When building muscle eating the right food is very important. Food is what increases gains and not just working out, the ratio is around 30% workout and 70% eating. People think Protein Shakes are the main source of building muscle and thats not true at all. Eating the right foods is the only way to build muscle and protein shakes are ‘the cherry on the cake’ the last thing that will just give you that bit more in helping grow your muscle.
Overall it’s important to make sure you get a range of nutrients and are eating at least 6… if not more, times a day! Portion sizes should vary with the amount of calories you need.
To make sure you reach your calorie targets keep track of your calorie intake! Failing to prepare is preparing to fail! So make sure you know what you’re going to eat and when. Prepare your meals the night before or even a few days in advance making sure you include these top essential bodybuilding foods in your plan.
Lean red Meat
You know to build muscle you’re going to need protein, but in order to reach your calorie intake whilst gaining good levels of fat and iron eat more lean red meat! With red meat its better to eat it with some fat still on the meat and not completely taken off.
To pack on pounds of serious muscle, lean meats such as chicken and turkey breasts should be a staple in every bodybuilder’s diet. Aside from providing an excellent source of high quality protein, they are also extremely low in saturated and trans fats.
There’s a reason why every successful bodybuilder in the world incorporates egg whites into their diet. With a protein to fat ratio of 60:1, egg whites are unquestionably one of the purest forms of protein in the world.
This magnificent muscle-building food also possesses an extremely high biological value – meaning that a large proportion of the protein absorbed from egg whites is readily utilized by your body for protein synthesis. Egg whites also contain very few carbohydrates and are a source of vitamins and minerals.
Beans and Legumes
If you are serious about building muscle, you can’t ignore the power of beans and legumes. When people typically think of bodybuilding foods, they immediately refer to various lean meats, but what they don’t realize is that the bean is a delicious and highly nutritious source of protein and fiber.
Fiber is essential to maintaining a regular and normal healthy bowel movement as well as proper insulin response – which is critical to muscle growth as both functions aid in absorption and use of various nutrients and supplements ingested by bodybuilders.
Kidney beans in particular are a very popular choice as they provide nearly 14 grams of both protein and fiber per cup!
Nuts are super energy dense! This means they’re full of calories… 600-700 per 100g! They also provide a good source of healthy mono and poly unsaturated fats. So snack away on nuts (unless you’re allergic of course) and help boost your calories.
Oats are a good source of calories, carbohydrates and fat that will add extra calories to your diet without making you feel as if your about to burst! Oats are perfect to be enjoyed in the morning with full fat milk and protein powder, or in a post workout protein shake.
Eggs are a good source of fat and protein- with 80 calories per egg… don’t worry about cholesterol and saturated fat- yes these things can be bad for you in high amounts but as long as you’re not eating 15 eggs a day you don’t need to worry!
Although the recurring theme so far has been to eat foods that are low in fat, fish is one exception to this rule. Of course you want to stay away from saturated and trans fats, but your body still needs essential fatty acids such as omega-3 to help support the muscle-building process.
Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, trout and sardines are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. Canned fish packed in water also comes in very handy because it provides a quick source of protein when on the go.
Coconut and Olive Oil
To gain muscle you need a good source of healthy fat! … no not takeaways and Mc Donald’s! Fats from olive oil and coconut oil are a perfect way to get healthy fats in the diet and can be easily added in salads and when cooking food.
Sweet potatoes are a great way to get glycogen restoring carbs and are perfect for after a workout. Sweet potatoes are also thought to cause less of an insulin response in the body than regular potatoes.
Dried fruit differs from fresh fruit, whereby it is actually very energy dense. Dried fruit can not only help give you a good source of vitamins and fibre but it can give you some energy boosting sugar that’s perfect for a pre workout snack. What’s more enjoying dried fruit as a snack is less likely to fill you up, unlike normal fruit that is mainly made of water.
When it comes to bodybuilding, the first thing to come to mind is meat. But the number one item that should be in your arsenal is water. Just think about it – 70 percent of your body is made up of water. Your muscles, tissue cells and ligaments all contain water. And most importantly, your life force – blood – is made up substantially of water.
When it comes to building a massive physique, you need to keep yourself in the most anabolic state possible and that is why many bodybuilders recommend drinking 10 liters of water a day. Staying hydrated also keeps your muscles full looking.
In addition water also serves as a medium in nutrient transport to your muscle cells, making more efficient and effective use of the nutrients and supplements that you consume.
These quick and simple drinks can give you just that bit more. Products such as our Mass gainers contain over 300 calories and a great deal of carbs and protein- so are perfect as a quick snack. I would not recommend them for replacing meals, make sure you eat your food – these shakes are the last things you should take.
If you prefer making your own protein shakes make sure you add an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat. This might involve getting a good whey protein, a good source of carbohydrates and also a good supply of healthy fats, such as peanut butter. But you could add what every you like to you shake.
WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS FOR BULKING?
GOOD FOODS FOR CLEAN BULK:
- White chicken breast
- Turkey breast
- Low fat yogurt
- Fat free or no fat milk
- Steak with some of the fat cut off
- Cottage cheese
GOOD FOODS FOR REGULAR “BIG” BULK:
- Turkey Breast
- Low fat yogurt
- 1% or 2% milk
- Cottage Cheese
- Peanut Butter
FOODS FOR DIRTY BULK:
- Chicken Breast
- Peanut Butter
- Chicken Strips or Chicken Nuggets
[image from muscleandfitness.com with some info from bodybuilding.com]