muscle building food

19 Ultimate Muscle Building Foods

What do you think is more important for building muscle? Diet or exercise. While exercise stimulates muscle growth, without proper muscle building food you cannot gain muscle mass!

 

Best muscle building foods for skinny guys

Here is the list of best muscle building foods for skinny guys. If you are skinny, no amount of weight training will help you gain muscle unless you are eating the right food. It is critical to meet your nutrition goal to achieve any fitness goal. When trying to build muscle, protein is an essential food. Besides that, carbs and fat are also essential to fuel your body. But certain foods can boost your muscle-building process. They are packed with protein and help muscles to grow and recover. In this article, I am going to share some muscle building foods that you should start eating from today.

Eggs

Eggs are a rich source of quality protein and excellent muscle building food. One large egg can contain around 6 grams of protein. It contains all nine amino acids that help you build muscle. The amino acid leucine in eggs plays a major role in muscle gain. Eggs are also a great source of vitamin D and B. Vitamin B supports many functions in the body and produces energy. Studies show that eggs in breakfast can reduce hunger and limit the calories consumed throughout the day. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16373948/ 

Cottage cheese 

Cottage cheese is popularly known for high protein and its muscle gain benefits. It is a soft white creamy cheese made from curd. It has very few calories compared to regular cheese. Because of its high protein and calcium content, it can aid in weight loss. Cottage cheese contains casein protein. It is a slow-absorbing protein that stimulates protein synthesis. It is an effective whey protein that helps you build muscle. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27271661/ 

It can also prevent muscle breakdown during exercise. Hence, it’s best to eat cottage cheese after exercise or before bed.

Greek yogurt 

Greek yogurt is a good dairy-based quality protein. It is made by removing the excess liquids from regular yogurt. As a result, they are thicker and low in sugar. Greek yogurt contains double the amount of protein when compared to regular yogurt. It contains both whey protein and casein protein. Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein and casein digest slow. When two of them are combined, they can increase lean muscle mass. 

Greek yogurt is a great muscle building food that can be eaten as a snack between meals. It also controls blood pressure and supports heart function. 

 

Tuna

Tuna fish is full of healthy fat and protein. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are important for muscle health. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25285409/ Tuna contains high amounts of vitamins A, B12, and B6. They are very beneficial for optimal energy levels and exercise performance. The omega-3s in tuna are known to improve vision and prevent cancer as well. Due to high protein, tuna satisfies your hunger and keeps you full for longer. You can cook tuna in many different ways: grilled, baked, fried, and sliced over salad. 

Tofu

It’s another great muscle building food for vegetarians. It is made by curdling say milk and pressing it into a solid white block. It provides all nine essential amino acids needed for the normal functioning of the body. Per 100g tofu contains around 12.68g of protein. It is also rich in calcium, iron, and many other valuable minerals such as magnesium. Tofu has different textures and can be cooked in many different ways. Firm tofu can be cooked or grilled. While soft tofu is best when used in shakes, dips, and salad.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a good source of carbs and protein. It is derived from the plant named Chenopodium. It comes in different colors like yellow, black, red, and mixed. While protein helps you build muscle, carbs give you the energy to perform at your best. One cup(185g) of cooked quinoa provides 40g of carbs and 8g of protein. Quinoa is packed with nutrients like calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamin B and E. 

Despite all the benefits, quinoa is not considered the best low-caloric food. Hence, you should keep track of how much you consume. Quinoa can be cooked with rice and other vegetables to make a fulfilling healthy meal.

Pork

Pork is a popular red meat food. It is rich in protein and many vitamins and minerals. It has all the nine amino acids needed for the growth and maintenance of the muscles. Eating pork has the same effect on muscle as other muscle building foods such as chicken. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24534884/ 

Besides providing protein, pork also contains creatine and beta-alanine. These nutrients improve muscle function and reduce fatigue. Eating a moderate amount of pork is also linked with low cancer risk. 

Tempeh 

Tempeh is a soy based product that can be used as a meat alternative. It is made by fermenting partially cooked soybean then pressing it against a compact cake. It is a complete protein, meaning it has all nine essential amino acids. It is low in sodium and high in fiber which keeps you full. High protein in tempeh helps in muscle growth and recovery from exercise. It also has probiotics, which help you with digestion and reduces gastric issues. Tempeh can be a very versatile muscle building food. It can be crumbled, grilled, fried, marinated, or sliced into salad. 

