No matter how much time you spend lifting weights at the gym or doing crunches, the foods that you eat could be contradicting your hard work. While most are under the impression that calorie counting is the diet they need to follow in order to get the most out of their workouts, the truth is to build muscle you need a healthy diet filled with ten muscle building foods. Take a look at some of the best foods you can eat to help build muscle and get the physique you want:
- Salmon –
You may have heard about the many health benefits of salmon including its ability to help reduce your likelihood of developing diabetes and heart disease.
But, did you know that the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon also have the capability to help improve your rate of recovery after tough workouts. By decreasing the rate at which protein in your muscles breaks down, it allows you to build new muscle.
- Beef –
Beef can provide muscle builders with plenty of nutrients that are key to boosting muscle mass, including zinc and iron. Look for cuts of beef that are lean, with less fat, but still providing protein.
- Eggs –
Contrary to what you might have heard, eggs are in fact a super food. Not only do they have minerals and vitamins that the body needs to stay healthy, especially when the yolk is consumed, but they help improve muscle contraction and increase the breakdown of fat.
- Almonds –
Almonds are a great source of Vitamin E, which has been found to keep tired muscles from potential free-radical damage. Not only are they a healthy snack, but they help to recuperate your muscles and keep them growing.
- Yogurt –
Not only is yogurt a great way to get some dairy in your diet and start your day, but the carbs and protein packed snack can help to restore your muscles after a tough workout and boost their development.
- Oatmeal –
Another great snack or breakfast food; oatmeal is a great way to refuel and have healthy carbs after a workout.
Whether you are adding fruit to your morning pick me up or adding it to a protein shake, oatmeal can do wonders.
- Milk –
Most of us remember the nagging of our mothers saying ‘drink your milk!’ The truth is mom had a point! Milk is packed with amino acids and protein that you should make a part of your daily diet to help you build healthy muscles and keep your bones strong. Yet another time mom was right!
- Peanut Butter –
While we tend to think of peanut butter as a calorie packed snack to eat with jelly on toast, it actually has plenty of protein that can help you to refuel after a workout and gain some weight. If you are looking for a pre- or post-gym snack try peanut butter and apples!
- Olive Oil –
Oddly enough, olive oil is not only a healthier alternative to butter or grease when cooking, but it holds benefits for those seeking to boost their muscles. Oleocanthal is one of the nutrients in olive oil that is particularly useful as it helps to keep inflammation in muscles down and alleviate pain. Not to mention the fact that there are heart healthy benefits to using this as an alternative in your kitchen.
- Water –
Muscles are made up primarily of water, as is our entire body. When you do hours of muscle building exercises your body needs to rehydrate and it can take longer to do so without drinking plenty of water. Less hydration means a longer time to build or boost muscle. Eight full glasses of water a day should be your daily intake, but remember that staying hydrated before, after and during a workout is necessary.
Get the most out of your muscle building workouts by creating meal plans that are geared around these ten great foods. If you don’t fancy any one of them, keep in mind that there are other alternatives to getting the nutrients that can help you to build the muscle you want and to get to the fitness level you desire.
License: Image author owned
License: Image author owned
This article was written by Jeremy Leon who is a fitness and diet professional.