Traditional Italian food is known for being hearty and fulfilling. "Heavy" meals such as linguine with sausage and meat sauce definitely are capable of filling someone up. Lighter meals are also quite common, but these lighter meals do not always get publicized in restaurant advertisements as much. People who eat Italian food are like to eat heartily.
Another common assumption is that weightlifters love to eat heavy. To a degree, this is true. Italian foods would provide a solid amount of carbohydrates and fats needed for workout energy. But the lighter meals in an Italian restaurant also have a host of benefits. Hiding in plain sight on the menu of a local Italian restaurant, such as Tony & Joe's Pizzeria, are foods providing a nice source of branch chain amino acids.
Amino Acids and Weightlifting
Branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) play a major role in the process of developing an athletic physique. BCAA supplements are often taken to help build muscle and to reduce workout fatigue. People purchase supplements -- liquids, powders, and capsules -- because they do not realize these helpful amino acids can be procured naturally from food sources. According to SF Gate, the best sources of BCAAs are red meats and dairy, with chicken, fish, and beans being among other solid sources. A tremendous variety of these food choices is found in virtually all quality Italian restaurants. And those choices are made up of real food.
BCAAs and Real Food
Acquiring nutrients from natural food might be the better approach than acquiring the nutrients from supplements. A credible argument can be made that the absorption and synthesis of nutrients are better when BCAAs and protein are eaten in real food than taken in dehydrated powder form. Those who are worried about getting the proper intake of BCAA can explore options of getting the amino acids from natural food in the form of really good food at an Italian restaurant.
Choosing Good Italian Meals
Finding red meat choices on an Italian menu won't be too hard, but fitness fans need lean choices. Fatty red meats won't exactly help high-intensity weightlifting sessions since the digestion of fat could sap endurance. Thankfully, Italian restaurants are home to such lean red meats as Bresaola and more. Low-fat versions of popular Italian sauces do exist, and they probably could be found on a local restaurant menu. Opting for them would be a good choice, as would skipping the heavy pasta and going with protein-rich beans. These and other menu choices should help with getting a nice supply of BCAAs in a diet.