Oats

Oats are a common whole grain food. It provides a balanced composition of carbs, protein, and fat. Oats may not offer all nine essential amino acids but it has protein higher than other grains. They offer a host of health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. It also prevents the heart from cancer and other conditions. Oats can be a great healthy breakfast before a workout. It not only keeps you full but provides enough energy for optimal performance. Oats are best cooked in skimmed milk or almond milk. To enhance the protein amount, add some protein powder or nuts. 

Top body building foods

There are many body building foods that can help you gain muscles fast. Below are a few such body building foods you can try into your muscle gain diet plan.

Chicken 

Chicken is one of the great body building foods you can add to your muscle gain diet plan. It is an excellent source of lean protein. It has all the nine amino acids needed by your body. It also contains a great amount of vitamin B, which keeps you active. Research suggests that eating chicken can aid fat loss and help build muscles. 

Lean jerky 

Lean jerky is popular beef meat and one of the top body building foods. Jerky has a high nutritional profile with a good amount of zinc, vitamin b12, fiber, and iron. Most of the fat gets removed from jerky while processing. As a result, you consume all calories from carbs and protein. Jerky is easy to make and can be consumed as a healthy snack. Like other animal protein sources, jerky also helps promote muscle growth. 

Protein powder 

Protein powder has been in the market for a long while now. There is a reason why it’s a favorite supplement of many athletes and bodybuilders. Whey protein is the purest form of protein that is absorbed by your muscles rapidly. This gives your muscles the required nutrients to repair after a workout and grow. If you find it hard to get sufficient protein from your diet, consider taking whey. Dairy based protein powders are common and usually come as whey and casein. Many protein companies are making vegan protein powder using pea and soy. 

Best bulking foods

Lean beef

Lean beef is great muscle building food that can help you bulk up fast. It is packed with high-quality protein, creatine, and powerful nutrients. Creatine in lean beef gives you the energy to push more serious weight in the gym. It is also rich in zinc, vitamin B6, B12, and iron. It contains healthy fats which can help lower cholesterol and support heart function. 

Milk

Milk is a good source of protein and calcium. It offers fast-digesting and slow-digesting types of protein. This can be beneficial to promote protein synthesis for muscle gain. Per 8 oz skimmed or low-fat milk can provide 8g of protein. Milk is not only good for protein but it also keeps you hydrated after exercise. High calcium content in milk promotes healthy bones. Studies suggest that drinking milk between weight training can increase muscle mass. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19997019/

Chicken

Chicken is another great bulking food and an excellent source of lean protein. It has all the nine amino acids needed by your body. It also contains a great amount of vitamin B, which keeps you active. Research suggests that eating chicken can aid fat loss and help build muscles.

Almonds

Almonds contain healthy fats and good amounts of protein. Half a cup (172g)  almond has around 16g of protein. They also contain antioxidants and are rich in nutrients such as vitamin E, phosphorus, and magnesium. Almonds are very versatile snacks. You can use them in salad, smoothies, oatmeal or eat them raw as a snack. Despite the benefits, almonds are high in calories. Hence, you must keep the portion in mind. 

Brown rice

Even though brown rice is not the best protein source. But it has good carbs which are needed by your body to fuel exercise. It is also full of fiber to keep your hunger in control. Due to the high carb content, it makes for perfect bulking food. 

 

Muscle building foods veg

muscle building food vegetarian

 

Below is the list of best muscle building food for vegetarian. You can also check the  best vegetarian protein sources .

 

Beans

There are different types of beans that are good muscle building foods. Beans are versatile, inexpensive, and come in different varieties. Common varieties of Beans are black beans, pinto, and kidney beans.

They are a good source of protein, fiber, and many other valuable nutrients. Beans are rich in magnesium, iron, and B vitamins. Due to the high fiber content, they can keep you full for lovers and reduce hunger. Eating beans can also offer several health benefits. It can lower cholesterol levels, improve digestion and reduce the risk of heart attacks. 

Chickpeas

Chickens are also known as garbanzo beans. They are an excellent source of protein and complex carbs. The rich fiber in chickpeas promotes the feeling of fullness and keeps hunger in control. Chickpeas have all amino acids, except for methionine. But it can still be a good muscle-building food when mixed with other protein-rich beans. There are many ways you can add chickpeas into your muscle building diet. Add to salad, soup, and stews, roast it for a tasty snack, grind it into pasta, and much more.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat, being rich in protein makes it an awesome vegetarian muscle building food. Half a cup (60g) of buckwheat can provide around 8g of protein. It is also a good source of iron, fiber, magnesium, and other minerals. Buckwheat is a diabetic-friendly food as it keeps blood sugar and cholesterol level in check. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14640572/

Besides It has a high amount of vitamin B as well. All these vitamins and minerals can help you stay healthy and support muscle building exercise. 

