Packing on quality muscle mass is a rather straightforward process – you increase your caloric intake and you give your muscles growth stimulus at the gym.
And while spending countless of hours in the weight room is definitely a step in the right direction (although you shouldn’t overdo it), there’s more to getting more brown than just lifting heavy weights.
Gaining quality muscle is directly related to your nutrition (or lack of), that’s why in today’s post, we’re going to take a closer look at the top 4 foods that will ignite new muscle growth.
So get comfortable and make sure to read on!
The 4 Best Foods To Help You Gain Quality Muscle Mass
With the help of the foods that I’m about to highlight, you’ll be able to make the most out of your training sessions and you’ll also inevitably find it easier to gain muscle.
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat – eggs are a superfood, without a shadow of a doubt. They’re jam-packed with quality protein and other nutrients that you absolutely need if you’re looking to add some brawn to your frame.
These are the nutritional facts for 1 boiled egg:
- Calories – 78
- Fats – 5 g (of which 1.6g saturated fat – the good one)
- Cholesterol – 186 mg
- Sodium – 62 mg
- Potassium – 63 mg
- Carbohydrates – 0.6 mg
- Protein – 6 mg
- Vitamin D – 1 mcg (6% of RDV)
- Calcium – 29 mg
- Iron – 1 mg
And that’s just for one egg, one! When you add the fact that eggs aren’t expensive and you can buy from pretty much any supermarket that you walk into, it quickly becomes crystal clear that this has to be one of the staples in your muscle-building diet.
Oh, and don’t worry about cholesterol and all the myths related to eggs and heart diseases. A study conducted by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition from 2000 came to the conclusion that dietary cholesterol isn’t connected to heart diseases (1).
On top of that, the more saturated fats you consume, the higher testosterone levels you’ll have. Do you even need more reasons for eating eggs?
2. Lean Beef
Sure, you might be thinking – but beef is more expensive than chicken, why would I bother with it? But the truth is that if you’re serious about gaining quality muscle, beef is superior to good old chicken!
Now, I’d want you to take a look at the nutritional facts for 100 g of 85% lean beef:
- Calories – 250
- Fats – 15 g
- Cholesterol – 90 mg
- Sodium – 72 mg
- Potassium – 318 mg
- Carbs – 0 mg
- Protein – 26 mg
Quite impressive, eh? You also get hefty amounts of Iron, Magnesium and B-complex vitamins and lots of amino acids and these are the building blocks of muscles.
Basically, consider beef mandatory if you want exceptional gains or even if you’re on a cut actually since it provides boatloads of protein while having a relatively low-calorie count.
Just make sure to go for grass-fed beef as it’s the most natural, healthiest kind of beef. That’s because in some cases, they stuff the cattle with antibiotics in order to for them to grow larger, thus offering more meat as a result.
3. Low-Fat Milk
Milk is fantastic – It’s easy to obtain, affordable and efficient. Besides, it tastes great and can prove to be a great addition to your protein shake.
Each cup (about 8 oz/240 ml) of low-fat milk provides a lot of vital nutrients, have a look yourself:
- Calories – 110
- Fats – 2 g (saturated)
- Cholesterol – 10 mg
- Sodium – 100 mg
- Carbohydrates – 11 g (all sugar)
- Protein – 8 g
- Calcium – 30% of RDV
- Vitamin D – 25% of RDV
- Vitamin A – 10% of RDV
- Vitamin C – 4% of RDV
- Iron – 3% of RDV
Milk is actually made up of 20% whey and 80% casein and what that means is that it provides both fast and slow-acting protein sources. Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that it’s definitely leaning towards the slower side of protein absorption (casein is slowly released into the bloodstream).
Keep in mind that since all the carbs come from sugar, your best bet would be to drink milk in the morning or after a workout. However, a glass or two before bedtime would ensure that your muscles are fed during the night and the extra 20-30 grams of carbs shouldn’t make you fat in any way.
It’s a fact that fish often gets neglected when it comes to muscle-building foods, but that’s not how it should be. Remember the super healthy Omega 3 fatty acids? Well, they come from… fish!
Let’s take a look at the nutritional facts for 100 g of salmon for instance:
- Calories – 206
- Fats – 12 g (750 mg Omega 3s)
- Cholesterol – 63 mg
- Sodium – 61 mg
- Potassium – 384 mg
- Carbs – 0 mg
- Protein – 22 mg
- Vitamin B12 – 53% of RDV
- Vitamin B6 – 41% of RDV
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – 39% of RDV
Fish is not only a superb source of protein and hefty amounts of B-complex vitamins, but it also provides incredible health benefits due to the awesome fat content.
Salmon is especially rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that are growing in popularity due to the associated cardiovascular protein that they provide. However, these fatty acids can also assist in protein metabolism and that’s great news for building muscle!
So there you have it, folks – the list of the top 4 foods to take your muscle growth to the next level. Nutrition is king (next to testosterone), and that holds true to maximizing your muscle-building potential.
Curious to know if working out increases testosterone levels or not? Find out in my thematic article.
When you take advantage of these four fabulous foods, you’ll be able to make the most of the time you spend in the gym, while also keeping things as healthy as possible.
Now, what are your favorite foods for optimal muscle growth? Let me know by leaving a comment in the comment section below!