The goal of many men (and some women) is to build muscle and your commitment to the gym is part of that process. However, if you are looking to build muscle, the food that you take in can help you achieve your goals.
The right muscle building food comes from a mix of carbohydrates, high proteins, and fats.
You may have heard that to build muscle, the general rule of thumb is to eat as much as possible, and then eat some more. However, eating the right foods insures that you are not just consuming calories (that can make you fat, not muscular).
Let’s look at how to build mass and muscle with dietary changes.
Best Muscle Building Food Choices
Typically, any food that has a high quantity of carbohydrates and a high quantity of protein can be considered a muscle building food. Combining at least two sources of carbohydrates and protein ensures that your body is getting an adequate amount of nutrition in order to build the muscle that you want. Nutrients derived from carbohydrates are known as “muscle sparing” nutrients. The body uses carbohydrates for energy, and quality carbohydrates supply your body with energy that is needed in order to endure muscle building workouts.
Complex carbohydrates are the best types of carbohydrates to add to your muscle building diet because they are slow to release. Simple carbohydrates (such as those found in energy drinks and fruit juices) are faster releasing, and thus provide an immediate spike in the body’s insulin levels which is the reason that simple carbohydrates should be used very sparingly or restricted to the times when you are working out. If not used, this insulin spike can result in simple carbohydrates being stored as fat.
Muscle Building Food: Complex Carbohydrates
When looking for muscle building food, look no further than complex carbohydrates, which are abundant in many of the foods that you probably already like, including bread, oatmeal, brown rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, and bagels.
Muscle Building Food: Simple Carbohydrates
As mentioned above, for a quick workout boost, simple carbohydrates provide a great source of immediate fuel. You’ll find them in foods like fruits (including oranges, apples, grapes, mangos, raisins, and the juices of these fruits), honey, and high energy carbohydrate drinks.
Muscle Building Food: Proteins
You may remember from your junior high science class that proteins are the building blocks of muscle, but not all foods contain a substantial amount of muscle building protein for those who are looking to beef up, especially if you are following a vegetarian lifestyle. Thus, protein is essential to your muscle building diet. You can find protein in foods like chicken breast, tuna, turkey and egg whites, as well as in dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese or you can get a good supply of protein with specially-formulated protein shakes.
Muscle Building Food: High Quality Fats
High quality essential fatty acids can aid in the production of testosterones as well as in various biological functions throughout the body. Find these omega 3 fatty acids in foods like olive oil, cod liver oil, and flaxseed or flaxseed oil to help take your workout and your muscle building to a new level.
Water is Important When Building Muscle
The entire body needs water, and this is especially true when working out and building muscle as a lot of water is lost through perspiration while exercising. There is no replacement for water and you cannot see the muscle gains that you are looking for without adequate hydration. In fact, all the muscle building food in the world will never be as effective as when it is combined with optimal hydration.