Have you ever heard anyone say that when it comes to achieving your fitness and weight loss goals 80% of the work and results depends on your diet? The math might not be correct, but it’s true that without proper nutritional support you won’t see any results and any progress you may have made will come to a halt. Both nutrition and physical activity are important if you are trying to gain muscle mass. When it comes to your fitness routine you need to focus on lifting heavy and completing short and quick reps. But do you know what types of foods you need to eat in order to gain muscle mass? Here are our suggestions for the top 10 foods to gain muscle mass and to help you achieve your ultimate health and wellness goals.
- Lean Beef & Chicken
Lean protein from beef and chicken should be a staple of your diet if you want to gain muscle mass. Beef and chicken provide iron, zinc and B-vitamins, but more importantly they provide high-quality protein that promotes muscle growth.
- Cottage Cheese & Greek Yogurt
Not many people know that cottage cheese is almost entirely pure casein protein, which makes it perfect for muscle maintenance. Cottage cheese is a wonderful snack and is also packed with many important nutrients. Greek yogurt provides double the amount of protein as regular yogurt and is a mixture of fast-digesting whey protein and slow-digesting casein protein.
Eggs are made up of high-quality protein, nine essential amino acids, healthy fats, choline and Vitamin D. Consuming eggs on a regular basis will also provide critical support for a variety of processes in your body, including energy production.
- Whey Protein
There’s a good reason why fitness experts are big fans of whey protein supplements – because whey protein provides a fast and convenient source of protein at a low price. Add a scoop of protein powder to a smoothie and enjoy it after your workout for an effective way to gain muscle mass.
Fish is high in protein, low in fat and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A three-ounce serving of tuna provides 20 grams of protein and a three-ounce serving of salmon has 17 grams of protein as well as several important B vitamins. There are many other seafood options that can help you gain muscle mass including Tilapia and shrimp, which help keep your blood cells and nerves healthy so you can perform the exercises you need to gain muscle.
Starting your day with a delicious serving of oatmeal is a great way to get your carbs in for muscle preservation. Oatmeal is minimally processed and offers numerous benefits including more fiber, helping you curb your hunger, keeping you full and satisfied for longer and assisting with weight loss.
- Fruits & Vegetables
Your whole diet can’t be purely made up of protein and carbs – it’s still important to eat your fruits and veggies in order to get your daily dose of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Your body needs fuel from colorful fruits and vegetables to aid in digestion and nutrient intake.
It’s not difficult to find healthy snacks to munch on when you are trying to gain muscle mass – look for a wide range of nuts like peanuts, almonds, walnuts and others. Nuts contain a mix of protein, fat and carbs – they are also higher in calories, which makes nuts an easy addition to your meal plan if you’re struggling to consume enough calories to support your muscle gain.
- Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are essential for muscle growth because they play an essential role in hormone production, which drives muscle growth. You can find healthy fats in foods like fish, nuts, leafy greens, vegetables, avocados, flaxseed, olive oil and more.
You may notice that the majority of foods we’ve recommended are protein-rich to help build lean muscle, but it’s also important to eat foods that give you the energy you need to stay active and complete your workouts. Foods with carbohydrates can help you supplement your energy and cooked quinoa, which can be added to salads and enjoyed as a delicious side dish, contains about 40 grams of carbs in one cup, as well as eight grams of protein.
There are many foods that can help you gain muscle mass; they help your muscles recover and grow and also give you the energy you need to stay physically active. For more tips on staying and eating healthy follow our blog or connect with us on Facebook. We look forward to connecting with you!