Lately, I have been getting messages on my social media platform regarding how to build a lean muscle. To get started, it’s essential to challenge your body through physical activity. However, without proper nutritional support, your progress will stall. Consuming High-protein foods are very important for gaining muscle, but carbohydrates and fats are also necessary sources of energy.
1. Chicken Breast
There’s a good reason why chicken breasts are considered a staple for gaining muscle. They are packed with protein, with each 3-ounce (85-gram) serving containing about 26 grams of high-quality protein (7). They also contain generous amounts of the B vitamins niacin and B6, which may be particularly important if you are active (7). These vitamins help your body function properly during the physical activity and exercise that’s necessary for optimal muscle gain (4). What’s more, some research has shown that higher-protein diets containing chicken may aid fat loss (8).
Eggs contain high-quality protein, healthy fats and other important nutrients like B vitamins and choline (1). Proteins are made up of amino acids, and eggs contain large amounts of the amino acid leucine, which is particularly important for muscle gain (1, 2). Also, B vitamins are critically important for a variety of processes in your body, including energy production (3, 4).
Salmon is a great choice for muscle building and overall health. Each 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of salmon contains about 17 grams of protein, almost 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids and several important B vitamins (5). Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in muscular health and may even increase muscle gain during exercise programs (6).
4. Greek Yogurt
Dairy not only contains high-quality protein, but also a mixture of fast-digesting whey protein and slow-digesting casein protein. Some research has shown that people experience increases in lean mass when they consume a combination of fast- and slow-digesting dairy proteins (9). However, not all dairy is created equal. For example, Greek yogurt often contains approximately double the amount of protein as regular yogurt (10, 11). While Greek yogurt is a good snack anytime, eating it after a workout or before bed may be beneficial due to its mixture of fast- and slow-digesting proteins (9, 12).
5. Lean Beef and Lean Minced Beef
Beef is packed with high-quality protein, B vitamins, minerals and creatine (16, 17). Some research has even shown that consuming lean red meat can increase the amount of lean mass gained with weight training (18). However, even when you’re trying to gain muscle, it may be best to choose beef that supports muscle gain without providing too many extra calories. For example, 3 ounces (85 grams) of 70% lean ground beef contains 228 calories and a whopping 15 grams of fat (19). However, the same amount of 95% lean ground beef contains slightly more protein and only 145 calories and 5 grams of fat (20).
Not only are pistachio nuts tasty and fun to eat, but they’re also super healthy. Technically a fruit, these edible seeds of the Pistacia vera tree contain healthy fats and are a good source of protein, fibre, and antioxidants.
They also contain several essential nutrients and have benefits for weight loss, as well as heart and gut health. Fortunately, pistachios are among the lowest-calorie nuts. One ounce (28 grams) of pistachios contains 156 calories, compared to 183 calories in walnuts and 193 calories in pecans (2, 12, 13). With protein comprising about 20% of their weight, pistachios are second only to almonds when it comes to protein content (6). They also have a higher ratio of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, than any other nut (10).
Shrimp are almost pure protein. Each 3-ounce (85-gram) serving contains 18 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat and zero carbs (21). While healthy fats and carbs are important in your overall diet, adding some shrimp is an easy way to get muscle-building protein without too many additional calories. Like many other animal proteins, shrimp contains a high amount of the amino acid leucine, which is necessary for optimal muscle growth (21, 22).
12. Protein Powders
While any good diet should focus on whole foods, there are times when dietary supplements can be beneficial (37).
If you struggle to get enough protein from foods alone, you could consider adding protein shakes to your daily routine.
Dairy protein powders, such as whey and casein, are some of the most popular.
However, there are other options too. Some protein powders use soy, pea, beef or chicken protein.
Countless foods can help you gain lean muscle. Many of them are protein-packed and allow your muscles to recover and grow after you have been active. However, it is also important to consume carbohydrates and fats to provide fuel for exercise and physical activity. What’s more, many of the foods on this list contain the vitamins and minerals your body needs to operate at its best. To reach your goal of gaining lean muscle, focus on exercising regularly and eating more calories each day from nutritious foods like the ones listed in this article.
Date: 01, July 2018