Struggling to build lean muscle mass? Today we dive into 10 Foods that are PROVEN to help in your mission to become a more muscular person.
Eggs contain one of the most bio-available proteins of any food, and we all know how essential protein is for muscular growth and preservation. Eggs also contain quite a bit of calories, about 70 per egg. Beyond eggs unique protein the cholesterol is the main reason why they belong in this list. Many people stray away from eggs due to their cholesterol and fat content but I would not suggest removing the yolk because cholesterol has been shown in various studies to increase testosterone production. The egg yolk is were the majority of the cholesterol resides. Testosterone plays an essential role in the process of building muscle and strong bones.
Salmon contains lots of high quality protein and a ton of healthy fats. The fat found in salmon, is primarily omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has been shown to reduce inflammation and increase heart health. Because you are trying to build muscle, you will be working with resistance, which can sometimes result in inflammation. Consuming salmon frequently will help you reduce inflammation, which in turn will make it so you can be in the gym training efficiently to maximize your gains. Salmon is a great food for cognitive brain function as well so it’s a duel purpose food.
Beef contains lots of high quality protein along with creatine, which has been shown to increase testosterone, brain activity, strength, and of course muscle growth. I prefer to stick with lean ground beef due to it’s simplicity when cooking. You could also eat lean steaks if you don’t mind the price difference. A study conducted by the University of Melbourne, showed that people felt less anxiety and stress when they consumed red meat regularly. Anxiety and stress can seriously hinder your gains and lower testosterone, which is not your goal when on the quest for lean muscle.
Pork is one of the most underrated sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Pork contains an incredible ratio of fats to protein, typically in between chicken and lean beef. Some people tend to have difficult digest red meat, if you fall into that category feel free to substitute your red meat with lean cuts of pork. All meats fluctuate in price but pork seems to remain a very cheap source of protein.
Majority of legumes are an amazing source of protein, carbs, and fiber. I would suggest sticking with black beans, kidney beans, lentils, and garbanzo beans. Some of the other legumes are high in soy, which can lower testosterone and increase estrogen. Others are just simply not as healthy as the ones listed above. A lot of people neglect legumes for various reasons but I highly suggest you incorporate them into your diet. The legumes listed above all provide a great ratio of carbs to fiber, which is essential because it means that the carbs will digest slowly and give you substantial energy. Those legumes also contain a good source of plant protein and plenty of potassium.
Almonds contain a ton of calories, specifically health fats. A cup of almonds contains around 200 calories. Calories are very important because when one is trying to build muscle they must be consuming more calories than their body burns. Almonds are a great healthy way to get some extra calories throughout your day. Almonds have also been show to increase testosterone and also contain a ton of potassium. Along with all of those healthy fats found in almonds, you will also find lots of fiber, which will aid in digestive health.
Sweet potatoes in my opinion are great for building muscle because they contain a great amount of slow digesting carbs but also contain lots of potassium, vitamins, and fiber. I would suggest straying from regular potatoes and sticking with sweet potatoes because they are nutritionally dense in comparison to other types of potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain mass amounts of carotenoids that have been shown to reduce cell damage. Because your training sessions are going to be vigorous it’s essential to think of your health while trying to build muscle and sweet potatoes can help reduce cell damage from training. Here are a few quick and tasty recipes for sweet potatoes.
Apples contain lots of good carbs and sugar to give your body plenty of energy for your workouts and also provide great benefits post-workout as well. Apples contain lots of antioxidants and fiber that are beneficial post-workout to replenish your body with the nutrients lost while training. Apples can also satisfy your sweet tooth due to apples natural sugars and the crisp apples may remind you of those fattening potato chips.
Bananas are key when building muscle due to their ability to provide the body with sustainable energy. Bananas are known for their extremely high levels of potassium, which we have discussed as being very beneficial in the muscle building process. Bananas are a great snack on the go, before a workout, or after a workout. This fruit can be incorporated into ones diet very easily and provide your body with energy and good carbs.
Spinach has tons of micronutrients along with a significant amount of glutamine. Glutamine has been shown to increase endurance, increase muscle growth, and recovery. Since you will be working hard in the gym to make some lean muscle gains, it would be wise to consume large amounts of spinach to get the benefits of the micronutrients and glutamine found in this super food.
Although we are all focused on increasing our lean muscle by consuming the foods listed prior, we must not neglect our long-term health. Broccoli is a staple in my diet, I consumer at least 4 cups of broccoli every day. Broccoli has tons of fiber, healthy carbs, and even low amounts of protein. Broccoli can be included with almost any meal imaginable as a side dish to keep your healthy while making gains.
Whey Protein Powder - Bonus
I have decided to throw in an extra muscle building food for you guys. Although whey protein is not technically a food, it is in fact a by-product of the cheese manufacturing process. Whey protein powder is a great way for people to get some extra calories throughout the day. I typically have a protein shake when I do not have time to cook a meal, or would just prefer to drink my calories rather than eat them to save time. Whey protein powder is a cheap convenient way to increase your daily protein intake without going to overboard on of through macronutrients.