There’s a certain number order to everything in life. We rank things all day long, whether we even know it or not. As we are driving to work, we calculate the risk of our lane versus the lane next to ours, and we choose our driving path accordingly. When we park at work, we look to the sky at the cloud formation and determine the odds it will rain – and we choose to park near the covered area accordingly. Once we get to our jobs, we make assessments all day long in order to find the best sustainable and temporary competitive advantages to take our companies success higher and stay ahead of the competition.

We do the same thing when deciding which protein sources to consume each day. As a bodybuilder, you already know about the importance of consuming adequate protein each day in order to make the best possible muscle gains, right? You can’t do it without protein. You don’t see too many vegan bodybuilders. And even the rare ones you do see very often created their base of muscle with meat, then moved on to the meat free lifestyle. They also consume a great deal of protein from other sources.

You need to choose which protein sources are best for you. Choose the wrong ones, and a few bad things could happen. You’ll spend a lot of money you don’t have. You’ll end up with a fridge full of protein sources you dislike, that you purchased only because the muscle magazine recommended it. Or worse, you’ll have a cabinet full of tubs and powder you’ll never use, a credit card full of debt, and a belly ache because you’re hungry because you just can’t bring yourself to eat or drink any of it.

Choose the protein that is RIGHT for you, and the one that you’ll enjoy. But how should you choose the correct protein? What factors should be considered?

Convenience, price, taste, and absorption rate should all be considered when you are looking for the best options. What can you afford? Lobster may be an excellent source of dietary protein, but most of us surely cannot afford it. Convenience is also a factor. Grilled chicken is a delicious and affordable source, but many of us do not have a grille in our car that we can use to cook while in rush hour traffic.

Eat what you enjoy eating! Of course, if a certain food is not to your liking, you should immediately strike it from the list. But don’t be afraid to try new things! Perhaps split a new protein source with a friend or three, and you will learn if you like it without a huge financial investment. Finally, absorption rate cannot be forgotten. Protein with high fat content absorbs much slower, which is ideal for over night consumption. Roast beef, stead or casein protein is ideal for late night eating, but whey, low in fat and quickly digested, should be the option selected for post-workout protein needs.