Tofu

If you are a vegetarian, tofu can be a great muscle building food for you. It is made by curdling say milk and pressing it into a solid white block. It provides all nine essential amino acids needed for the normal functioning of the body. Per 100g tofu contains around 12.68g of protein. It is also rich in calcium, iron, and many other valuable minerals such as magnesium. Tofu has different textures and can be cooked in many different ways. Firm tofu can be cooked or grilled. While soft tofu is best when used in shakes, dips, and salad.

Soybeans 

Soybeans are the best muscle building food for vegetarians. Half a cup of soybeans contains 14g of protein along with healthy fats and fiber. It belongs to the legume family of vegetables and is known for its high-quality protein. It is one of the plant-based foods that contains all essential amino acids. Soybeans are also a good source of fiber and antioxidants. You can find various soy-based products as well such as soymilk, tofu, and tempeh. Soybeans are particularly rich in vitamin K, iron, and phosphorus. People who follow a plant-based diet can benefit from the rich protein content of soybeans. It also offers some additional health benefits such as lower blood pressure and strong bone.

Foods to avoid when building muscle

food to avoid when building muscle

Alcohol 

Alcohol contains energy in the form of calories. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25780952/  When your body receives more energy than it needs, it stores the energy as fat and results in obesity. An average drinker consumes 2000 extra calories every month. Quitting alcohol can curb your food cravings and lower your calorie intake. Heavy drinking is also linked with an increased risk of liver disease and cancer. You should avoid alcohol when building muscle.

Potato chips

Fried chips are one of the most popular snacking options. They are readily available and almost impossible to resist. But these chips come with concentrated fat and a high amount of salt to enhance the flavor. They have zero nutrient value as they lose their vitamins and minerals when fried. Continuous consumption of fried chips will hinder your weight-loss efforts. They can also raise the cholesterol level in your body and increase the risk of many heart diseases. 

Ice cream

Ice creams contain a high amount of calories and saturated fat. A half-cup serving of ice cream may consist of 250 calories and 9 grams of fat. Most ice creams come with loaded sugar that can be unhealthy. Greek yogurt and homemade ice cream with a moderate amount of sugar can be a better alternative. It is important to be mindful of the amount as it is very easy to consume too much ice cream.  

Fast food

You should avoid all types of fast food when building muscle. It can be hamburgers, pizza, hotdogs, or ready-to-eat meat. These processed junk foods have saturated fat and high calories. They also contain other unhealthy ingredients such as refined flour and processed meat. Regular consumption of fast food can lead to obesity and long-term health issue.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6146358/

 Muscle gain diet plan 

When trying to build muscle, planning the right muscle gain diet plan is very crucial. You need to eat more calories than your body needs. This will allow you to get into a calorie surplus. Being in calorie surplus combined with resistance training can result in muscle growth. Ensure that the calories you consume come from healthy sources. 

Macronutrients play a major role in muscle building diet. You need to focus on getting enough quality protein from your diet. Protein supports muscle growth and prevents breakdown during exercise. Besides that, your muscle-building diet plan should have carbs, fat, and other nutrients. A balanced diet supports your efforts in the gym and allows effective performance. 

Numerous foods can help you build muscle. You need to focus on getting the ones that are healthy and fulfill your nutrition needs. While protein is an important component in building muscle, carbs and fat can not be looked away. Your body needs a regular supply of balanced nutrition to function. To reach the goal of your muscle gain diet plan, focus on regular exercise along with the right diet. Remember, your muscles need time to rest so that they can grow. Building muscle is a long process that requires patience and consistency. With the right mindset and strategy, muscle gain can become super easy. 

 

High protein diet plan for muscle gain

It’s important to follow a proper high protein diet plan for muscle gain. Protein is a key component of your muscle building process. Protein gives you enough power required by your body to repair damaged muscle tissues. Hence, your muscle gain diet plan should contain plenty of protein. It can help you in steady recovery from exercise as well as maintain muscle mass. Bodybuilders need around two to three grams of protein per kg of body weight each day. To reach that goal, add foods rich in amino acids into your high protein diet plan. Add foods such as meat, chicken, eggs, whey protein, and other complete protein sources. Grains and beans are great vegetarian bodybuilding foods you can eat. You can also add supplements to your high protein diet for muscle gain. Whey protein and BCAA are great supplements to boost your muscle gain result.

Muscle Building food Questions 

What foods are bad for muscle growth?

Foods that are bad for muscle growth include alcohol, ice cream, highly processed food, soda, and bagel. Foods that contain artificial sweeteners and unhealthy fat are also fat for muscle growth. 

