Gaining muscles isn’t all about spending most of your mornings and evenings in the gym. When you train hard with little regard to nutrition, it becomes very hard to achieve your fitness goals. This is the reason you must know what to eat and below foods are proven to help in gaining muscle mass.
1. Lean Beef
If you are after gaining muscle mass, then this has to be your staple food. It contains everything that your muscles require for growth. A typical three-ounce serving of lean beef has just 154 calories and ten different nutrients including zinc, iron and B-vitamins. This high-quality protein source is also rich in Amino acids that promote muscle growth. People who want to lose weight can also turn to lean beef because it has fewer calories than common foods such as beans.
2. Skinless Chicken
Just like lean beef, skinless chicken is also rich in high-quality proteins that are ideal for muscle maintenance and bone health. Given the numerous chicken recipes out there, it is hard to get bored with it. Therefore, walk into your nearest store and pick up a few pieces that you can easily cook and season.
3. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has pure casein protein. This is a slow-digesting protein that is perfect for muscle maintenance. If you normally go for long without eating, then this cheese is also good for you. Apart from that, it also contains calcium and vitamin B12 that the body needs. Luckily, it has a low-fat version.
Ever wondered by bodybuilders eat plenty of eggs? Eggs are rich in nine different amino acids, choline and are also a great source of high-quality proteins. While numerous studies have shown that eggs can be harmful, they are extremely harmless. You can eat them boiled or scrambled for all these essential nutrients.
5. Whey Protein
Whey protein supplements are common in the market for a reason; they provide fast and convenient proteins that the body needs. Bodybuilders use them when they wake up and after workouts. They use them all the time because they are effective for muscle mass gain. Despite their usefulness, you must be careful when choosing them since not all of them are from whole foods.
Fish, especially tuna is high in protein and low in fat. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that promote fast loss and encourage muscle growth. People who eat fish also have enhanced metabolism which is what you need as you hit the gym.
As you exercise, you also need carbohydrates. Oatmeal is an excellent source of this carbs because of its low glycemic index and minimal processing. The low glycemic index decreases hunger while increasing satiety and also lowers subsequent energy intake. It is the perfect carbohydrate for fat loss since it facilitates muscle preservation.
8. Whole Grains
Today, you are advised more than ever to eat whole grains. Whether you are after muscle gain or not, whole grains digest more efficiently and provide the body with more nutrients than processed or refined ones. This, in turn, keeps you healthy and also promotes sustained energy levels. For example, brown rice boosts your growth hormones, and it is these hormones that encourage lean muscle growth. These grains are also critical for fat loss and strength gains.
9. Fruits and Vegetables
Your body needs antioxidants to remain healthy despite the workouts. This is one area that fruits and vegetables address. They are essential for your immune system and also provide lots of nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Fiber that you get from them is also essential for many bodily functions. Therefore, as you eat your proteins and carbs, do not forget fruits and vegetables for the growth of your muscles.
10. Healthy Fats
Many guides advise against consuming fats so why are they on this list? There are different types of fats, and healthy ones are good for muscle growth. They also help in the production of growth hormones and testosterone. These hormones play a key role in muscle growth. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are found in salmon, nuts, avocados, leafy vegetables and seeds. You also get omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from these fats.