So you want to build some muscle but are not sure about nutrition? Often times you will hear that nutrition is 80% of peoples success and training is only 20%. This may be true to an extent. Certain foods react differently in the body and cause extreme results, both negative and positive. The best foods for building muscle can vary depending on the person but there are some staples you will find in every bodybuilders kitchen.
Eggs have been vilified for years as artery-clogging foods. But further research into the role of dietary cholesterol and heart disease shows that for most people, the two are not linked. Eggs have since returned to the spotlight as a health food, especially for building serious muscle. The cholesterol found in eggs yolks serves at the scaffolding for steroid hormones, and the ½ a gram of leucine in each egg is like throwing gasoline on your muscle-building fire.
Why fish? Most fish is extremely lean and high in protein. Choosing white fish means you get almost no fat, no carbohydrates, and tonne of protein. Most fish is 20% protein! If you choose a fatty fish such as Salmon, consume in moderation as it contains a high amount of fat (good fat but too much can be detrimental). Most fish can be easily cooked in the microwave making it a convenient option when on the go.
Nuts are a must for any guy struggling to put on muscle weight. 1 ounce of cashew or almonds contains 150-170 high quality calories. Nuts are the perfect blend of protein, fats, and fiber, allowing you to get the extra calories you need without having them pad your waistline. Nuts are also extremely portable, making them the perfect thing to snack on during the day if you need to increase your calorie intake.
Rotisserie chicken should be your emergency muscle food. Available at almost all supermarkets, rotisserie chickens provide you with readily available ready-to-eat high quality protein in a delicious package. Have one or two breasts, or mix and match light and dark meat—whichever fits your diet.
Sweet Potato or Yam
This is one the easiest foods to cook. All you need is a paper towel and a microwave and you have yourself a lean source of carbohydrates. 100g of sweet potato has only 20g of carbohydrates. Compare that to bread that has is roughly 40% carbs, sweet potatoes are a good option for anyone looking to make lean gains. This is why it made a the list for best foods for building muscle.
Beef (from grass-fed cattle)
Beef is important for building lean muscle due to its protein content, cholesterol, zinc, B vitamins and iron content. Beef from grass-fed cattle have much higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than conventionally raised cattle, which gives you a boost in shedding bodyfat and building lean muscle.
Rich in zinc, iron, selenium, potassium and B vitamins, high in fiber and protein, with a good amount of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), arginine and glutamine. This makes wheat germ a great source of slow-digesting carbohydrates and a quality protein that’s a perfect food before workouts.
Take the most nutritious food item you can imagine, and there’s a good chance it still pales in comparison to the tiny chia seed. Long heralded by indigenous South American peoples as a source of strength and energy, chia seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, soluble fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. Toss them in a shake, or put it in a bowl of oatmeal.
Fermented dairy products
A good source of glutamine, the amino acid that is important for lean muscle growth. In addition to glutamine, spinach can increase muscle strength and endurance.