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Best Foods for Building Lean Muscle

Many bodybuilders are training hard, but they are not seeing results. But, it is not just about working off. It is connected with your diet too. You must back your training with a wise nutritional plan. The body operates much like any high – performance machine. It requires quality fuel sources to perform at its peak and rebuild it.

You must maximize your nutrition to maximize the muscle building process. This means that you are going to have to be an energetic surplus at the end of the day and eat a lot of high – quality protein to facilitate the muscle building process. It is advised to emphasize foods that are calorically – dense and low in volume, so you do not get to fuel before meeting your necessary calorie/nutrient dense.

Best foods for building lean muscle

Foods that can help you to build lean muscle:

Below are given some of the best foods which you can add in your diet, so they will help you in the process of building lean muscles:

Freshwater fish: The right fish can be an excellent protein source for your bodybuilding requirements. The best thing about most freshwater fish is that they are a rich source of essential Omega – 3 fatty acids that are known for numerous health benefits. In a 5 oz can of tuna pack, there is a whopping 30 grams of muscle – building protein. Even 10 medium – sized shrimphas 15 – 20 grams of protein

Chicken breast: There is a good reason why chicken breasts are considered as a staple for gaining muscle. Chicken breasts are packed with protein. In an 85 gram (3 ounce) serving of chicken breast, there are about 26 grams of high – quality protein. Also, chicken breasts have generous amounts of Vitamins B, such as niacin and Vitamin B6, which are very important when you are physically active. These vitamins can help your body to function properly during the physical activity and exercise, which is necessary for the optimal muscle gain. Also, it has been shown that the higher – protein diets containing chicken can aid fat loss.

Greek yogurt: This is a specific type of yogurt product which is made by straining regular yogurt to remove the whey content. The result of it is consistency that is much thicker, low in sugar and very high in protein. In 8 ounces of plain and nonfat Greek yogurt, there are more than 20 grams of protein, and it is rich in calcium. This is making it one of the best options for perfect muscle building.

Quinoa: The protein – rich foods are a priority for building lean muscle, but it is very important to have the fuel to get active. Foods which are rich in carbohydrates can help to provide this energy. The cooked quinoa has about 40 grams of carbs per cup (which is about 185 grams), along with 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein and hearty amounts of magnesium and phosphorus. Magnesium is playing an important role in the function of your muscles and nerves, and both of them are used every time you move.

Brown rice: The cooked brown rice provides only 5 grams of protein per cup (which is about 195 grams), but it has carbohydrates which you need to fuel for your physical activity. You should eat healthy carbs, like brown rice or quinoa, in the hours leading up to exercise. This can help you to exercise harder, and it will provide your body with greater stimulants for your muscles to grow.

Tofu: This food is produced from soy milk, and it is often used as a meat substitute. In a half – cup (which is about 124 grams) serving of tofu, there are 2 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein. Also, tofu is a good source of calcium, which is very important for the proper muscle function and bone health. Soy protein is found in foods like soybeans and tofu, and it is considered as one of the highest – quality plant proteins. Tofu is a great option for all bodybuilders that are vegans or vegetarians.

Bison: The bison will provide you about 22 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving (which is about 85 grams). You can consider replacing the beef meat with bison if you want to eat red meat as a part of your muscle – building diet, but you also worry about your heart health.

Lean poultry: Lean poultry is the best option when you are on a low – fat and high – protein diet. In 4 ounces of turkey breast or chicken breast, which is about the size of a fist, there are more than 20 grams of protein to fuel the muscle building process, and it has less than 3 grams of fat.

Almonds: In a half cup (which is about 172 grams) of balanced almonds, there are 16 grams of protein and large amounts of phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin E. Phosphorus can help your body to use carbohydrates and fats for energy at rest and during exercise. You should consume almonds in moderation due to their high calorie content. In a half cup of balanced almonds, there are more than 400 calories.

Milk: Milk is a mix of fats, carbohydrates and protein. Milk has both fast and slow digesting proteins, which is beneficial for the muscle growth. In many studies are shown that people can increase their muscle mass when they drink milk in a combination with weight training.

Buckwheat: This is a seed, which can be ground into flour and used in place of traditional flours. In half a cup (which is about 60 grams) of buckwheat flour, there are about 8 grams of protein along with plenty of fiber and other carbs. Buckwheat has become very popular food for bodybuilders due to the impressive mineral and vitamin content. Also, it has high amounts of B vitamins, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. The mentioned vitamins and minerals can help your body to stay healthy and able to perform muscle – building exercises.

Peanuts: Peanuts have a mix of protein, fat and carbs. In a half cup of serving (which is about 73 grams) there are 17 grams of protein, 16 grams of carb and large amounts of unsaturated fat. Also, they have higher amounts of the amino acid leucine compared to many other plant products. In a half cup serving (which is about 73 grams) there are 425 calories. If you have a hard time getting enough calories to drive your muscle gain, then eating peanuts could be a good way to get some extra calories and nutrients.

Chickpeas: Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans. They are a good source of both carbs and protein. In one cup serving (which is about 240 grams) of canned chickpeas, there are around 12 grams of protein and 50 grams of carbs, including 10 grams of fiber. The protein in the chickpeas is considered as lower quality than animal protein. But, it can still be a part of a balanced muscle – building diet.

Edamame: The term used for immature soybeans is edamame. Edamame is found in many dishes, particularly in the Asian origin. In one cup of frozen edamame (which is about 155 grams) there are 17 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. Also, it has large amounts of manganese, vitamin K and folate. Folate can help your body to process amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Folate can be important for the optimal muscle mass and strength, particularly in elderly.

Turkey breast: In a 3 ounce serving of turkey breast (which is about 85 grams) there are around 25 grams of protein, and it is almost no fat or carbs. Also, turkey breast is a good source of niacin that belongs to the vitamin B family, and it can help to process fats and carbohydrates in your body. When you have optimal levels of B vitamins in your diet, then it can help you to gain muscles over time by supporting your body’s ability to exercise, so add it in your diet.

Beans: There are many different varieties of beans, which can be part of a diet for lean muscle gain. Some popular varieties, such as kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans, have around 15 grams of protein per cup (this is about 172 grams) of cooked beans. Beans are an excellent source of fiber and B vitamins, in addition to being high in iron, phosphorus and magnesium. For this reason, beans are a great source of plant – based protein, which you should add to your diet.

Tilapia: Tilapia does not have as much Omega – 3 fatty acids as salmon, but it is another protein – packed seafood item. In a 3 ounce (which is about 85 grams) serving of tilapia, there are around 21 grams of protein, along with good amounts of Vitamin B12 and selenium. This vitamin is very important for the health of your blood cells and nerves, and this will allow you to perform the exercise you need in order to gain muscle.


Neem Mayur
Neem Mayur
Mayur Neem, a certified dietician having more than 5 years of experience in the field of diet practice. He is working as a diet expert and offering services to body builders, sports persons, celebrities, etc. He is lover of natural remedies and loves to spend most of his free time in his organic farm and offers expert advice on organic farming to local farmers. He is available through [email protected]


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