When it comes to meaningful terms in the world of nutrition, you will eventually discover that some of the most well-known are also some of the most confusing. Or, at worst, almost utterly meaningless. Protein is most definitely one of the all-time buzzword big boys in the field of nutrition. Eat your protein. Gotta get enough protein. Because protein is one of those less meaningful terms, neither of those imperatives are as easy as they seem.
Ordering a half-pound filet of Alaskan king salmon should pretty much be at least a weekly menu item for anyone dedicated to working with weights. Ah heck, whether you want to bulk up or slim down or just start eating right, you should eat salmon from the dangerous depths off the coast of the Last Frontier.
Because you are getting protein? No. You can get protein lots of place. No, you should be eating salmon because you are getting just about the best protein possible.
Protein is, among other things, an all-encompassing term for the collection of essential nutrients you need called amino acids. Not every protein figure you see on a nutrition label is created equal. Some food with large amounts of protein contain very few amino acids. That's why many nutritionists roll their eyes when they see a food marketed as high in protein.
That half-pound filet of Alaskan king salmon provides more than 80% of the protein you should be getting in a day. Isolated out of context, that sounds impressive. In a great many cases, it isn't. In this case, you'd better believe it's impressive.
Because it's not just 80% of your recommended daily intake of protein that you're getting. Among other various elements, what makes up that thing called protein are amino acids. When you hear about the building blocks of the body, amino acids are what they're talking about. When you see that a food is high in protein, that means it has the potential to contain all or some of 21 different amino acids.
Alaskan king salmon contains twenty of them. And the one amino acid that doesn't make up the protein is non-essential. That eight ounce serving delivers all the recommended minimum amounts of seven of the nine essential amino acids you should get in a day.
From arginine to tyrosine, Alaskan salmon really is the protein king. And just in case you aren't hip to what's really going on with protein, here's another thing to know: the human body can't produce amino acids to make up for those you aren't getting. Protein isn't the same as vitamins. So if you care at all about making sure that your muscle fibers remain capable of doing that very cool thing where they get bigger after you exercise them, you might want to consider adding salmon to your diet.
Alaskan king salmon, that is.