Written By Justin Jersey / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
What do you eat to build muscle? It's a question that many people ask themselves, and it can be so confusing. Of course, the best way to build muscle is to eat. You know, nutrients and all that good stuff! But what do you need for your body to have the energy it needs?
You might think that all food is good for building muscle, but this is not always the case. Some foods inhibit your progress. This blog post will help you figure out what to eat to build lean muscle mass! We're here with some quick tips on how you can get the most out of your workouts without feeling too hungry or deprived.
What are the best foods to eat for muscle building?
There are some great foods that you can eat to help build muscle. The best one all around is, of course, chicken. Chicken provides a protein source that helps grow lean muscle mass and strength! It also has many nutrients for your body, such as vitamin B6 or niacin (vitamin b3), which helps give you energy and helps run your brain. Chicken is one of the healthy, natural sources that can help with muscle-building!
What about fats?
Absolutely! Your body needs fat to build muscle, especially omega 3s and all that good stuff. However, not just any fat will do; in fact, some fats can inhibit muscle building. The best fats that you should eat for bodybuilding include:
- Whole eggs – These are one of the best sources of omega-three fatty acids and protein. They also are very cheap! Just make sure not to overcook them because it can reduce the number of nutrients they have.
- Nuts – Usually, nuts are an expensive snack, but they really can help you! The best types of nuts that you should try to eat include almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts.
- Avocado – A 100 percent natural way for your body to build muscle fast is avocados! This tasty treat contains healthy fats and is very filling as well. Just keep in mind it is a fatty food, and try to eat it in moderation.
- Coconut Oil – This oil has healthy fats that will help you build muscle, but make sure not to overuse it! It can be used as an alternative butter or other oils for cooking meals and such. Again, keep in mind how many calories are in coconut oil and try to avoid excessive use.
Protein, carbs, and fat
A diet that has a good mix of protein, carbs and fats in all the meals will be an ideal source of nutrition. The two building blocks of muscles are proteins and carbohydrates.
According to the research carried out by scientists at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, strength training is more anabolic when the body consumes a higher ratio of carbohydrates to protein. They found out that if individuals follow a high-protein diet and strength training for 12 weeks, their lean muscle mass will increase drastically.
- What does the study say? The study says that the group who followed a high-protein diet lost about two pounds compared to men who consumed a moderate protein. Their muscle mass decreased too.
- However, the researchers found positive changes in women who consumed a diet high in protein and exercised at least four times per week. The women's lean muscle mass increased by about seven pounds! This study proves that people can build muscle naturally — no steroids required!
What is a good ratio of protein-to-carbs-to-fat that I should be eating every day?
A good ratio of protein-to-carbs-to-fat is 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, three to four grams carbohydrates for every gram of protein, and 0.3 grams fat for every gram of protein (in your diet). It allows you to keep your heart healthy while maintaining lean muscle mass! Always manage your macros alongside micros to maintain a healthy body and mind.
- Good food sources for protein: whey protein isolate, lean meat, fish, nuts, bison meat (that's my favourite) and eggs!
- Good food sources of carbohydrates as well: gluten-free oats, sweet potatoes and lots of green vegetables.
The importance of supplements
Supplements like creatine and whey protein powder are great for gaining healthy amounts of lean muscle mass. Creatine is the most amazing supplement I know. The first week or two you take creatine, your body will not process it like an amino acid.
As a result, you'll gain about two pounds of water weight. However, after about three weeks, your body will begin to process creatine as an amino acid, and that's when you start to lose the water weight. So taking it for a short time is best to gain muscle mass!
Whey protein is a great post-workout supplement that will help you to build muscle. It helps your body process the nutrients it needs after working out, which helps repair and grow muscles!
Do a lot of stretching before and after workouts. Building muscles is about tearing down the muscle fibers, and then building them back up more substantial and prominent.
In addition, you build muscles when you rest, so stretching will allow your body to relax and make the repair work faster! Each body has unique requirements that need attention. With Modern Fit, you are provided uniquely designed workouts for your body type for better results.
Don't overdo it in the gym.
Work out for no more than an hour at a time. Working out many hours is detrimental as you will tire and have no energy left for your day to progress. Working out is not about vanity! Pay more attention to how your body feels afterwards. Does it hurt? Does it feel tired, or does it have more energy?
It should be lighter and energized after a good workout. If you're still sore from the previous day's activity, then that's a sign you did too much.
Incorporating weights in your routine.
Use weights that are appropriate to your fitness level as well as the exercises you want to do. For example, it's always a good idea to start with five-pound dumbbells when you are just beginning. You could even do exercises that don't require weights at all (push-ups, jumping jacks, etc.) to build the strength of your muscles, which will allow you to use heavier weights in the future.
Take some rest days so your muscles can recover from heavy lifting or long hours in the gym. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and avoid cramps. Remember, muscles do not build up overnight, nor do they disappear so.
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Justin Jersey is a journalist, stylist and blogger. He is an aesthetician by heart who often writes about art, fashion, decorating and DIY ideas. He loves sparking creativity and giving his readers ideas for their own spaces.
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