Men are no fools that Mr. T pities—when it comes to protein, we know not all meat is created equal. Do you know whether eggs or tuna packs a bigger protein punch? How about other options like beans or dairy?

If you’re looking to enhance muscle growth that typically occurs with exercise, research shows that consuming 20 to 40 grams of protein at a time is the sweet spot.

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, find out which food powerhouses are the best protein foods for men with our easy guide below:

1. Chicken breast, turkey breast, and lean pork

High protein chicken

For lean meat, there’s no better choice than these three. They pack incredible servings of protein while staying slim on calories and fat. That’s enough to repair those muscles after the most intense of workouts.

2. Tuna

High protein tuna

The chicken of the sea is an easy lunchtime sandwich fix. Go for albacore tuna, mix it up with a bit of plain yogurt and green onion and serve. Half of a can of tuna has about 14 grams of protein.

3. Greek Yogurt

High protein Greek yogurt

2 cups of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt has about 50 grams of protein, double the protein of your average plain yogurt.

4. Eggs

High protein omelet

Feeling a little run-down after a jog? Try an omelet to max out your protein intake. Two eggs contain 13 grams of protein.

5. Quinoa

High protein quinoa

Who knew, right? Throw these cooked rice-like grains on a salad or serve as a side dish for a proper protein top-up. 200 grams of cooked quinoa has 8.8 grams of protein and 5.6 grams of fibre.

6. Cottage Cheese

High protein cheese

Try cottage cheese or ricotta cheese to increase your muscle-building power. Half a cup of cottage cheese has 15 grams of protein.

7. Beans and lentils

High protein beans

You can’t go wrong with meals like black bean tacos, chickpea curry, hummus, or lentil soup. We could go on, but just know that while beans may make you toot, they also rock a protein punch.

Choose plant-based protein options more often

We know there is nothing quite like a juicy steak, but men need to remember that protein not only comes from meat. There are plant-based options that are excellent sources of protein. Canada’s Food Guide recommends we choose more plant-based options when possible.

Plant-based protein provides more fibre (hello healthy poops) and less saturated fat, helping lower cholesterol and reducing men’s chances of heart attacks.

What is the recommended daily protein intake for men?

Protein is an essential building block that helps your body maintain and repair itself.

The average adult man needs 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram (or 0.36 grams for every pound) of body weight. That means a 165-pound man needs about 60 grams of protein a day—that’s a can of tuna and chicken breast a day.

This can be different for very active people (who need more) and for people with certain health conditions.

Do you have any favourite go-to ways to eat your protein? Meat and vegetarian options welcome! Please share in the comments below.

This article was originally published July 21, 2015.

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