You may have decided to bulk up and build some muscle mass, but are you aware of how to effectively reach your fitness destination? According to popular opinion, rigorous weight-lifting based workouts are a core requirement for building muscle mass. Truth be told, the right nutrition is equally important when it comes to achieving your goal. Why is this so? Let’s briefly delve into the effects of weight lifting on your body.
The stress of lifting weights damages the muscle fibers, and to deal with this damage the body activates a recovery process. As the muscle starts to repair itself, the body demands a constant supply of protein which can only be met through the right dietary intake.
While protein is essential for the process of repair, carbs are just as important to replenish muscle glycogen reserves. Muscle reserves of energy-generating glucose are referred to as muscle glycogen. During the workout, your body utilizes these glycogen reserves to produce energy, and these reserves must be replenished with the right dietary carbs.
Are you ready to find out how you can train smart? The following ten foods will help you build muscle mass in a healthy and effective way.
Muscle Food # 1 Coffee
Coffee is an excellent source of caffeine which helps you lift weights for longer periods of time. A study published in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” found out that those who drank coffee before workouts were 9 percent more agile and performed longer as compared to those who didn’t have coffee. Experts also suggest that coffee can directly stimulate the muscles during strenuous physical exercise.
Muscle Food # 2 Almonds (Badaam)
Almonds are plant based foods that are loaded with proteins. Just ¼ cup of Almonds contains nearly 8 grams of protein, which is 2 grams more than that contained in an egg. Almonds are also rich in magnesium, and are involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. These two natural processes are essential for muscle bulking.
Muscle Food # 3 Cottage Cheese (Paneer)
This form of lumpy white cheese is made from skimmed milk. It has always been popular among bodybuilders because of its rich protein content. Just ½ cup of low fat cottage cheese supplies your body with 14 grams of protein, that too with a calorie count of only 80 calories. Cottage cheese is considered to be one of the best foods for muscle gain so be sure to include it in your regular diet!
Muscle Food # 4 Yogurt (Dahi)
Take around 250 grams (1 pau) of Yogurt and mix it with a banana for an instant protein energizer. If bananas don’t appeal to you can even make a chocolate smoothie. This delicious treat can supply you with up to 18 – 20 grams of protein for your muscle growth.
Muscle Food # 5 Chocolate Milk
It is no secret that milk is one of the best sources of protein. With chocolate milk you have the added benefit of antioxidants, which protect your body’s tissues, as well as carbohydrates and sugar which helps to replenish energy stores for your next workout. In addition, milk is a rich source of proteins and calcium. The former contributes to muscle repair and growth, while the latter strengthens the bones.
Muscle Food # 6 Lean Beef (without Fat)
Just 100 grams of lean beef will supply you with 27 grams of high quality protein. Keep in mind that you will also be consuming around 11 grams of fat and 200 calories, so be sure to exercise portion control. Beef also provides vitamin B-12, zinc and iron, all of which are important for muscle growth.
Muscle Food # 7 Water
Even a seemingly minute fluctuation of 1% in your internal water reserves can impair muscle performance and effect recovery. It is essential that during and after a workout, your muscles remain hydrated. Drink around 24 ounces (2 glasses) of water for every pound lost. Make sure you get an adequate amount of water in your body to prevent yourself from getting thirsty. The sensation of thirstiness is an indication that your cells do not have adequate water to perform their routine functions adequately.
Muscle Food # 8 Eggs
Eggs are quick and easy to prepare, and have always been considered as one of the best sources of protein. Each egg is loaded with 5-6 grams of protein with a calorie count of a mere 60 calories. Research has also established that egg protein is highly effective for rapid muscle growth.
Muscle Food # 9 Chicken
Chicken is a staple muscle building food. A 100 gram piece of chicken will supply you with a whopping 31 grams of protein, with just 4 grams of fat. An absolute superstar in terms of muscle building, chicken should always be included in your muscle gaining meals.
Muscle Food # 10 Fish Oil
When it comes to muscle building foods, fish cannot be ignored. Along with several other healthy nutrients, 100 grams of fish contains 20-25 grams of proteins. Fish oil is a concentrated source of all the goodness of fish. Apart from protein, it is also supplies the body with vitamin D, omega 5 and fatty acids. Fish oil can also contribute to fat reduction.
Make The Right Dietary Choice
As a well-informed fitness enthusiast, you can now plan out a well-balanced dietary schedule that complements your workout routine. Your muscles need the right nutrition to bulk up and cope with the stress of a rigorous training routine. Consult your fitness trainer if you want expert advice on the right dietary plan for your body type, physical fitness, and training level.