What if we told you that the secret to retain, or even gain, more muscle mass and strength lies in your nutrition? Proper nutrition is essential to staying healthy and fit - and is not just exercise as is commonly thought. Proper nutrition is absolutely essential to staying healthy and fit - AND making those gains.
Here are 9 of the top foods for gaining lean muscle.
Legumes are protein and fiber powerhouses. Lentils, for example, are especially high in protein. 100 g of this dry good provides about 25 g of protein. Their fiber content is also nothing to sneeze at. Just 100 g covers half of your daily requirement (30 g).
Eggs are the perfect food for a muscle gain diet. One chicken egg provides about 7 g of protein. Plus, its biological value is nearly 100. What does that mean? The higher the biological value, the more similar the protein in the food is to the body’s own protein, which makes it easier for the body to transform it into muscle mass. Two hard-boiled eggs, for instance, are an ideal post-workout snack.
If fitness is your goal, you should definitely be using flaxseed oil. It’s highly nutritious and loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which keep your heart and brain healthy and help stop inflammation.
Quinoa is the ideal side dish for bodyweight training. 100 g provides 15 g of vegan protein. This grain is also very high in magnesium (275 mg), which plays a key role in muscle contraction.
Ginger not only strengthens your immune system: this Asian root is said to improve blood flow to the muscles (which helps with sore muscles!) and promote the breakdown of lactic acid in muscle tissue. This helps you recover quickly, so you are ready for the next workout.
Protein pancakes with cottage cheese are the perfect breakfast if you like bodyweight training. Why? This dairy product is low in calories and a good source of high-quality protein and carbohydrates. Cottage cheese also contains the essential amino acid tryptophan, which helps you sleep better. And adequate sleep is crucial if you want to perform your best.
How about a cup of coffee before your workout? Coffee increases your blood pressure and heart rate, which helps you to get the most out of your workout. But go easy on the amount. An espresso is a good idea before a bodyweight training session, but skip the milk and sugar!
Small but powerful! Blueberries are low in calories. 100 g has only about 40 calories. The purple berries are also antioxidants. This means that they fight free radicals in your body, which is especially important for regular training. Blueberries taste great in smoothies or together with rolled oats and plain or soy yogurt.
Nuts and seeds are essential for muscle building. They are rich in protein as well as high in fat. Walnuts are particularly beneficial because of their high unsaturated fat content.
IN A NUTSHELL
If you want to build strength, a healthy muscle building diet with enough calories is just as important as challenging workouts. Eat the 9 foods listed above on a regular basis and you’ll be on the right track to getting the muscle growth you want!
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