Ten Of The Best Foods For Insane Muscle Growth
So you want to bulk up. You’ve got all the weights, all the fancy new equipment and your first legal steroid stack from Flexx Labs. But what about food, where do you start? There’s food in the fridge, but what kinds of food are the right ones? Here’s a rundown of the ten best muscle building foods. Some of them will surprise you, while others will leave you salivating and dreaming of all the delicious ways you can prepare them. Remember, bulking happens in the kitchen as well as the gym..
When you think protein, you think meat. You want to focus on lean meats with lots of protein and little fat. Meats like lean beef and chicken. These meats are full of good proteins and nutrients like iron, zinc, and b-vitamins. There are also many ways to cook these meats, from grilling to barbecue to rotisserie style. Another kind of meat is fish, particularly tuna or salmon. These are high in protein but also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which increase fat loss and can also improve your metabolism.
Check out this awesome recipe for bodybuilding Salmon patty burgers:
Lentils are the unsung heroes of bulking. One cup of lentils contains 50g of protein, 115g of carbs and 59g of dietary fibre, that’s more than twice the daily amount of fibre you need. They are dirt cheap and can be bought by the sack in any good whole foods shop. They can also be a part of lots of meals from stews and casseroles to daal (a spicy lentil soup) and lentil burgers. There’s little to no fat in lentils and they come in many colourful varieties. Soak them overnight and then boil them for an easy, healthy and delicious force multiplier.
If you’re a vegetarian, or just want a wide variety of both animal and plant-based sources of protein, then you can’t go wrong with soy. Most people have heard of tofu and soy milk, the two most popular soy products. But tempeh is becoming a watchword in bulking circles. While tofu is made by curdling fresh soy milk, tempeh is made by fermenting the whole soybean in a mold, producing a dry, brown chewy product with a deliciously earthy taste. It has 50% more protein than soy, as well as more dietary fibre and a host of nutrients including manganese, copper, vitamin B2 and magnesium. If you haven’t tried it you should.
Milk and dairy products are high in protein, good fats, vitamin C and other nutrients. However, I would lay off cheeses which are high in trans fats, which includes most of them. Live, full fat cottage cheese is mostly protein and contains healthy bacterial cultures that will keep your gut flora working well, which if your upping your food consumption will be helpful. Also eat Greek yoghurt, but watch out for commercial yoghurts that are loaded with sugar. And remember to drink your milk!
Another good source of vegetable protein is seeds. They contain protein, carbs and good fats, as well as dietary elements such as iron and omega-3 fatty acids. You can sprinkle them over meals to add crunch, or eat them by the handful as a snack and to get a boost of energy. The healthiest seeds include hempseed, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. Seeds are known to lower your body’s cholesterol when eaten as part of a healthy diet, so make sure they’re an addition to your kitchen.
The gladiators of Ancient Rome, the original bulkers, famously stuck to a vegan diet consisting of barley and other grains. They’re known for containing slow-releasing carbohydrates to keep you going throughout the day, but they also contain considerable amounts of protein. Stick to whole grains as opposed to refined grains to get the maximum nutritional benefit of these dietary staples. Oats, pearl barley, rice and quinoa pack a nutritional punch, and can be made into all kinds of delicious meals, from bread to flapjacks and risottos. We tend to only stick to wheat when it comes to grains, to our detriment. But a varied and balanced diet of wholegrains contributes to muscle production and general fitness.
Eggs are great for protein. While the popular opinion about cholesterol in eggs changes from time to time, the benefits of eggs have been known all along. They are full of protein and vitamins with relatively little fat. You don’t just have to eat hen’s eggs, there are lots of different varieties such as duck, goose, pheasant or if you’re really hungry, emu. Eggs can also be cooked a number of different ways, the healthiest being poached, boiled, scrambled or in a frittata.
Check out this great little recipe for bodybuilding bacon and egg breakfast muffins:
You might feel that protein shakes are kind of cheating, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! You can have a protein shake with fruits or vegetables to get extra nutrition. You can use different sources of protein for the shake, including whey, soy, pea, egg or rice protein. Find a good recipe for a protein shake that you’ll like, and you can gain without thinking about it. Everyone likes a good shake or smoothie, so why not use this as an excuse to make them at home?
Nuts might be small, but they pack a punch. Thy are full of protein, fibre and good fats and oils. An ounce of cashews or almonds contain 150-170 calories. You can eat them as a snack or as part of a meal. You can also dry fry them in a pan for a few seconds to release the flavours. Do you really need much of a reason to eat more nuts? So what the hey, go nuts!
The legume family includes beans, chickpeas and pulses. They really are the magical fruit, at least in terms of gaining muscle. Filled with nutrients, fibres and proteins, legumes are the densest sources of fuel on the planet. If you’re working with dried beans, soak them overnight and throw away the water. Then cook them in water until they’re soft and throw away the water, as some beans contain cyanide that cooking leeches out of them.