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  • Writer's pictureHeather

5 Foods To Help You Build Muscle Mass (Not Protein Shakes)

Building lean muscle and getting in shape is a combination of exercise and nutrition. Too many people get caught up in the process of working out that they forget that a healthy, balanced is also essential to muscle development.

Ideally, a person focuses on receiving adequate vitamins and minerals, including protein, from a well-planned diet. It takes more than protein to build muscle. While high-protein foods are essential, carbohydrates and fats are also vital muscle-gaining foods. For a lean muscle-building diet, nutritionists recommend including several foods in your diet.

1. Chicken Breast

Most bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts will recognize chicken as a staple for muscle gain. A single serving of chicken contains over 25 grams of high-quality protein. Also, it contains essential B vitamins, niacin, and B6, for an active lifestyle.

The vitamins in chicken help the body function during exercise and other activities for optimal muscle gain. Also, some research suggests that high-protein diets that include chicken can help with fat loss.

2. Salmon

Salmon is an excellent choice for any healthy diet, but it is also beneficial for muscle building. A single serving of salmon, about 3 ounces, contains a whopping 17 grams of protein. It also contains essential B vitamins.

Salmon is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats or polyunsaturated fats. According to research, omega-3s contribute to muscular health and can increase muscle gain.

3. Eggs and Dairy

Eggs and several dairy products play a critical role in health and muscle development. Fitness enthusiasts will probably experience the most benefit from specific items, including:

  • Eggs

  • Cottage cheese

  • Greek yogurt

Eggs contain protein, healthy fats, B vitamins, and choline. They also have the amino acid leucine, which is vital to muscle growth.

Cottage cheese is also a significant source of protein, containing about 28 grams in a single cup. It also contains leucine for muscle development.

According to studies, Greek yogurt contains fast and slow digesting proteins, which can increase lean muscle mass. Some research also suggests that eating Greek yogurt post-workout and before bed is beneficial.

4. Lean Beef

Too many people try to eliminate red meat from their diets, but beef contains many beneficial nutrients. The key to including red meat in a diet geared toward muscle gain is to choose leaner options.

A 95% lean serving of ground beef is a significant source of protein and only contains about 150 calories and 6 grams of fat. Evidence supports the idea that lean red meat can improve weight training efforts, increasing lean muscle mass.

5. Lean Jerky

Everyone loves to have a snack on the go, even on the way to the gym. Lean jerky is an excellent option for in-between or on-the-go meals. While nutrition facts vary based on the specific sources of animal protein used in the snack, the quality of protein in lean jerky is high, and consuming animal-based protein helps stimulate muscle growth.

Building muscle is not just about going to the gym and putting in the reps; it is also about structuring a balanced and nutritious diet. Therefore, before you go to the gym or when you get home, make a healthy protein and vitamin-rich meal.


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