As is common knowledge, the most important nutrient needed for muscle gain is protein. Protein is the basic component of muscle fiber and is required in large quantities to repair the muscle tissues after exercise and form new tissue to increase muscle mass. With that said, protein is not the only component that body builders focus on, there is also a need for other nutrients like carbohydrates which will ensure that the body is getting enough in the way of calories and no muscle is being lost due to low-calorie intake. Including the following foods in a diet will ensure the best balance to facilitate muscle gain.
Weight training and exercise alone cannot help achieve the desired muscle gain. This article will explore some of the specific foods that can help in muscle building as well as provide some general diet guidelines for those looking to increase their muscle mass naturally in between workouts.
Chicken is the single-most important food in a body builders diet. This is because it is very high in protein while being very low in fat. On average, chicken contributes about 30 grams of protein for every 100 grams of meat. Most of the calories in chicken are also made up of protein, which causes the body to use up energy while digesting it. On a practical note, chicken is also relatively cheap and has a lot of amino acids that help with muscle rebuilding. Chicken breasts should be favored for their high protein to fat ratio.
Eggs are also a great choice when looking to build muscle. They offer versatility in how they can be cooked and the yolks are rich in protein. However, one should be careful with overeating eggs as they do contain high cholesterol levels, even if it is good cholesterol.
Fish is also high in protein and low in fat and some varieties contain as much protein as chicken. The best fish for muscle gain are salmon, mackerel and tuna. They also contain a lot of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids which can help with overall health and well-being.
Oatmeal is an important part of a body-builders diet due to its high carbohydrate value which will give energy through the day. This makes it a great pre- and post-workout snack.
Beef is also high in protein but consumption should be moderated because it also contains fat and cholesterol. However, beef has other benefits like being high in zinc, creatine and iron which are all important for a healthy diet. Leaner cuts should be favored. These include fillet steaks and sirloin. A visual inspection for the fat content before buying a cut can help cut down on the fat being consumed.
Sweet potatoes are relatively unsung heroes when it comes to muscle building. They contain a lot of carbohydrates which make them great for gaining energy before a workout. They also contain a lot of vitamins which can help with keeping a healthy body.
Peanut butter is a convenient and quick way to build muscle. It contains protein and important calories needed to keep energy levels up during a workout. Peanut butter on wheat bread is a great pre-workout snack.
Almonds are full of protein and also contain a lot of vitamin E which can prevent muscle damage after working out. They can be great as a pre-workout snack.
As always, practicing moderation with each food and changing up the daily menu is a great way to go. A nutritionist can also help create a personalized diet program.