Staying in shape has many benefits. It can reduce your chance of disease, give you more energy and help you sleep better. When you want to ramp up your workout to build muscle, though, you need to employ extra measures to take your fitness to the next level. You will probably need to make some changes both in your workout routine to make it more challenging but also in your diet to support the added effort. Here are some foods to add to your diet that give you energy for longer workouts and provide the building blocks for muscle.
Lean Meat And Fish
Adding more meat to your diet is sometimes tricky. You want the benefits of extra protein without the drawbacks of additional saturated fats. By choosing chicken or turkey or by being more mindful to pick leaner cuts of pork and beef, you can accomplish this goal.
Certain types of fish can also be helpful when you want to add muscle. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish such as salmon and tilapia, are great for building muscle mass. Tuna is also rich in vitamins and minerals that can help you improve your overall nutrition without adding fat.
Protein is important when it comes to building muscle mass, but it's not all that you need. The more you use your muscles, the stronger they will become. It's hard to build up stamina when you don't have the caloric intake to give you the necessary energy, though. Making sure you have enough carbohydrates to fuel your workouts is essential to progress.
Not all carbs are created equal, though. Those with simple sugars and refined flours, such as donuts and other pastries, may give you a boost of energy, but it will die down and leave you lethargic pretty quickly. It is best to eat complex carbohydrates for extra energy. Brown rice and quinoa have nutrients that keep your energy levels constant.
A great way to build lean mass is to eat a combination of fast- and slow-digesting proteins. Dairy products typically contain both these proteins. Greek yogurt is a great way to help build muscle, and chocolate milk is one of the best things you can drink after a run or strength-training session for muscle recovery.
Some people have a hard time digesting the casein proteins in dairy, though. There are still dairy options for them. Does goat cheese have casein? It does, but it has A2 casein, which is easier to digest. Nut milks, such as almond and cashew milk, don't contain any casein. These products, particularly those fortified with added protein, can also be good post-workout options.
Athletes who want to limit their intake of meat and other animal products can still get good protein from legumes. Legumes are plant-based foods that grow in pods, such as beans, peas, lentils and some nuts. While you get the best nutrition when you cook dry beans rather than using canned ones, the canned ones still pack a lot of protein and nutrients into a filling, lean food.
Protein is made of amino acids, and nine of these amino acids cannot be produced by the human body. Many people believe that you cannot get complete protein from plant sources, but soybeans actually contain all nine of the essential amino acids that complete your protein consumption. Many vegetarians and vegans who want to build muscle mass increase their consumption of legumes to help with the process.
Building muscle takes a lot of hard work and dedication. You have to keep improving your workout regimen so that you don't plateau. It's probably also necessary to change your diet. By taking out junk food that doesn't help you and replacing it with good, wholesome food that gives you better nutrition, you will have better luck with increasing your lean muscle mass. Try adding a few of these foods to aid you in reaching your goal.
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Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, and growing young. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to contact her through Facebook.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.