Protein is part of every cell of the body. It helps build and repair tissue, while also assisting the production of a number of chemicals such as hormones, and the development of enzymes. The body needs relatively large amounts of protein because it doesn't have an existing supply to draw on whenever it's required.
While training, it is important to give your body the appropriate amount of protein in order to stay healthy and improve fitness. Here are four of the best protein-packed foods that can help during training, and make for a handy pre or post-workout snack.
Packed with gut-friendly probiotic bacteria, calcium, and nearly double the amount of protein found in regular yoghurt, Greek yoghurt is easy to eat before a workout. Add a little fruit or multigrain such as granola for a natural sugar boost.
Turkey and chicken breasts are packed with protein that is perfect for building muscle and maintaining energy levels during exercise. Eat with brown rice and steamed vegetables such as broccoli for a healthy meal.
Sardines can sometimes be overlooked, but these little guys are filled to the brim with protein and omega-3 fatty acid. You'll also find they're a rich source of vitamin D, which is great for bone strength. Have them on toasted wholegrain bread for a quick snack - they're especially delicious in tomato sauce!
Nuts are one of the easiest sources of protein to grab as you're flying out the door to start your workout. A handful of mixed nuts such as peanuts and cashews are packed with protein and healthy unsaturated fats, and not to mention essential minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and zinc. To stay low on sodium, buy unsalted or roasted.