shelf supremacy, while fruits and vegetables languish in back corners.

Listen, sometimes we can fall into bad habits. Maybe we’re putting in late nights at the office and coming home drag-ass tired. Maybe you’ve got insomnia and lack energy? Whatever the reason, the circumstances of our lives cause us to temporarily lose sight of our goals of physical improvement. The fridge begins to pile up with easy meals: frozen pizzas, cloyingly sweet drinks, too many beers, and a bevy of takeout tinfoil swans. It can happen. But, man — you’ve got to nip those habits in the bud. Pronto.

Health-and-fitness-savvy men realize that a well-stocked fridge is the ticket to a better buff-to-blubber ratio. So grab a garbage bag and fill it with all those disastrous delectables and tempting nutritional train wrecks, then stock up on these power foods — we explain what makes them so great — that belong in the fridge of all fitness-minded guys.

1. Eggs

Benefits: Muscle Building, Disease Fighting

The sunny side of eggs is that they have an exceptionally high protein biological value. In laymen’s terms, the biological value is a measure of how easily and quickly the amino acids in a food can be used for protein synthesis within the body. The upshot is that cracking a daily egg or two can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis, which is the ticket to a brag-worthy physique. What’s more, Canadian researchers recently discovered the mighty egg contains potent antioxidant properties, which aids muscle recovery and fends off chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Nutritional Data:
1 whole large egg: 71 calories; 6 grams of protein; 0 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fat; 1.5 grams saturated fat

According to Nutrition & Food Science, eating an egg a day reduces degeneration of skeletal muscle and safeguards against many of the risks of aging.

2. Grass-Fed Beef

Benefits: Muscle Building, Fat Burning

Indeed, the grass is greener on the other side. A recent investigation by California researchers in Nutrition Journal reported that beef raised on a pasture-based diet has higher levels of fat-burning omega-3 fats than their counterparts stuffed on corn. (Omega-3s also maintain the flexibility of arteries, allowing them to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to working muscles.) Additionally, researchers found the grass-fed beef has a higher concentration of conjugated-linoleic acid (CLA), which may increase fat-oxidation during a workout. Like other red meats, grass-fed beef is a dietary source of creatine, a compound lauded for helping boost strength in the gym, and thus paving the way for muscle growth.

Because grass-fed beef is leaner than the grain-fed variety, its cooking time is shorter. To ensure the best cooked grass-fed beef possible, first bring it to room temperature before throwing it on the grill.

Nutritional Data:
6 ounces lean strip steak: 198 calories; 36 grams protein; 0 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fat; 1.5 grams saturated fat.

With only five grams of fat per six-ounce serving, extra-lean ground beef serves up more than
one-third of your daily iron, zinc, and selenium requirements.

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