You’ll have to spend hours in the gym to build muscles, and you have to eat the right muscle building foods, too. Your muscle mass is growing, that’s why you need more calories and nourishment. You need to feed yourself well, too to sustain your changing levels of activity. If you’re planning to make muscle building a lifestyle, consult a health professional, dietitian or fitness trainer first to avoid complications. Now, what muscle building foods should you eat to build lean muscles?
Add more protein to your diet. What’s the rule of thumb for eating protein for muscle building? Calculate by starting with your body weight. Eat 1 to 1.5 in grams of protein basing on your body weight in pounds. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll need to eat 150- 225 grams of protein every day. If you’re a full time bodybuilder, you can eat 2- 3 times of your body weight of protein in grams. That would be overkill for most people. What about if you’re overweight? Use your ideal body weight to calculate your protein intake. What are ideal muscle building protein foods?
- Red meat (lamb, pork, beef, bison, venison, etc.)
- Fish (trout, salmon, bass, swordfish, mackerel, etc.)
- Poultry breast (turkey, chicken, duck, etc.)
- Eggs, particularly egg whites because the yolk is high in cholesterol. But you can take one or two egg yolks a day.
- Dairy (cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.)
Learn how complete protein is different from incomplete protein. You need to eat more complete proteins if you want to build muscles. Complete proteins are found in fish, meat, eggs, milk, cheese and other animal products. Basically, you’ll know that it is a source of complete protein if it is a product of something that bleeds or breathes. You can still be a vegetarian muscle builder anyhow because there are non-animal sources of complete proteins as well. Some vegetarian complete proteins are:
- Legumes or beans with rice
Eat foods that score high in Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid. How the body digests different proteins according to the solubility of the amino acids found in the protein is measured by the PDCAAS. It refers to the grading of the protein with 1 as the highest score, while the lowest score is 0. Here is a list of PDCAAS of common proteins:
- 0.4 for whole wheat
- 0.5 for cereals and derivatives
- 0.7 for vegetables, chickpeas, black beans, fruits and other legumes
- 0.9 for beef and soybeans
- 1.00 for casein, whey, egg white and soy protein
Include carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet for energy. Your body needs to tap into the energy stores in your muscles when you’re working out, and you need carbohydrates to do this. Otherwise, your muscles will break because you don’t have enough energy reserve. If you’re serious in muscle building, your diet should contain 40% to 60% of carbohydrates which is equal to 1500 calories every day. Choose carbs that have low glycemic index, such as:
- Sweet potato
- Brown Basmati Rice
- Rolled oats
- Wholemeal spaghetti
- Wholemeal rye bread
These are some tips about what to eat for your muscle building diet. With the right muscle building foods and routine, you can build lean muscles and look buff, fit and healthy for your active lifestyle.