Whilst getting the physique you want is mostly down to hard work and lifting the right weights, you’d be surprised how much of a difference the food you eat can make. Some people ignore the importance of fine-tuning their diet, simply thinking all they need to do is lift. Weight work is important, and you aren’t going to get ripped without it – but some foods can either help or hinder your muscle gaining prospects. We’re going to look at some of the best foods for adding muscle and getting the ripped body you desire.
Don’t get confused with weight loss foods
Some newcomers to weight-lifting get mixed up with tips from weight-loss specialists and actually try and limit their calorie intake. There’s a lot of misinformation, especially when the two fields can often be confused with each other. However, if you’re trying to pack on the pounds, limiting your diet is normally the wrong way of going about it. Your body needs energy to help grow and build muscle, and it gets that from food. Limiting your calorie intake might make sense if you’re trying to drop a few pounds, but your body needs those calories to bulk up. In saying that, some foods are better than other when looking to add muscle.
Eat the right sorts of foods
You’ll want to steer clear of heavily processed foods and things that are high in saturated fats. A good general rule to follow is that if it grew from an animal, it’s better than something man made. Try and eat natural ingredients, things that humans have been eating for thousands of years – and you should be ok. Another general rule is that protein is crucially important for building muscle, but you don’t want to overdo it. Some proteins are also “better” for you than others. There’s a big difference between “whole” proteins (those found in eggs and meat) to incomplete proteins (things that grow). Generally, whole proteins are what you’ll be looking for when trying to build muscle.
In recent times, people wanting to build muscle have turned to supplements like whey protein shakes. These can be good, but the reality is that there are loads more natural sources of protein that can be found in real foods (which are also more enjoyable to eat).
5 Top Foods for Building Muscle
Eggs are like a muscle-building superfood. It’s no surprise that you see body-builders guzzling down multiple-raw egg shakes. They are high in protein and contain a number of other helpful vitamins and minerals as well. Try not to fry them too often, but eggs are one of the easiest ways to increase your muscle-building protein in-take.
Some nutritionists suggest limiting your red meat in-take. Whilst you shouldn’t have a steak every day, they’re actually a great source of zinc and iron which are both considered useful muscle-building nutrients. They’re also a great source of protein, too.
Almonds are high in vitamins which help aid muscle recovery after a workout. They’re also good for your brain. Try and have a few almonds every day, even if you aren’t working out.
Ok, this isn’t actually a food – but it’s still really important. Make sure you drink lots of it. Not drinking enough can slow you down and limit the amount of protein your body uses to build muscle.
5. Carbs are important too
If you’re doing lots of heavy work-outs, you don’t want to focus solely on protein as carbs are also important. Make sure you stick to healthier carbs like rice, as they’ll provide your body with the energy it needs to keep going.
As a fitness expert, Kevin Rawlings knows how important eating the right food can be when trying to build muscle. He also knows how much of a difference great equipment can make to your workout, especially if you’re doing it at home. For gym-quality weights and workout equipment, he highly recommends Rep Fitness.
- 25 Cheap And Healthy Foods You Need To Know (lifehack.org)
- Do Young Vegetarians Know All Proteins Are Not Equal? (huffingtonpost.co.uk)