Most people are aware of the foods that they shouldn’t eat, but few pay attention to the ones that they should. This is especially true when trying to build muscle, as it will take plenty of the right foods if you really want to pack on the bulk and strength. Simply lifting weights is not enough if you want to maximize your results, as you also have to take your nutrition into account. Here are the foods you should eat if you are trying to build additional muscle.
If you are a budding bodybuilder or just want to put on some extra muscle, these are the foods you should eat:
-Omega 3 Eggs: There have ben conflicting reports of the health benefits of eggs over the years, as some doctors have vilified them as one of the leading causes of clogged arteries. However, new studies have found that there is no link between eating eggs and heart disease, which has put eggs back to the forefront of great muscle building foods. Eggs are high in protein and low in fat, which is a common theme among the best muscle building foods. In addition, eggs contain a fair amount of leucine, which doctors agree is one of the best muscle building fuels you can eat.
-Nuts: Nuts such as peanuts and cashews are the ideal combination of protein, fat and carbohydrates for someone that is trying to build muscle. Just one ounce of almonds or cashews contains enough calories to give you a boost without adding inches to your belly. Another great thing about nuts is that they actually taste good and are easy to digest, unlike some of the processed “health” bars on the market that often contain extra sugars and bad calories. A handful of nuts before, during and after a workout is a great way to get the energy and protein your muscles need.
-Protein Shakes: You should always try to ingest plenty of protein before a workout, as it will prepare your body for optimal nutrient usage, muscle growth and recovery. A good protein shake will also help get more blood flow to your muscles during a workout, which will help you to workout longer and increase the results. Just be sure to choose a good protein shake that that has balanced carbohydrates and no extra sugar. Try to avoid shakes with a lot of artificial flavors or sweeteners, as these will reduce the benefits you are getting from the shake.
-Full Fat Cottage Cheese: Dieters have long used cottage cheese as a staple, as it is low fat and also full of protein. However, it can also be good for building muscle, as it contains casein, a slow acting protein that gives you elevated levels of protein for a longer period of time. Also, cottage cheese contains good bacteria that will aid in the breakdown and absorption of nutrition. Cottage cheese is essentially a slow released protein that is perfect to eat just before or after a workout for maximum results and recovery.
-Garbanzo Beans: Garbanzo beans, which are also known as chickpeas, are another great food for building muscle. Chickpeas are a good choice if you need some carbohydrates, as they are also loaded with fiber. A serving of Garbanzo beans contains 45 grams of carbs that will slowly be released into the body for longer lasting energy. It also has 12 grams of fiber per servings, which will help regulate your digestive system. You can eat them plain, dried or even make them into products like hummus.
-Lean Meats: Lean meats like pork, chicken and beef have long been heralded for their ability to help you gain muscle. Lean meats are low in fat and high in protein, which is always a good combination for muscle growth. Lean meats also have just the right amount of saturated fats, which is great for maintaining high levels of testosterone. When your body has increased testosterone levels you will have more energy, strength and will see greater results from lifting weights and other exercises. However, as with most things you need to eat meat in moderation. Eating too much meat, particularly beef, can make you sluggish and actually hurt your results.
-Rotisserie Chicken: This goes along with the entry from above, but rotisserie chicken has additional benefits. The biggest is that it is readily available in the deli section of just about any supermarket. Many people fail to get the correct nutrition because they are too lazy or lack the know how to cook themselves proper meals. With a rotisserie chicken you get a low fat, high protein meal that is already prepared and ready to eat. This will save you the hassle of trying to cook and help you avoid the temptation of other fast foods that are not nearly has healthy.
-Lentils: Lentils are one of the best foods in existence when it comes to building muscle mass. This is because a single serving of lentils has as much as 18 grams of protein and 40 grams of good carbohydrates. The carbs in lentils are the slow release variety, which will give your body a continuous source of energy during a workout, thus increasing your results. Not only that, but lentils are super cheap and easy to cook, so even someone that is clueless in the kitchen can probably boil up a pot of tasty lentils. Dried lentils will keep for a long time, so you can buy a bag and they will always be there when you need them.
-Salmon: Salmon has long been heralded for its positive heart effects. It contains Omega-3 fats that doctors recommend for a healthy heart. However, these fats also prevent muscle breakdown and make amino acids more effective, which helps you to workout longer and more efficiently. Wild caught salmon is the best, as the skin of farmed salmon can contain chemicals that are not good for the body. If you don’t enjoy the taste of fish then you can get try fish oil pills or other supplements that have similar nutritional content.
-Fermented cheese and dairy: There is a fermented dairy product known as Kefir that many people aren’t aware of, but they should be. Kefir contains good bacteria known as probiotics that will help you digest your meals more easily and get maximum nutrition from the foods you eat. You will be able to more effectively assimilate your nutrition so that your body can maximize nutrients before, during and after a workout. Many people add a cup of Kefir to their protein shake, which is a great way to get this product into your system.
It’s not just about the weights
If you are working out hard but not getting the results you want, then it is probably due to the foods you are eating. It is not enough to simply lift weights if you are just going to come home and eat a bucket of fried chicken afterwards. You need the correct balance of protein, fat and carbs if you really want to get the best possible results. The foods on this list will not only help you build muscle but can also be used as part of a healthier diet, as many of them have additional health benefits. It is time to stop focusing only on the workout and start paying attention to the foods you eat, as they will go a long way to determining how much muscle you will grow.