Dietary Sources of Protein

Dietary Sources of Protein

What foods should you eat to get enough protein?

Not all sources of protein are created equal. Protein is made of amino acids (AA), which are broken down as follows:

  • Essential AA (EAA)

    • Not made in body
    • Come from Diet & Supplementation
  • Conditional AA

    • Not sufficiently made in body
    • Mostly come from Diet & Supplementation
  • Non-essential AA

    • Sufficiently made in body
    • Diet & Supplementation not necessary

It is important for our bodies to have a solid amino acid profile that is composed as many AA as possible. We will outline which AA fit into each category in a future post.

So, how does this relate to protein? Protein is categorized into 2 categories:

  • Complete
    • Contain all EAA
    • Mostly from animal sources (beef, chicken, turkey, fish, dairy, etc.)
  • Incomplete
    • Don’t contain all EAA
    • Mostly from plant sources (brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, beans, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, etc.)

Therefore, athletes need to make sure that they are getting sufficient amount of complete proteins from the above sources because it is the best way to ensure that we have a solid AA profile!


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