I feel pretty confident assuming we all want stronger, leaner muscles. I mean, why wouldn’t you?
The more muscles we have the less fat we often carry, and the more confident we feel in achieving both daily activities and physical tasks. There truly is no downside to gaining more muscle mass.
While many of you may believe that hitting the gym more frequently is the only way to increase muscle mass, I’m here to let you in on a little secret – You can eat your way to improved muscle mass too!
It’s true. Unfortunately, most of us have been duped into believing that the only way to get bigger muscles is by training hard and they neglect the nutrition aspect, not to mention the recovery required.
The truth is you can’t out train a poor diet. And while I understand how confusing nutrition may seem, it doesn’t have to be. And to help you get started I wanted to share the top 10 foods tat will help you eat your way to improved muscle mass.
1. Lean Beef
Loaded with a plethora of things that are ideal for muscle growth, lean beef gives your body the high level of protein and amino acids needed to increase muscle growth.
A 3 oz serving is also pretty low in calories, with only 154 cals and 10 essential nutrients.
Skinless chicken is a great option for lean, mean protein. Not only is it a great source of protein, but it also helps maintain and repair your muscles, maintain your weight and improve your bone health.
3. Cottage Cheese
Though not a personal favorite of mine, cottage cheese is practically pure casein protein. Casein is a slow-digesting protein which means it’s great for muscle maintenance.
Nothing like a good sunny-side up to kick your day off on the right note, right? Eggs are full of protein, amino acids, choline, healthy fats and vitamin D which are all essential for fueling your muscle mass.
5. Whey Protein
Whey is great because it provides a quick hit of protein in an easy to consume, affordable manner. When used directly after a workout it can provide you muscles with the juice they need to recover, repair and grow.
Tuna, salmon and other fish are a low calorie option for consuming loads of Omega-3’s, low fat, but lots of protein. Omega-3’s are known to help reduce fat and ensure proper body functioning, like your metabolism.
The true breakfast of champions, oatmeal is a low glycemic index (GI) source of carbs which preserve your muscles. What you maybe did not know about low GI foods is that they reduce your hunger naturally, improve fat loss, and give your body a good dose of fiber; something we easily forget about.
8. Whole Grains
Whole grains are natures treat for improving overall health and increasing your energy levels. Unlike refined grains which can do a lot of gut damage, whole grains encourage muscle growth, fat loss and muscle gains.
9. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and veggies offer your body the essential fiber needed to flush your body of unnecessary products. They also contain tons of nutrients and are a rich source of antioxidants which help keep your immune system in check.
10. Healthy Fats
Fats get a bad rap, but healthy fats are critical for increasing muscle mass because they rev up your body’s natural growth hormone. Foods containing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated are what you want to look for. This includes items like spinach, nuts, fish, avocados and more.
So there you have it, 10 foods to help you build lean muscle. If you’ve got a good recipe or meal you cook to support your muscle gains, be sure to share it in the comment section below.
March is the founder of the Barbell Beauties. Her goal is simple… Empower every woman to grab a barbell and LIFT. She’s been an active CrossFitter for 7 years and credits that sport for turning her into a true athlete.