Best Foods for Muscle Building

foods that build muscle

The perfectly balanced diet for gaining weight and muscle is a mix of 50% proteins, 30% carbs, and 20% fats.

Most people know to avoid junk foods with high fat and sugar content, but they don’t always know what foods they should be eating. Here is a list of ideas for the next time you are at the grocery store.

After all, building lean muscle is 75% nutrition and 25% work at the gym. Successful body builders always have a solid eating plan in place.

Best Sources for Protein

Your muscles are made of protein and they require a steady supply in order to increase the amount of muscle tissue in your muscles. Protein is one of the most important foods for building muscle.

protein packed foods

  • Grilled Chicken Breast (The #1 Staple – Learn to Spice It Several Ways)
  • Lean Ground Turkey (Use for Burgers, Tacos and Even Meat sauce)
  • Turkey Breast (Available in Deli or Refrigerated Meats)
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Deer Meat (Comparatively Low in Calories, Fat and Cholesterol)
  • Lean Cuts of Beef (Round Steak, Shoulder Pot Roast, Round Tips)
  • Extra Lean Ground Beef (90% Lean or Better)
  • Grilled Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Cod, Halibut)
  • Scallops (High in Protein and Omega 3)
  • Lean Ham (Check Label to Make Sure it is Lean)
  • Trimmed Pork Tenderloin
  • Low Fat Milk (1% or Skim)
  • Low Fat Yogurt
  • Low Fat Greek Yogurt
  • Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • Reduced Fat Cheese (In Moderation)
  • Unsalted Nuts (Peanuts, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds)
  • Egg Whites
  • Free Range Whole Eggs
  • Nuts – peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds – unsalted and raw.
  • Turkey bacon – instead of bacon
  • Whey Protein
  • Seeds

Best Sources for Carbohydrates

Carbs are needed to fuel your muscles and bodily systems and they are what will give you the energy to complete those intense muscle building workouts. They are an important food nutrient for muscle building.

  • Whole Wheat Bread and Bagels
  • Fruits (Apples, Bananas, Peaches, Strawberries)
  • Vegetables (Beets, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Zucchini)
  • More Vegetables (Mushrooms, Peppers, Spinach, Broccoli)
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Whole wheat English Muffins
  • Mushrooms
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • Whole Wheat Pita Bread
  • Bran Muffins
  • Granola Bars (Quaker Chewy 90 Calorie Granola Bars)
  • Rye Bread
  • Blueberries
  • Baked Potatoes (No Butter or Sour Cream)
  • Whole Grain Cereals
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole Wheat Pastas
  • Brown Rice
  • Beans (Also Some Pork and Beans – Check Label)
  • Grain Cereals (Low Sugar and High Fiber – Check Labels)
  • Squash
  • Yams
  • Couscous

Power Foods

These foods have a great nutrient profile and they full of protein and healthy carbs. Add these muscle building foods into your diet whenever possible.

  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Chia seeds
  • Black Beans
  • Chic Peas
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Peas
  • Wild Salmon

Healthy Fats

good fats to eat

Fats are needed for building new cells and for testosterone production, so healthy fats should make up 20% of the diet. Boosting testosterone naturally through diet is called anabolic cooking.

  • Fish Oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Krill oil
  • Avocado
  • Coconut Oil
  • Nuts

Print this list off and take it with you when you shop for food. Sometimes it can seem like your diet options are limited during weight training, but they are actually full of great options.

The truth is there are millions of possibilities if you know where to look.  A great website for checking the nutritional information of brand name products is Calorie King.  Use it find out which foods are helping you and which ones are working against you.

Don’t be afraid to cook or work on your cooking skills, to get big, you have to eat big and eating out to do this will prove very expensive. Find 10 or so easy but healthy recipes and rotate them throughout a biweekly period.