Muscle building foods include plenty of different nutrients to support your goals. These nutrients are often an amplified version of what you need to consume from day to day, while focusing on improving your consumption of specific nutrients to increase energy and protein synthesis.
The Importance of Balance in Your Diet
Maintaining a certain level of health for your body is the most important task that you have in your life. When you’re young, all your nutritional decisions are made for you, hoping to establish a good relationship with healthy food, so that you can sustain it as you age. However, once you become an adult, you have the power to change the way you approach nutrition, depending on your goals.
Unfortunately, too many people in society today lack the discipline to maintain a healthy diet. Instead, they fill their bodies with junk food and preservatives, which forces you to gain weight as your metabolism slows. You can’t continue this path to bodily destruction, so you much make changes to understand what you need from your diet.
You may decide that it’s time to lose the weight you gained with your newfound freedom, but the way you diet will depend on your goals. Many people just want to get into a smaller jean size, but you may find that some muscle tone would help you to achieve a better look.
Lean muscle mass also helps you to burn more calories as you eat, but there are significant differences between the diet that you need to slim down and the new eating plan that you will help you bulk up.
Regular Diets versus Working Out
When you have a regular diet, there’s a significant difference between what you should eat to maintain a healthy body, and the nutrients you need to add to your diet to improve your muscle mass. With a regular diet, you simply need to keep your blood sugar at a balance level, which means you should restrict your consumption of foods that turn into glucose. The average diet doesn’t have a high amount of any nutrient, and works to give you a blend of different vitamins and minerals.
When you want to build up your muscle mass, the first thing you’ll need to do is increase your caloric intake. The workouts that you pursue to build up your muscles will require a significant amount of energy, which is the opposite of what the standard diet needs.
When you’re trying to slim down, you want to restrict calories so that your body works from stored fat, but adding more carbohydrates and protein to your diet is perfect when you’re bulking up.
To improve protein synthesis, you need to have the right amount of both carbohydrates and protein about 30 minutes before you work, and again about 30 minutes after your workout ends. Timing is everything with this type of goal, but your nutrition must have the right balance for it to work.
You need to remember that muscle building is more than just consuming whatever calories and carbohydrates you want, since every food is not conducive to your goals. While your main priority is balance, there’s a few ways that you can improve the nutritional value of your regimen with the right food groups.
Essential Foods for Improving Your Muscles
While you can partake in plenty of different workouts to amplify your muscles, you will need the proper nutritional support to make it possible. Your muscles require certain vitamins and minerals to sustain enough energy to workout, while still having the right support for recovery after the workout.
There are many foods that can give you the support you need, but combining them in different pairings will help you corner your nutrition in a helpful but balanced way. Some foods work to help your body on their own, while others need protein support to be fully absorbed into your body.
Here are a few of the best muscle building foods that you can introduce to your fat-burning and muscle building regimen:
Quinoa has picked up quite a bit of popularity in the industry, as people try to gravitate towards healthier foods in their diet. This substance is referred to as a superfood, since it is rich with powerful nutrients.
This food is high in magnesium, a critical nutrient for improving your blood circulation to support the needs of your muscles. You can add a lean protein to this dish to help you get the support you need to feel satisfied. However, you won’t need to worry about the nutritional content, since this ingredient features every one of the nine essential amino acids to support healthy development of lean muscles.
Quinoa is used in many different recipes, even though it can be eaten as its own dish with the right additions. To improve the antioxidants that you get from this type of meal, you can add cranberries or other superfood powerhouses to intensify the nutritional value. You can even use it in soups and bread, for a more comforting meal.
2. Oysters and Mussels
Oysters and mussels may seem like a rather indulgent treat for you, when you’re trying to eliminate fat and build up your muscle, but it helps you to improve the protein in your body. It’s referred to as one of the best foods for improving your muscle mass, since they have a high amount of protein and zinc, but limited fat content.
They also feature B12, which keeps your circulatory system and blood cells healthy enough to deliver the nutrients you need to each muscle group.
The beauty of eating mussels is that you can prepare them as a sophisticated appetizer by steaming or sautéing, but you can also eat them without looking them at all, depending on your preference. You can keep them in your fridge to indulge in a healthy snack after you get home from a workout.
However, if you’re looking to have them as part of a meal, a little white wine sauce with sautéed muscles is the perfect way to make the meal a little less mundane.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great way to get a quick burst of energy during the day, delivering protein to your muscles to keep you going. If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan trying to build up muscle, this type of snack can sustain the amount of protein that you need for working out.
