We all want more protein in our diets. Nay, we all need more protein in our diets. Without protein, our gains would shrivel away into nothing, and we’d end up looking like all those scrawny teenagers fresh emerged from their video game cave, where they spent the winter in hibernation with a case of Mountain Dew.
That’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the point. As fit bros, most of us realize that we need to get enough protein during the day if we want to recover, build muscle, and keep that muscle when dieting down for the summer. If you’ve been at this a while, you probably get plenty of protein, but even the best of us can be a bit lazy at times, and need a quick fix.
With that being said, I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite ways to slam some protein. Recipes that require minimal ingredients, are incredibly fast to prepare, and can be made even without a kitchen, for you dorm-room bros, or those who have a kitchen but hate cooking complicated recipes that use a stove and take 45 minutes. Maybe you’ve seen some of these, maybe you haven’t, but here we go.
Note: some of the following may require a microwave. I’m pretty sure everyone has a microwave at this point, and if not, I’m sure your school/work/neighbors have one. Most of us should be able to access a microwave somewhere for a minute. The standard dorm room set-up at my school was a mini-fridge with a microwave on top, so that’s what I’m assuming you have at the bare minimum.
Protein Sludge (Estimated Prep Time: 1-2 Minutes)
-1-2 scoops protein powder
-1/4 cup or less water
-Fat source of your choice (optional)
Let’s start with the easiest, and most popular one first, protein sludge. Before you all accuse me of taking credit for a popular idea, I’ll admit I first learned about this one from Marc Lobliner, so I can’t take credit for it, but this is a game changer.
We’ve all mixed protein and water before, but this is a new way, and one that I find fills me up more, probably because I feel like I’m eating pudding, and I can make it last. All you have to do is throw as much protein as you want in a bowl, and very slowly add water as you stir it up.
I like to add water until it’s the texture of pudding; this may require more water if you use a blend or casein protein. Once you have this mixed up, you can eat it as is, or add some more ingredients. I personally use chocolate protein, and I like to add some fats to it depending on my current goals; my favorite sources being peanut butter, almond butter, chopped walnuts, coconut flakes, coconut oil, Greek Yogurt, or anything else you can think of. Get creative.
Cinnamon Protein Apples (Prep Time: 1-2 Minutes)
-1 scoop vanilla protein
Slice up the apples, throw them in a plastic sandwich bag, add 1/2 to 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein, sprinkle in some cinnamon, and shake it all up. It all sticks together, and you end up with delicious apple slices that get you a little protein. This is a good post-workout option for some carbs, I’ll usually do one apple, a half scoop of whey, and drink a protein shake with it.
Berries and Cream Oatmeal (Prep Time: 2-3 Minutes)
-1/2 cup dry oats
-1 cup water or almond milk
-1 scoop vanilla whey protein
-1/2 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
Add the oats and water to a bowl, and microwave for 2 minutes. Pop it out, add your protein and berries, and stir it all up. This is an awesome breakfast, and it also works great as a pre-workout meal, with the slow-digesting carbohydrates and protein you get.
Cheesy Tuna Melt (Prep Time: 4-5 Minutes)
-1 cup rice, cooked or instant
-1 can tuna
-1 slice fat free cheese
-Salt and pepper, or any other seasonings
This one sounds nasty, but it tastes really damn good. First of all, you want to heat up your rice – white, brown, wild, jasmine, doesn’t matter. I get these little pre-cooked minute rice cups, takes one minute to heat up in the microwave. Once that’s cooked, put it in a bowl, throw the tuna on it, and top it all of with the cheese. Microwave another minute or so, and once the cheese melts, just season it up and mix it all together.
Coffee Mug Breakfast Scramble (Prep Time: 2-3 Minutes)
-3 egg whites (or whole eggs)
-1 Tbsp. shredded cheese
-1/4 cup salsa
-Salt and pepper
Here’s one for the truly desperate, or truly lazy. You want to add your egg whites and cheese to a coffee mug, and microwave it for a minute or so. Keep an eye on it, and cook until the eggs are solid. Take it out, season it, add some salsa or hot sauce, and stir it all up. Boom, you’ve just made yourself some scrambled eggs in a cup, no mess to clean up.
Matt Dustin is a personal trainer and strength coach. You can check out his website at www.theathleticphysique.com, and follow him on Twitter for more cool stuff.
[Image via ShutterStock]