Surprising Protein Sources

Postworkout grumbles leave you starving for any kind of grub, but it’s essential to get in quick carbohydrates and some protein within the hour after you’re done. This is the essential time when your muscles are broken down and ready for nutrition in order to start recovery. Even if you’re not working out, you still need between 1-1.8g per kilogram of body weight. But having the same old protein sources can get super monotonous and leave you with cravings. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or looking for some variety in your diet, here are some good (and surprising) sources of protein to add to your meals and snacks.


While many people see grains as primarily a source of carbohydrates, then can be incredibly good sources of protein. Typical grains range anywhere from 4-6 grams of protein per ½-cup serving, giving anyone more reason to have some oatmeal in the morning. For more experimental grains, try millet or amaranth with 6 grams of protein per ½-cup cooked.

Leafy greens

There’s a reason Popeye had such big muscles! Spinach and kale have 6 grams per cup when they’re cooked, and as a low-calorie and vitamin-rich option, there’s no reason not to supplement your meals with a little more greens.


You might have seen some pea protein powders, and that’s because the little green veggie holds 7 grams of protein in a cup. Get the powder form for quick protein or add it as a side dish to your meal.


15 spears of asparagus has 6 grams of protein, making it a power vegetable that tons of bodybuilders love. Roast is in the oven with some olive oil for a delicious post-workout lunch.


Although not many people eat lentils, they are super high in protein at 9 grams per half cup. Spice them up with curry and make a lentil Dal or add them to your salad for a protein boost!

Nutritional yeast

It may be strange to be eating yeast at first, but it packs a protein punch with 9 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons, beating out a cup of milk (8 grams) or a large egg (6 grams).


You probably only see this at fancy smoothie places, but it can be a great addition to your diet with almost as high of protein as nutritional yeast at 8 grams per two tablespoon. Try adding a bit to your morning oatmeal or sprinkling it over rice to give it some extra flavor.