Best Foods for Muscle Growth (That Aren’t Protein Shakes)

Muscle mass is not just a matter of concern for body builders. In fact, maintaining healthy muscles is just one of the many ways we can stay healthy and improve our overall well-being, especially as we age. And, along with a balanced regimen of exercise and strength training, our diet is an important factor in building and maintaining strong muscles.

Protein, in particular, plays an important role in support muscle growth, this collection of amino acids Makes up a large proportion of the tissues of our muscles and organs. It’s an essential part of your diet, but that doesn’t mean you have to go down daily. protein shakes to get enough. Although it’s certainly a way to boost your protein intake, you can actually find it in many delicious whole food sources.

With a little effort, it’s easy to add foods high in protein and other muscle-building nutrients to your diet. In this article, we’ll look at how different foods help you build muscle—and the best things to eat if you’re trying to increase your strength.

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How food helps build muscle

Although protein is essential for muscle building, it is not the only important food ingredient in the process. according to National Academy of Sports MedicineA good diet should include plenty of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to build muscle. A balanced diet that includes all of these will provide the ingredients you need to help repair and rebuild your muscles after a workout.

Overall, the NASM recommends that most people measure at least 0.7 to 0.8 . consume grams of protein and 1.8 to 3.2 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight per day. Total caloric intake also plays a role in building muscle, as it is difficult to build muscle if you are burning more calories than you consume.

However, diet alone is not enough to stimulate muscle growth. Exercise — especially resistance training such as lifting weights — is essential. start the process, When you tear the fibers in your muscles, it stimulates cellular growth and repair. Only then can your body use the food you eat to rebuild and strengthen muscle tissue. Other factors that affect how effective and efficient this process is, when you eat your food and how much you give your hormones and your muscles between workouts. genetic makeup,

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8 Foods to Optimize Your Gains

Although many factors play a role in building muscle, there is no doubt that diet plays an important role. Here are eight muscle-building foods you can eat to optimize your workouts and grow your muscles.

1. Eggs

Eggs have long been considered a power food, and for good reason. They are incredibly rich in nutrients from fat and protein and contain a powerful mix of vitamins such as B12, B6 and thiamin. Their nutrient-dense profile makes them particularly potent, but most importantly, they contain a high dose of leucine. This amino acid is known for its muscle building prowess.

2. Fish

If you already get enough fat in your diet but need to increase your protein intake, look no further than fish. This is one of the best lean sources of protein You can eat that, and it’s full of other vitamins and minerals. Bonus? Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Although they are known for their many other health benefits, omega 3s May also improve muscle performance and help prevent muscle loss. Salmon and tuna in particular are great muscle-building food choices.

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3. Nuts

When eaten in moderation, nuts are an excellent choice for building muscle. These tasty snacks provide the perfect mix of protein, fat and fiber, making them one of the most balanced ways to complement your workout. However, you have to be careful, as many nuts (including peanuts, which are actually legumes), are high in calories. For the most nutrient-rich options, try almonds or walnuts.

4. Soybeans

If you’re trying to build muscle on a meat-free diet, soybeans should be one of your closest friends. These are some of the most nutrient-dense legumes you can eat, and they pack a powerful punch of protein to help build muscle. Contains all soy nine essential amino acidsThis makes it one of the best plant-based protein sources available.

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5. Greek Yogurt

Dairy is a unique source of protein because it provides a combination of fast-digesting whey protein and slow-digesting casein protein. when consumed togetherThese two types of protein can enhance and prolong the protein-synthesis process that your muscles go through during rebuilding, helping you build yours. skinny body, Greek yogurt is an especially great dairy substitute because it contains twice the protein Claims more than regular yogurt Probiotic Health Benefits You can’t find it in milk or cheese.

6. Cottage Cheese

It doesn’t provide the same probiotic benefits as yogurt, but cottage cheese is a great second choice for dairy-based protein. In fact, cheese packs more protein than Greek yogurt, while boasting the same slow and fast-digesting combination. It’s especially a great source of casein, and it provides a significant calorie boost if you need to make sure you’re getting enough.

7. Olive Oil

It may not sound like your typical body-building food, but in recent years extra virgin olive oil has become increasingly popular for muscle gain. Widely known as a source of healthy monounsaturated fatOlive oil also helps reduce swelling And slow muscle breakdown, Both of these characteristics can aid in any muscle-building diet.

8. Quinoa

They don’t call quinoa a superfood without a reason. This dynamic grain (it is a seed but classified as a whole grain) packs a little bit of everything, which includes lots of protein, fiber and carbohydrates, as well as a large dose of vitamins and minerals. It is a perfect food for building muscle and maximizing the benefits of your workout.

Cooked quinoa in a wooden bowl with a green garnish.

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A recipe for strong muscles

Including these muscle building foods in your diet will surely help you to increase muscle mass and increase your strength. Remember, though, that building muscle takes time—and diet is only one piece of the puzzle. Combining a balanced diet of high protein foods with healthy exercise and rest will speed up your journey and improve your overall health along the way.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult with a physician or other qualified health provider with respect to any questions you may have about a medical condition or health purposes.

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