Foods for building muscle: Eating For Ultimate Growth
When it comes to building muscle & strength, training hard in the gym is only half the battle. knowing what foods build muscle mass is key to muscle growth and decreasing body fat while on a diet.
The foods we eat are energy for our body, the same way as gasoline is to your car. The car needs the gasoline to function and the quality of the gas you pay for makes a difference.
The higher the quality you eat dictates how well you will function and may represent your level of overall health. Focusing on key nutrition that your body needs may have many positive effects such as
- Accelerating growth in muscle tissue
- increases energy
- lowering inflammation within the muscles
- increases blood flow
- lowers negative catabolic hormones
All the meals you eat should consist of a type of high-quality protein such as chicken, Healthy fats such as olive oil & a source of Carbohydrates such as brown rice.
So, in case you’ve been asking yourself what is the best food to build muscle? Look no further because this muscle-building foods list will provide useful insight as to what your diet will consist of to pack on some lean muscle gain.
18 Best Foods for Muscle Gain
70 calories per egg
Eggs contain high amounts of high-quality protein ranging to 6 grams of protein per egg and have loads of amino acids including the essential leucine. This may help boost your body’s protein synthesis levels and aids in muscle growth. Not only that, but yokes are also very nutrient-dense, containing adequate amounts of nearly every vitamin and mineral we need, (especially B vitamins) which are essential in maintaining mass.
Eggs are also one of the best sources for getting enough fats in your diet.
Tuna is one of those foods you can never go wrong with. Although some may find this fish to be unappetizing, this can easily be fixed with the various different ways to eat tuna meaning there’s a way that fits almost everyone. This amazing food is low in calories and boasts about 30 grams of protein per can which is incredible! It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which may aid in muscle recovery and vitamins A, B12 & B6
Salmon is a staple in any muscle building diet due to it being yet another high in protein fish containing about 17 grams of protein for every 3oz you eat. This fish also has 2g of omega 3 fatty acids and several essential B vitamins
Salmon is also known for a whole host of other benefits like
- Increases in memory retention & brain function
- A decrease in blood pressure
- Helps in friendly fat loss
- increases blood circulation
- aids in keeping the skin wrinkle-free
Although this fish doesn’t get you as much healthy omega-3 fat as the previous fish covered in this article, it is yet another protein seafood that’s extremely low in calories. Tilapia contains about 21g of protein per serving and provides vital amounts of B12 and selenium.
Selenium is an essential vitamin for our bodies as it aids in supporting our immune system to combat illness, slow age-related mental decline & can reduce the risk of heart disease.
A single serving of turkey breast (3oz) may get you up to 25g of power-packed protein and on top of that, it holds almost no fat or carbs.
Turkey also has a rich amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin) which helps digest the fats and carbs in your body helping you become lean and toned. Great for keto or low carb dieters.
What foods support muscle mass? To no surprise, eat some CHICKEN! We’ve all heard to eat this before to get into great shape, and it does have lots of merits supporting it.
This bird so amazingly lean that it’s not even funny. A 3oz serving provides 26g of high-quality grams of protein & all of your essential amino acids. It is also has a ton of vitamins B3 and B6 which helps our bodies function at optimal levels during physical activity
Lastly, protein diets containing this meat have been very beneficial in fat loss, explaining why it’s such a popular choice among the fitness and diet community
Shrimp are amazing in the fact that within these little guys, they are mostly composed of proteins and a small amount of healthy fat, 3oz has 18 grams of protein
like many animal proteins, shrimp holds a high amount of the amino acid leucine which is a critical vitamin for optimal muscle gain
Also, like chicken, this food has low amounts of carbohydrates and only contains about 1g of fat per serving (30z) meaning that this is another staple food for keto dieters.
This is one of the best quick & healthy snacks that anyone can enjoy due to its versatility to be eaten in many forms, along with it providing about 20 grams of protein a serving.
But remember that not all dairy is created equal, Make sure to look for some low-fat yogurt as it has about double the amount of high-quality protein and half the calories as regular yogurts and doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners.
