Ten foods to support muscle growth
Nutrition constitutes a key part of reaching your fitness goals. Building muscle may start with strength training, but it also requires an adequate diet. As a general guideline, foods that are high in protein are essential to support the protein synthesis (muscle building process) post-workout. Additionally, quality carbs are necessary to replenish glycogen and prevent fatigue. In this blog, we list 10 foods you can include in your diet to support muscle growth.
1. Lean Beef
Beef is a staple in the world of muscle growth. It contains a high amount of quality proteins such as essential amino acids and creatine. These do not only help build muscle after a workout, but they also help prevent age-related muscle breakdown. Beef also contains iron and zinc, which are conducive to muscle gain.
2. Lean Poultry
Lean poultry such as skinless chicken and turkey are also great for muscle growth. As for beef, poultry contains high quality proteins that are essential for muscle maintenance and growth. Additionally, poultry contains less fat than beef and is a highly versatile ingredient. You can even opt for deli meats, however you should ensure that you opt for extra lean, low-sodium options.
3. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is packed with casein, which is a slow-digesting dairy protein. It also contains live cultures, which help the digestive system absorb all the essential nutrients needed to support muscle gain. Cottage cheese also constitutes a good source of calcium, which is essential to maintain healthy bones.
Eggs contain high-quality proteins and essential amino acids. Eggs are particularly high in leucine, which is critical for muscle repair and protein synthesis. Additionally, eggs contain healthy fats and healthy nutrients including vitamins A, D, and E.
Nuts are the perfect blend of fibre, fat and protein. They are a convenient snack that can be had on the go and can provide extra high-quality calories. As muscle building often requires a higher amount of calories in your diet, nuts are a great option to make up the added intake.
6. Whey protein
Whey protein is a convenient and affordable option to increase your protein intake. They can be used as part of a meal or simply in protein shakes. Bodybuilders typically use protein shakes before and after exercise for optimum muscle growth.
Salmon contains high-quality proteins and long-chain omega-3 fats such as DHA and EPA. These types of healthy fatty acids inhibit muscle breakdown and increase the anabolic capacity of amino acids. They are also essential to support heart health.
Lentils contain a substantial 18 grams of protein per cup. They are a great muscle-building ingredient for vegans and vegetarians. They are versatile and convenient as they can be added to a lot of different dishes and have a long shelf life.
Quinoa is one of the rare ingredients containing all nine essential amino acids, which are critical for muscle gain. 100g of quinoa contains approximately 5g of protein. It is a great food swap to replace starchier grains in your diet.
Buckwheat is a versatile ingredient that can be used as a grain or as flour. It is closely related to quinoa and provides a huge 22.5g of protein per cup. It is a great ingredient to add to plant-based diets and can be used in recipes such as protein pancakes.