You’ve probably heard that muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does—and this is definitely true. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. Strengthening muscle can help you lose weight, makes you look more fit and downright lean and mean. Building muscle should be the goal of every dieter. Muscle, even when resting, burns more calories than fat, so having plenty of muscle increases the amount of calories you can consume without gaining weight.
Strength training is critical to gaining muscle, but there are certain muscle building foods and supplements that can help you build muscle faster and easier. Proteins are the building blocks of muscles, so you’ll need to get plenty of the right proteins. Check out these 25 muscle-building foods to build the most muscle fast.
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The 25 Best Muscle-Building Foods and Supplements:
Usually when you think about foods that are great for building muscle, you think along the lines of protein. After all, protein is what muscles are made of. If you were to take the water content away from a muscle, you would be left with 80% protein.
Basically, protein is like the bricks of a wall and you need it to build muscle. So here is a list of the top high protein foods:
Beef (lean cuts) –
Unless you’re a vegetarian, make sure that you’re eating plenty of red meat every week. Lean red meat is a quality source of protein and it’s very rich in iron, which is an essential mineral required for optimal energy levels during your workouts.
People who are don’t get enough Iron in their diets can become anemic, which will negatively influence workout performance as well as overall health and well being.
Lean red meat is one of the best food sources of Iron, so aim to eat it at least two to three times per week.
Eggs – The perfect complete protein food containing 98% of essential amino acids you need.
Greek Yogurt – Good digestion is essential for maintaining your body’s ability to absorb the proteins and other nutrients your body needs to keep you fit and strong. Nonfat or reduced fat plain Greek yogurt has more than twice as much protein as the same amount of traditional yogurt. It also has 38% less sugar compared to traditional yogurts. It contains healthy bacteria that improves your gastrointestinal health which act as probiotics. Yogurt adds flavor to many meals you can use it in dips sauces with sweet potatos and in parfaits and smoothies for added creaminess.
Fat free cottage cheese – Before protein shakes were invented, body builders ate fat free cottage cheese. It is one of the favorite muscle building foods because it incorporates the compound casein, a favorite for body builders into a great protein.
Fast acting Whey Protein Shakes – Whey protein shakes are great muscle building foods because whey protein is absorbed quickly by your body. Having it within 2 hours of a workout helps your body recover quickly, which builds muscle more quickly.
Chicken – Lean, white meat chicken breasts are great muscle building foods. It’s low in fat and calories, yet high in protein, muscle’s basic building blocks.
Turkey – To build muscle, you need foods high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates. No food is a better muscle building food than white meat turkey.
Tuna – Tuna is another low calorie, low carbohydrate, high protein food that’s great for losing weight and building muscle. In addition, it has Omega 3 fatty acids, which help your body use calories more efficiently, keeps metabolism stoked. It also contains a compound that prevents muscle loss. It’s great for your heart, too.
Not only is salmon an excellent source of protein, which supplies your body with all of the essential amino acids, but it also supplies you with healthy fats as well.
Healthy fats, also known as omega-3’s, will help to keep your testosterone levels elevated, help you stay lean during a mass gain phase and help in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
Salmon is also a dense source of calories, so it’ll easily help you meet your total calorie requirement for the day.
Slow acting casein and egg protein shakes – These are usually called night-time proteins because they are digested slowly and the slow digestion allows your muscles to get a steady supply of protein while you’re sleeping.
Peanut Butter – Now we’re not talking about the regular sugar loaded peanut butter in the grocery store, we’re talking natural stuff. Peanuts and salt. And definitely stay away from the reduced fat peanut butter. The sugar content in that is higher compared with the regular peanut butter! Natural PB is has 4 grams of protein and about 100 cals. Perfect for a post work out snack paired with an apple.
When people ask about the top muscle building foods, they always think about high protein foods. But carbohydrates are also very important for energy. If you do not eat enough carbohydrates, you body will convert the protein into energy, which means it cannot be used to build muscle!
Complex Carbohydrates – Though protein is essential for building muscle, and it’s wise to increase your protein, you can’t build muscle without carbohydrates. Choose whole grains and vegetables for your daily carbohydrates.
So, lets take a look at the top carbohydrate foods:
When it comes to healthy and quality carbohydrate sources, oatmeal is at the top of the list. The only problem with oatmeal is that it fills you up quickly, thus eating a large amount of oatmeal means that you won’t get in enough calories required for muscle growth.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way around this problem – eat it raw. Raw oatmeal is far more calorie dense than cooked oatmeal and will still provide you with the necessary calories and nutrients that you need for growth.
Eat raw oatmeal for breakfast or as a quick snack when you’re on the go.
Broccoli contains a compound that works against estrogen in the body. This is important because estrogen makes the body more efficient at storing fat. So, more broccoli means less fat and more muscle.
Fruits – Low carb fruits like berries, apples and some citrus
Citrus – Oranges are not just tasty – they are also very good for you. They contain vitamin C to keep your immune system strong (you can’t work if you are sick). They also have magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure.
Quinoa – This seed has been around for decades and is actually a grain. It has a nice chewy texture and is loaded with about 8 grains of protein per 1 cup and 5 grams of fiber. All 9 essential amino acids are included including all of the BCAAs. Quinoa is also gluten free so vegetarians can enjoy it as well.
Sweet Potatoes – Are loaded with fiber, control your sugar cravings and burn fat.
Chick Peas – Contain most of the B vitamins and 35% of RDA of folate. High in protein, low in fat, high in fiber. Excellent in hummus or roasted for a crunchy yummy snack.
Beans – Kidney, pinto, black eyed peas and any other type of beans are high in antioxidants and great for your waistline.
Lentils – These complex carbs are perfect for muscle recovery. When combined with grains they create a complete protein giving your body all 9 essential amino acids and the same protein equal to a piece of high quality meat.
Top Healthy Fat Foods
Okay, so when you mention fats in food, people start screaming and running for the hills. What many people do not realize, is that fatty foods are essential in your diet.
In order to build muscle you do need to be eating lots of essential fatty acids. These foods are responsible for so many bodily processes. For example: hormone production (such as testosterone).
Here is a list of the top foods containing healthy fats:
- Fish Oil
- Olive Oil
- Flax Oil & Seeds
Healthy fats – Our bodies, likewise, require fats. In fact, your body can’t produce testosterone, which is a major muscle-building hormone, without enough fat. Choose those that are natural and healthy, like olive oil for cooking, along with nuts and avocados.
Flaxseeds are another top rated muscle building food that you should eat at least 3 times per week. Flaxseeds are rich in essential fatty acids and will supply a small dose of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
Most muscle building diets lack dietary fiber, thus consuming flaxseeds will provide you with a good dose of fiber, which will aid in protein digestion.
Flaxseeds are not only a good source of dietary fiber, but they’re also high in calories. So they’re a perfect food to include in your muscle building diet.
How Much Protein Should I Consume
The rule of thumb for estimating the precise amount of protein you must ingest is to take in one gram of protein per one pound of body weight during the day.
I believe it would be more accurate to calculate this at one gram of protein per one pound of lean muscle mass. Also understand that our bodies can only absorb roughly 25 to 35 grams of protein at any one time, the rest will just be wasted.
These several muscle building foods are just a tiny example of what’s available for you today and the choices we all have to make when it comes to getting the right nutrition.
To take the guess work out of both your nutrition selection and your training program you must experiment and find what works best for you. – Resource Commando Body Training.
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