You can eat nuts on their own as a snack on the go, or you can mix them in with yogurt and berries for a well-rounded and healthy treat. You should make sure you balance how much you put into your body, since they can wreak havoc on your digestive system in high quantities with their fiber content.
4. Fortified Eggs
Eggs are already a positive source of nutrients, but there are deplorable conditions that farmers tend to keep their chickens in to reduce costs and turn out the greatest production possible. Their diets may be poor, which means that any nutrients you accumulate from them isn’t as beneficial as if you chose fortified eggs.
The difference between regular eggs and fortified eggs is all in the diet. With typical companies, chickens are fed a diet that is genetically engineered, including corn or soybeans. This diet is drastically different from what they are fed in their natural habitat. Fortified eggs come from chickens that are supplied flaxseeds in their diet, which amplify their content of omega-3, an essential nutrient for protecting and supporting your heart.
This feed is also rich with vitamin E, which protects your body from the toxic impact of free radicals. Essentially, this substance can maintain the health of your muscles as other factors force you to become fatigued during your routine.
Some people try to reduce the calories in their meals, only eating the cooked whites of the egg instead. Choosing to consume only this part of the egg can help reduce the amount of cholesterol you ingest, which potentially can clog your arteries. Eggs are typically included in your breakfast routine, but you can enhance the protein-rich meals you choose by adding it to a burger or even as a side to steak.
Turkey is a delicious way to get lean protein, which is crucial to build up your muscle. Fatty protein only helps you to gain bulk, but in the form of fat, which is exactly what you want to avoid. Most people think that lean cuts of chicken help you to improve your muscles, which is true. However, turkey is a delicious and better version of that nutrient! It is incredibly low in calories, which means you can get a lot of protein for the amount that you eat.
The cut that you will probably want to gravitate towards is turkey breast, since it has the best ratio of protein to fat. Unless you want to purchase a whole turkey, this type of meat is relatively low in cost.
You can find it in the grocery store’s deli to put the meat on sandwiches, or you can trade out your ground beef for turkey when you cook up burgers. You can replace almost any meat with the comparable version of turkey.
Avocadoes are known for their fatty flesh, but they are filled with nutrients that can help you safely and healthily build up your muscle mass. They feature a lot of the same nutritional value that quinoa offers, like potassium and calcium.
The great thing about avocados is that they’re relatively inexpensive, and you can easily add it to a breakfast omelet, a salad, or any number of dinner recipes. Due to their texture, they can also be mixed into a dip, like guacamole, that is just as smooth as other recipes without much blending.
7. Beets and Purple Foods
When you include beets and other purple-colored foods in your diet you help to improve the nitrates in your body. Nitrates are the preliminary chemical before turning into nitrate acid. Nitrate acid is a crucial substance in your blood that improves your blood circulation, stimulating faster delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to your muscles.
It also reduces your risk of getting cramps in the middle of your workout or during recovery. By rapidly delivering nutrients to your body, you can keep working out for longer than if you engaged in a regular diet.
Beets are a surprisingly versatile food, since they can be baked, steamed, sautéed, or even served raw. However, there are many other purple foods that supply you with the carbohydrates and fiber that you need to keep your energy levels up. Other purple foods include colored cauliflower, broccoli, and kale. These foods are high in antioxidants, which means that you can eliminate the toxins that release from your muscles after intense physical activities.
Kale is considered a superfood, for the impressive nutritional value. This food features a high concentration of vitamin K and iron, which are essential to supporting your blood vessels. They also reduce the stiffness you may experience while resting after a circuit-training routine.
8. Greek Yogurt
Everyone knows that yogurt is one of the healthiest snacks that you can include in your daily routine. It is filled with probiotics that keep your digestive system functioning the right away. However, you end up with many more benefits by consuming Greek yogurt.
Green yogurt has much more protein than what you find in regular recipes. It also offers a lower sugar content, increasing the nutritional value of this snack.
You can easily have this treat with your breakfast to replace your protein, adding fruit, quinoa, or other fiber-rich sides. However, due to how little sugar it has, Greek yogurt is the perfect addition for veggies or pita bread as well.
Salmon contains high amounts of protein, omega-3, vitamin D, and vitamin b12. You may think you can get the same benefits as other fish, but this seafood is much safer than tuna, which is known for having a high mercury contend.
Some people like to use salmon as an accoutrement to a salad, while others like to focus on it as the main dish. This lean protein is perfect for people who want to bulk up their muscle, without gaining fat.