Yogurt is unique due to the fact that it contains both fast-digesting whey protein and slow-digesting casein protein. Studies have shown that this is the optimal combination for lean muscle gain
Yogurt is also a great source of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Calcium aids in muscle contractions and the strengthening of our bones while phosphorus supports the creation of ATP (the energy our body uses)
Whey Protein Powder
While you should aim to gain all of your nutrients to come from whole food sources, some people find it difficult to complete that goal. This is where the use of supplementation takes charge to make sure you meet your calorie and macronutrient numbers. One of the most beneficial forms of supplements is protein powders. There are many types of protein supplements that come from many sources such as plant-based or rice protein for vegans.
There are two common types. The first is Whey protein which is a fast-absorbing powder, this spikes your insulin to aid your body in shuttling the protein to the muscles as fast as it can. The second is Casein protein which is slow digesting, this has the opposite effect as whey, leaving you with a slower but more stable absorption of protein.
One of the major benefits of using any form of these high-quality protein supplements is that most contain all 20 amino acids which are critical for supporting muscle growth. Whey is also an amazing choice for a pre-workout or post-workout treat
Like yogurt and other dairy products, milk contains a mixture of proteins and a combination of fast-digesting and slow-digesting proteins.
Milk or dairy-based protein contains a large amount of leucine which is a primary amino acid in the BCAA (branch chain amino acid) makeup and is essential for protein synthesis (muscle gain)
Studies have shown that diets consisting of milk or dairy-based proteins led to the best results in terms of weight loss and muscle growth.
Pro tip – combine a serving of milk with your favorite protein supplement, resulting in a delicious treat providing over 30g of muscle-building protein
While it’s essential that we eat foods that provide us with adequate amounts of protein, eating foods that fuel use with long term energy are just as important for they give us the energy to train hard in the gym. Carbohydrates are the foods that provide the most energy for us.
Quinoa is a great whole grain choice since it can be mixed with a variety of animal-based proteins and vegetables. This choice for whole grains contains about 40g of carbohydrates and 8 g of protein per cup
Quinoa contains about 5g of fiber per cup which supports digestion. It is also loaded with magnesium and phosphorus.
There are many forms of beans that can all aid in the growth of lean dense muscle.
Black beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo can provide around 15g of protein per cup and a rich quantity of
- Vitamin B
Broccoli is a high protein veggie that also functions as a great source for vitamins & minerals such as:
- Providing Zink which aids in producing Testosterone, an essential hormone for building muscle
- contains phytonutrients that detoxify the body of unwanted contaminants
- Provides large amounts of antioxidants
- Aids in the upkeep of our metabolism
Many different varieties of Nuts such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, pecans & walnuts provide a wide amount of vitamins and minerals that are essential for our body’s functions.
Nuts are comprised of protein & healthy fats (Also found in olive oil) which can aid in the production of positive muscle-building hormones such as testosterone
Nuts are also high in magnesium and vitamin E.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables make up a majority of snacks due to their high nutritional content and satiating effects on fat loss.
Nearly every fruit and veggie on the planet provides a superb dose of
- Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3
- Minerals such as Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium, Selenium, Iron & Copper
Also, every fruit is made of carbs meaning they may serve as a great pre-workout snack to give you plenty of energy.
Cottage Cheese is a pure protein-packed go-to snack that can be paired with many delicious veggies and other low-calorie foods that can easily help you lose weight.
160 calories per serving of cottage cheese, it also contains
- 28 grams of high-quality protein
- 24% of the daily recommended intake of phosphorus
- Vitamins B12
pork is one of the few top choices of red meat that is almost as lean as its white meat brothers like chicken or turkey.
A 30z serving of 96% lean pork only contains about 120 – 150 calories and packs in around 20t0 26g of protein.
Last but certainly not least is the most important substance on the planet, water. This is the most important food for muscle building because, without it, you wouldn’t even be alive
The human body is composed of about 70% water and just our skeletal muscles alone are 80% made of water. Making sure we drink enough will ensure our muscles and body are kept youthful and hydrated.
Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day to support your body with the hydration it needs.