By its very definition, weight training is hard work. Certainly if you are doing it correctly!
Building strength and muscle requires the physical application of consistently overloading the body with heavier and heavier weights in order to stimulate an adaptation and growth. When the pounding of the weights has stopped though, the body really has to get to work recovering, repairing, rebuilding and growing bigger and stronger.
But to do this truly effectively it requires the right nutrients.
Work right, eat right
The primary nutrient for this growth is of course protein, and one of the best sources is the good old chicken breast!
So, is chicken good for weight training? You bet it is!
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It is not just the high protein content of this lean white meat that makes it so beneficial for weight training and muscular development, it is also convenient, tasty, low in fat and packed full of other less celebrated nutrients with many benefits.
The breast itself has the highest protein to fat ratio of any mainstream meat and more than any other part of the chicken, providing 19g of protein for only 1g of fat!
The protein itself is also has a high bio-availability and holds its own against other protein heavyweights such as eggs and beef.
This means that the body can use it easily to repair and rebuild muscle tissue and make other essential repairs caused after a hard training session.
- Vitamin B6 – B6 allows your body to convert stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen into usable energy, allowing you to keep on pushing through those heavy lifting days.
- Zinc – This vital nutrient provides immune boosting support as well as support for the production of muscle building, anabolic hormones.
- Selenium – This is involved in the repair of cells damaged through hard weight training and is key to how growth, adaptation and increased strength occurs. Selenium is also key in keeping the thyroid gland working properly, which in turn keeps your metabolism stoked and processing all the nutrients your body needs.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) – You can get more than your recommended daily allowance of niacin from just one chicken breast. This is an essential nutrient that your body needs for optimal functioning and as such is an important part of ensuring your body has enough energy to train effectively.
- Tryptophan – Chicken is high in this amino acid which is one of the 22 essential amino acids in the body. Tryptophan acts as building blocks in protein biosynthesis and proteins, as discussed, are required to build and repair muscle tissue. It is also known to increase serotonin levels in the brain, enhance your mood and reduce stress.
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Without going any deeper into it you can hopefully see how beneficial this classic of bodybuilding staple foods is to you if you train with weights. Just make sure you stick to the breast meat portion and remove any skin to keep it as lean and as beneficial to you as possible.