10 Best Foods to Build Muscle and Gain Strength


It is no longer news that gaining muscle involves more than just being active and lifting weights. In fact, a somewhat popular saying is something about how building abs starts in the kitchen. Typically, combining eating healthy with working out would help you to gain muscle, but there are certain foods that are especially good for this. And in this article, we’ll be looking at 10 of those foods that will help you to gain muscle. By the way, the list is in no particular order.

Number One: Lean Beef

Lean beef is a tested and trusted muscle-building food, and the reason it has such powers is because it contains the best kind of protein, which, as you know, is the bodybuilding kind of food, the B vitamins and a couple of minerals including iron and zinc. All of these combine to make lean beef quite effective in helping you to build muscles, and the interesting thing is that there aren’t any unnecessary added calories. What this means is that you can eat more if what you’re having is lean beef than if it was just regular beef. Isn’t that great news?

Number Two: Eggs

Eggs should certainly be one of the wonders of the world because of how nutritious and versatile they are. Like lean beef, eggs are a great source of quality protein that is necessary for building muscles. Eggs also contain B vitamins, which are a great source of energy, and choline, which helps with muscle formation and movement. It also contains 9 essential amino acids and just the right kind of fat to keep it healthy, and once again, you get all of that without unnecessary added calories. Thankfully, the way you choose to eat your eggs doesn’t really matter; hard boiled is probably the best way, though.

Number Three: Oatmeal

If you’ve been around health conscious people, or you are one yourself, you’ve certainly heard of oatmeal, and the reason it is quite popular in health circles is because oatmeal is really low in calories and it is minimally processed. So, if you’re looking to eat healthier or want to lose some weight, swapping out your regular breakfast for the occasional oatmeal would be great. But specifically for gaining muscle, oatmeal is a healthy source of carbs, and despite what you might have heard of carbs, you need some of that to not only gain muscles but also to retain them.

Number Four: Fruits and Vegetables

First off, fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber and fiber is what helps with proper digestion and also makes it easier for your body to absorb nutrients. What this means is that fruits and vegetables could serve as a base for whatever muscle building food you decide to consume. However, that is not all that fruits and vegetables are good for. They also contain antioxidants that help to boost your immune system, and a number of other nutrients too, including vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene. And you’ll find, that even if your aim is to build muscles, healthy eating has to be the cornerstone of your lifestyle.

Number Five: Protein Shake

If you are actively trying to build muscles, you possibly cannot do without protein shakes. One thing, though, while it is called a protein shake, it is usually a combination of protein and carbohydrates. Now, some people take a protein shake right before a workout in order to provide their bodies with the nutrients to work with as they workout. Some other people take the shake after the workout instead, in order to help the body to repair the torn muscles that would have come about from working out, thereby building the muscles. Whatever the case is, though, the point is that protein shakes are better paired with workouts. Now, aside from the benefits that have already been mentioned, some other benefits of taking protein shakes include preventing excess muscle breakdown and increasing blood flow to your muscles.

Number Six: Plain Greek Yoghurt

While yoghurt is generally a good idea, plain Greek yoghurt is even better, especially for muscle development, because it contains even more protein. Even more specifically, Greek yoghurt contains a combination of slow-digesting casein protein and fast-digesting whey protein; this combination has been proven to help with muscle building, especially if taken immediately after a workout. However, be careful to note that I said ‘plain’ Greek yoghurt, and the reason for that is that the flavoured yoghurts contain unnecessary amounts of sugar. So, if you are craving something sweet and would rather not just eat plain yoghurt, you could spice things up by adding in some fruits or nuts.

Number Seven: Beans

At this point, you must have noticed that most of the foods we’ve been mentioning are protein rich, and that’s because they are the cornerstone of body building. Now, beans is one of the richest sources of protein, and because it is plant protein you can have it without having to bother with unhealthy fats. Black beans, pinto beans and kidney beans are probably the best kinds of beans you can have as they contain about 15 grams of protein per cup. However, protein is not all that beans have to offer; they also contain a decent amount of fiber, B vitamins and some minerals. That said, beans are also high in calories, so you want to mind your portions.

Number Eight: Nuts

Nuts contain quite a bit of calories, but it is at a healthy amount that will help you to put on muscle weight. Nuts also contain a healthy blend of proteins, fiber and fat, that will help you to gain muscles and retain them too. They are also quite portable and versatile, so you can carry them along with you to snack on, or add them to your yoghurt or your salad.

Number Nine: Tuna

First off, tuna contains a significant amount of protein; you get about 20 grams of protein in a 3-ounce serving of tuna. What this means is that adding tuna to your diet is a sure way of not only eating healthier but also gaining muscles. But in addition to protein, tuna is also rich in a couple of B vitamins and vitamin A which are necessary nutrients for working out. Tuna also contains a healthy amount of omega 3 fatty acids which are necessary for retaining muscles.

Number Ten: Cottage Cheese

Last on the list is cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is a great source of casein which is the slow-digesting kind of protein. What this means is that when you eat cottage cheese, the amino acids in your blood stay operational for quite some time. And the implication of this is that eating just a bit of cottage cheese will go a long way in helping you to build and retain muscles. In addition to that, cottage cheese contains the good kind of bacteria that helps to break down nutrients in the food you eat, making it easier and quicker for your body to absorb them. That said, cottage cheese comes with varying fat contents, and, of course, the more fat it contains, the more calories it contains. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, you just need to go for what’s best for your muscle gaining needs.

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