A lot goes into building muscles— a consistent and dedicated workout regime and a high protein diet can help you amp up your muscles.
There are so many of us who are aiming to build a muscular body, but there is science hidden behind it that not many are able to crack in the absence of expert guidance.
Food is what can help you build or lose muscles. It plays the most important role in muscle building.
Spending hours in the gym, without focusing on a diet plan will not get you the results you are looking to achieve. Your body needs protein for building and repairing muscles, just as it needs the right calories and fats for energy.
Following the right diet can aid your muscle-building journey and optimize your workout. Nutritional advice and guidance can help you understand the requirements of your body, and accordingly help you find out what to incorporate and what not to incorporate in your diet.
Let’s see some of the healthy, high calorie foods that you can consume when muscle building is your fitness goal.
- A packet of plain instant oatmeal (125 calories)
- Sweet potato (115 calories)
- A bowl of black beans (350 calories)
- A cup of brown rice (200 calories)
- A bowl of lentils (350 calories)
- A cup of quinoa (220 calories)
We have also prepared a sample diet plan for you that is specific to building muscles.
- Breakfast: A slice of lightly buttered wholemeal bread, half a grapefruit, three scrambled eggs, three rashers of grilled lean smoked bacon and a handful of spinach.
- Snack: A banana with protein shake that has 30g whey protein powder and 200 ml semi-skimmed milk.
- Lunch: An orange, three ricecakes and a tuna mayonnaise sandwich made with wholemeal bread.
- Snack: Brazilian nuts 25g
- Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with some vegetables like broccoli and potatoes.
- Dessert: Low-fat greek yogurt with whey protein and a sliced frozen banana.
A High Protein Intake Is Essential
Protein should make up about 10 to 35% of total calories when you are working to build muscles.
Keeping muscle mass requires much lesser protein, as compared to the protein your body requires when building new muscles.
The recommended dietary allowance of protein is 0.37g per pound of body weight, for an adult. If you include low-fat dairy, along with three servings of protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, and beans, you will be good to go.
These are the quality sources of protein that can help you build muscles. Grains also provide proteins but they might not be enough to meet the dietary requirements.
Carbohydrates Keep Your Body Up & Running
Carbohydrates provide the much-needed fuel to your muscles. Carbs are partially converted into glycogen that is stored in your muscles and aids your workouts. Those who do strength training twice a week require half of their calories from carbohydrates.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you will gobble pizzas and burgers. Good quality carbohydrates, which are low in fat, are the key to building muscles.
Whole-grain bread and cereals are the best to give your energy levels a boost.
Fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk and yogurt can all provide some amount of carbs.
Fats Supply Energy To Your Body
It generally varies as to how much fat a person requires. Guidelines suggest that fats should make up about 20 to 30% of your total calories.
They are important because they supply energy to your muscles, and build muscle strength.
Fats contain double the number of calories that are in proteins and carbs, so monitoring your fat intake is essential.
You need to rely on good sources of fats, such as canola oil, extra-virgin olive oil, walnuts, pistachios, avocados, and fatty fish like mackerel, trout, salmon, and sardines.
Foods You Need In Your Muscle-Building Diet
- Meats, poultry, and fish
- Yogurt, cottage cheese, and low-fat milk
- Cereals, oatmeal, quinoa, rice
- Starchy and green leafy vegetables and fruits, mushrooms, asparagus
- Walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds
- Beans and legumes
- Olive oil, flaxseed oil, and avocado oil
Foods That You Avoid Eating When Aiming To Build Muscle
Alcohol: Alcohol is something that can significantly hamper your muscle-building efforts, and interfere with your diet regime.
Added sugars: Sparkling and soda drinks are a source of excess sugar and should be avoided, even when you just want to stay healthy. Candies, cookies, cakes, ice-creams, donuts, all contain high levels of sugar.
Deep-fried foods: Fried food is a big ‘no’ whenever you are aiming to build muscles, or even before hitting the gym. These include fried fish, onion ring, fritters, etc.