“Gym is the easy part” you’ll hear many professionals say. Your training accounts for 30-40% of your physique and you may have heard of the saying “you can’t out train a bad diet” and this reflects the fact that diet is so important. Giving your body the nutrients you need is like that feeling of giving to or helping someone, but this time it’s giving your body a good feeling, and it’s getting stronger.
Here is the best muscle building foods list full of what you need to include daily to get your dietary requirements. There are foods here for everyone!
Eggs are a healthy source of protein and vitamins. One large egg contains around 6.3g of protein. Eggs are fatty but most of these fats are healthy. Furthermore, eggs are high in the amino acid leucine which is an essential amino acid for muscle growth. By an essential amino acid, it means that your body cannot make this and that it must be gained through food. The non-essential amino acids that you will use such as L-Arginine are made by the body and therefore don’t need to be gained from food, unless you are ill or very stressed and then they become conditional amino acids which need to be gained through food as your body might not be able to produce them. Eggs contain both essential and non-essential amino’s, so ill or not, you need to include them!
High in protein, vitamin B12, iron and zinc which are all essential for your optimum performance. It contains high amounts of essential amino acids like histidine and lysine which are important for muscle building.
Another high source of protein and for me the easiest food on the list to incorporate into a meal, but I’m a fan of curries! In a roastes chicken breast there will be around 30g of protein per 100g of meat, and this is similar for grilled chicken. This equates to around a fifth of your daily protein needs if you’re looking to increase muscle size.
Many types of fish have high amounts of omega 3. However, wild salmon are one of the best of this selection. They are low in saturated fat and gets you around 20g of protein per 100g serving.
Nuts and seeds
They are a rich source of vitamin E which helps which blood flow and the immune system. Personally not that popular in my diet so I have seeded bread for example. Walnuts and almonds are great, that’s why you may see many athletes and fitness freaks having almond milk, it’s okay in taste as well! Furthermore, pumpkin seeds are a good source for muscle building so if it’s halloween think first before binning those seeds! You could put pumpkin seeds in breakfast bars, salads and crumble to name a few.
Quinoa is a perfect source of magnesium, phosphorus, riboflavin and copper, which all help build muscle. I use quinoa as a substitute for white rice and sometimes brown rice. This is because it has a similar amount of carbs, but a much higher proportion of protein, which is perfect for me trying to build lean mass. It is also suitable if you live a vegan diet!
Flax seeds (linseeds)
Probably the best source of protein on the list for a vegan as these are plant based proteins. Some protein shakes may include the same omega 3’s that flaxseeds do but these are easy to include in your diet! You could add them to your cereal in the mornings, or perhaps if you like home cooking then you could add them to biscuits and muffins etc. One great thing about flax seeds is that they are gluten free and a great source of omega 3’s if you don’t like or can’t eat fish.
Spinach is high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron and magnesium. Per bag you can expect to get 9-10g of protein which doesn’t seem that high but if included in a meal with chicken for example, it’s the vitamins that are what makes it important, including it will balance out your diet and avoid too much protein being stored as fat. I find that spinach is quite easy to include in your meals if you don’t like some of the other options here. Also, if you don’t like milk, spinach is high in calcium so is a good alternative.
You can have these in the form of porridge or breakfast bars for example. I usually have them in the morning as they contain almost all the vitamins I’ve mentioned so far, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day to me also! I often wake up without an appetite but add more milk to my porridge more if this is the case, so it feels much lighter and I can consume it and stay consistent. Use this little trick if you’re struggling to stick to a calorie surplus during a bulk for example. According to many, oats are technically gluten free as they are not a type of wheat, barely or rye grain, however some celiacs have been affected by them so know the product you’re buying if you chose to do this.
You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet – Mark Hyman
So there you have it, the best foods you can eat to gain muscle. Of course there are even more foods with the nutrients that will help but this is your foundation to go off, and you should be able to make a variety of meals from what’s listed above, so maybe look at buying one of these healthy cookery books too, so you can learn how to eat well but also eat good. Everyone wants food that tastes good, not the same thing over and over, this is boring and demotivating, mixing things up with different recipes is something I’m going to recommend to you now. It will save the hassle myself and many others have faced of stopping and starting a healthy but boring and basic diet that makes you sick of food.
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Hi, I’m Nick and the creator of thefitnessfeeling.com. I have a passion for health and fitness, and I want to share my knowledge and experience with you. I’m here to help you with any questions you have.