Eat These Foods to Build Muscle
Thursday , 22, December 2016
If you’ve dedicated yourself to getting healthier and building more muscle, you might be wondering if there are foods that you should include in your diet to help your cause. There’s a ton of information “out there,” and sorting through it all can be frustrating and overwhelming. Here, we’ll take a look at a few of the best foods that, when added to your workout regimen, can help you get the muscle mass and definition you’re seeking.
Okay, so water isn’t a food, but it is absolutely essential to overall health and to muscle building. Healthy muscles are roughly 80% water. Not drinking enough water dehydrates the cells in your body, resulting in a number of different problems. When it comes to your muscles, dehydration’s biggest effect is that protein synthesis (muscle recovery and building) is greatly slowed down. Additionally, being dehydrated can you make tire more easily and result in more muscle cramping. Sports drinks can help immediately pre- and post-workout, but staying well hydrated overall is your best bet.
It probably isn’t news that we need protein to build muscle. Choosing multi-purpose proteins that also contain other nutrients essential to muscle development can help you reach your goals quicker.
- Eggs are a near-perfect source of protein. Since so much of the protein in eggs can be incorporated into the body’s own proteins, each gram of an egg’s proteins is a more powerful muscle-building tool than nearly any other gram of protein in the supermarket. Be sure and include the yolks, too, since they contain vitamin B12, which is necessary for muscle contraction and for fat breakdown. Eggs also contain vitamins B6, D, and E; iron; zinc; phosphorous; riboflavin; and folate.
- Almonds are a great source of protein and also are one of the best sources of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E, which is the vitamin E form that your body absorbs the best. Vitamin E can help minimize free-radical damage to muscles and also aid in muscle recovery. A couple handfuls a day is a great way to help your muscles and your brain, since almonds have been shown to support brain health.
- Salmon contains high-quality proteins and omega-3 fatty acids that can decrease the breakdown of muscle proteins, which aids in recovery. Omega-3 fatty acids also offer added health benefits, including lower triglyceride levels and healthier joints, among others.
- Yogurt is a great combination of carbs and protein that aids in muscle recovery and growth. Stick with regular versions, as the sugar-free types tend to contain more artificial ingredients (such as sweeteners). Our bodies often have a hard time processing the artificial stuff, which could mean we also get less of the good stuff.
- Beef is definitely a great source of protein, but it also contains zinc, iron, and creatine, which are crucial for those trying to build muscle. Just be sure to choose the leanest cuts you can, since too much fat from animal sources isn’t good for any of us.
Our bodies need some fat to do their jobs efficiently. Plant-based fats, such as you get from olive oil, help our bodies process certain nutrients and support cell growth.
Obviously, the best foods alone aren’t enough to keep you from having to pushing yourself during workouts, but supplementing your exercise efforts with the right diet can help you get to the payoff quicker than you thought possible.