Which fruit is best for muscle gain?

Banana, watermelon, kiwi, avocado, blueberries are some fruits best for muscle gain. 

How much should I eat to build muscle?

To build muscle, consume more calories than need by your body to maintain weight. Your diet must be high in protein. You should consume between 2.3 to 3.1g of protein per kilogram of your body weight.  

How many eggs should I eat per day to gain muscle?

You can eat 3-4 eggs per day to gain muscle. Eggs are a rich source of quality protein and vitamin B that helps you gain muscle. In addition to eating eggs, Include other protein sources into the diet like chicken and why protein. 

Are bananas good for muscle growth?

Yes, bananas are good for muscle growth. They are rich in carb, which helps you regulate muscle glycogen level and prevent breakdown. They are also a great source of potassium. Bananas are best to eat in the morning before a workout. 

Is milk good for muscle growth?

Yes, milk is good for muscle growth. They are a good source of protein. Milk also offers calcium which is essential to maintain healthy bone.  

How quickly do muscles grow?

How quickly your muscle growth will depend on your training and diet. Beginners may take six weeks to see any noticeable muscle growth. More advanced trainers can expect results within 6-8 weeks depending on their training. 

Is it better to lift heavy to build muscle?

Yes, lifting heavy weight helps you build muscle. Heavy lifts lead to muscle tension which enhances the number and size of muscle cells. In addition to heavy lifts, your muscles also require adequate time to recover. 

What exercises can I do every day?

You can resistance exercises such as weight lifting every day to build muscle. Hight intensity interval training(HIIT) is also effective to lose fat and increase muscle mass. 

How can I eat 3000 calories a day?

To eat 3000 calories a day, you need to include high calorie foods. These include nuts, meat, fatty fish, healthy fats. You can also include Healthy Shake to boost your caloric intake. Here is a list of  15 Ultimate Muscle Building Shakes

What foods are high in protein?

Foods that are high in protein include chicken, beef, eggs, soybean, fatty fish, pork, and red meat. Lentils, chickpeas, beans, buckwheat are some good vegetarian foods that are high in protein. You can also include Protein Shakes to boost Your protein intake. Here is a list of  best whey proteins

Can I eat 4 eggs a day?

Yes, you can eat 4 eggs a day to meet your protein demand. But yolk contains saturated fat that may affect blood cholesterol in some people. Hence, if you regularly keep your cholesterol in check, eating 4 eggs is fine.

Are 2 eggs a day enough protein?

Eating two eggs can provide you quality protein. But to meet your protein requirement, include other protein sources into your diet such as chicken and a Whey protein shake.  

Can we eat 5 eggs a day?

Yes, you can eat 5 eggs a day if you are a healthy adult and exercise daily. 5 eggs per day are safe as long as you regularly monitor your cholesterol level.

Is 15 min exercise a day enough?

15 mins exercise a day is enough if you perform with the right intensity. You can try HIIT exercise to stimulate fat loss and increase muscle.

How many push-ups a day is good?

There is no restriction on the number of push-ups a person can do. An average person can do from 50 to 100 push-ups to maintain upper body composition. You can always aim to do more than that over time. 

What are the 5 basic exercises?

Bench press, pull-up, deadlift, Squat and planks are 5 basic exercises to build muscle. 

Is it easier to rebuild lost muscle?

Yes, it is easier to rebuild a lost muscle than to gain a new one. It is because nuclei cells gained during exercise remain in your muscle. This helps regain the lost muscle easily. 

Can you build muscle in 30 mins a day?

Yes, you can build muscle in 30 mins a day if you are consistent and eat right. Weight training for 30 mins 4-5 days a week is enough to see growth in muscles. 

Can you feel when your muscles are growing?

Yes, when your muscles are growing, you can feel it. You will feel more active and energetic. Your ability to perform and lift heavy weights will also increase over time.

 

Muscle Building Food Summary

If you are trying to build muscle, exercise is only half of the equation. You need to have the right muscle building food on your plate. Numerous foods can help you build muscle. You need to focus on getting the ones that are healthy and fulfill your nutrition needs. While protein is an important component in building muscle, you can not ignore the carbs and fat. Your body needs a regular supply of balanced nutrition to function. To reach your muscle building goal, focus on regular exercise along with the right diet. Remember, your muscles need time to rest so that they can grow. Building muscle is a long process that requires patience and consistency. With the right mindset and strategy, muscle gain can become super easy. 



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Comments 2

  1. JamesKip
    April 23, 2020

    Appreciate it! It a astounding web site.

    1. Aditya Shrivastava
      July 10, 2021

      Thanks James 🙂

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