Along with the nutritional benefits, salmon helps to reduce inflammation in your body, which is something you risk when you work out often. However, since salmon still contains some chemicals, it may be in your best interest to limit the amount of salmon you consume around the days you usually work out.
Oatmeal is a rich source of fiber, and is completely necessary for the nutrients you need during the days you head to the gym. Fiber takes a while to digest, helping you sustain a certain amount of energy to withstand your workout. It also helps to make you feel full for a prolonged amount of time, which is perfect for consumers that want to lose weight as they build upon their muscle.
You can easily integrate oatmeal into your breakfast routine, since it’s the first meal of the day. Pairing it with a side of eggs will give you added energy while adding fruits will help you get a faster burst. When you go grocery shopping for this ingredient, you should choose whole rolled oats to get the most nutritional benefit.
Using Supplements to Improve Muscle Mass
Even if you eat all the foods above, you probably think that you’re completely covered, when it comes to the nutrients you require. However, when you consume these foods, you’re only consuming a fraction of the full nutrients you could receive. That’s why a lot of fitness enthusiasts will gravitate towards including supplements in their everyday routines.
Supplements can come in many different forms, like drinks, energy gels, or even just a granola bar. Some companies choose to grind their nutrients down into a powder, which allows you to consume the powder as a drink or bake it into a snack for yourself later.
Even though there are plenty of brands and types of supplements, the five products described below are generally the most important ones to include in your diet.
Creatine is probably one of the most popular substances that you will find amongst other supplements, which is due to the high amount of energy it provides your body with.
During a normal day, you use a certain amount of energy, which is counteracted by your standard diet. However, working out will require you to put in more effort than you may be used to with the same energy level. Creatine serves as a way to give yourself the energy you need to keep moving forward.
This formula contains no caffeine, and supplies healthy protein that improves your muscle mass in the process. As the number on the scale goes up, you will need to remind yourself that you’re gaining muscle, not fat.
Beta-Alanine is not a require amino acid for your body, but you still will need to integrate it into your diet. Normally, you won’t find it in typical proteins, so you will need to get your nutrients another way.
When you consume this substance, your body’s processes will turn it into carnosine. Carnosine is meant to help you improve your stamina, which means that you will be able to maintain your regimen for much longer than your normally do. This is a perfect addition to your workout, because the formula gives you more time to focus on building up your muscles.
3. Whey Protein
According to multiple reports and studies, whey protein is one of the best sources of protein that is presently on the market. This protein is formed when you separate the liquid from milk when cheese is being produced.
Due to its composition, it’s very easy for the stomach to digest. However, since it is dairy-based, you would not be able to use this substance if you are lactose intolerance. It is one of the many proteins that features every essential amino acid for muscle building.
4. Branched-Chain Amino Acid (BCAA)
BCAAs are primarily created in the body when you endure stress, which can occur during your workout. They help to soothe the muscles to prevent fatigue, but they also help your muscles to properly use protein. BCAAs are necessary to help your muscles recover properly after a workout.
Glutamine serves plenty of purposes in your body, helping with your metabolism, cell renewal, and your production of HGH. Essentially, this formula helps you to stimulate your metabolism during your workout.
As you endure each workout, you stimulate your fat-burning power. With a cardio workout, your body continues to burn fat for hours, which is due to the amount of engagement that your muscles have. However, by consuming glutamine, that effect is ingredients.
While this supplement is generally used to help you to slim down, you can still use it to trigger the metabolic response from your muscles.
Healthy Ways to Integrate This Nutrients
The great part about these foods and supplements is how readily available they are in the grocery store and your local health food retailers. There are plenty of cookbooks to teach you how to blend the foods for maximum muscle-building power.
However, you can also seek out recipes online that feature these different ingredients, helping you by searching for those foods.
Other Tips for Building Muscle
Even if you participate in a healthy diet and take the right supplements, there are a view other ways to keep your muscle-building skills intact. The biggest mistake that bodybuilders and other gym goers make is that they stick with the same routine the whole time. However, as you work out, you continually need to evolve your routine.
When you stay in the same routine for too long, your body gets used to the way that you handle each movement. As the exercises become les challenging, you aren’t able to continue to build up muscles. However, if you gradually push yourself further and make small changes, you can continually have the success you desire.
Best Muscle Building Foods Summary
Making the decision to improve your muscle mass is a healthy and safe way to keep your body strong. However, as with any diet goal, you need to support your body with the nutrition to make it possible.
By choosing to consume any of the foods described above, you can improve your muscle mass as you prepare for the summertime or even a bodybuilding competition. All you need is perseverance, balance, and the drive to achieve your dreams.