Proper nutrition goes hand in hand with a sound workout regimen in order to achieve your desired physique. With that in mind, we come up with our list of the Top 5 Muscle Building Foods that should be a part of every bodybuilder’s diet.
You would hear often in the fitness circuit that proteins are the building blocks for muscle formation. While aforementioned statement is true, it is not actually complete. Even in actual construction, you cannot erect a structure by merely piling up bricks or concrete hollow blocks together. Perhaps you can build a wall or something this way, but it wouldn’t stand for long. You also need mortar, steel, and other materials to actually build something that lasts.
It goes the same way for building, strengthening and preserving muscles. Your body also requires the right amount of other macronutrients such as carbohydrates, dietary fats, fibers, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals to do the job. Each one plays an important role in building and maintaining muscle mass, such as providing primary energy fuel, resisting and attacking disease-carrying microbes, and aiding in the processing of proteins, both in its catabolic (breaking down) and anabolic (building up) stages.
While we are clearly advocating for a well-balanced diet with the right ratio of proteins, carbs, and fats, we promised you a list of the foods that best promote and sustain muscle growth. So, here are our picks for the Top 5 Muscle Building Foods:
1. Lean Cattle and Poultry Meat
You need first and foremost, a good source of high-quality protein to build your muscles. Every ounce serving of lean beef contains an equivalent amount of protein but only half of the calories in a half-cup serving of beans. Cooked chicken meat, on the other hand, contains approx. 7g of protein per ounce. Moreover, it has significantly lower saturated fat content than any red meat.
Both beef and chicken also contain a gamut of vitamins and minerals that foster muscle growth. Between the two, you will get zinc, leucine, Vitamin B complex, iron, choline, selenium, phosphorous, niacin, and a lot more. While there are a lot of other options for protein-rich cattle and poultry meats in the market, we only cited the two, as they are the most affordable and constantly available.
2. Fatty Fish
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the omega3 fatty acids found in fish oil has been proven to have high therapeutic values, particularly in maintaining cardiovascular, neurological and digestive health. It was also found out to be advantageous in bodybuilding and athletic activities. Among its known benefits include decreasing muscle breakdown, fatigue, and muscle soreness, as well as increasing muscle strength, cognitive ability, and the rate of protein synthesis.
You can obtain a good amount of omega3 from delicious fatty fishes such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, lake trout, halibut, and sardines. Try to have at least 2 to 3 servings of these water denizens per week.
Yes, the lowly, inexpensive and yummy chicken egg is not only packing with instantly and optimally utilizable proteins (about 6 grams in each one) for muscle growth, it also contains amino acids such as BCAA and arginine, as well as vitamins A, D, K, and B-complex. It also has several essential minerals including zinc, phosphorous, selenium, and iron.
People used to believe that eggs are fattening and cause elevated cholesterol level. While it is true that it contains 5g of fat and about 200mg of cholesterol, it turns out that both plays an important role in muscle building and strengthening as they help maintain the structural integrity of muscle cells during a workout. Eggs also have high satiety value and usable calories that they tend to make you feel full longer, as well as more energetic to burn away adipose fats than those who start the day with bagels.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grains such as oats and brown rice are good sources of carbohydrates to provide your body with primary energy fuel to burn during a workout, thus sparing your muscles cells from breakdown. They also provide your body with much needed dietary fiber that aids in metabolism, as well as a boost in the production of growth hormones and testosterone, both of which are essential in muscle growth.
5. Beans, Seeds, and Legumes
Many of these foods are not only rich in protein; most are also good sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some of the most notable foods in this category are soybeans, which contains around 20 grams of proteins per cup; quinoa, one of the very few plant foods in the world that contain all 9 essential amino acids; and lentils, from which you can get about 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber per cup serving.
You actually have an abundance of options from this category, which includes black beans, chickpeas, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and almonds. Any one of which has high satiety and nutritional value and free supplements.
Conclusion: While we completed our task in naming what we think are the Top 5 Muscle Building Foods in the planet, we are barely scratching the surface. Again, we go back to the fact that in order to get the best results in our effort to get and stay in shape, a well-balanced diet is imperative. And no, a well-balanced meal doesn’t mean having two cheeseburgers of the same size and weight in each hand. It means not only having the recommended portions of protein, carbs and fat on your plate, but also ample sources of other micronutrients and antioxidants, like fresh fruits and vegetables.
Short Description: [This article presents the top 5 muscle building foods based on various published clinical tests and fitness experts’ opinions that we gathered for this purpose. While mostly focused on the number of proteins that can be obtained from each one or their otherwise active role in protein synthesis, this article still firmly advocates the importance of a whole foods-centric well-balanced diet.]
Chester Peterson is the founder of HeroMuscles.Com, the father of two children. I workout every day and I really want to share with you my knowledge and experience about my passion on this blog. It would be great if you dropped by, read what I wrote and left some comments. Connect with him at Twitter