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10 Foods to Help You Gain Muscle Mass

Making sure that you build up your muscle mass means more than just putting in time at the gym. To really bulk up and enhance your physical strength, you also need to be making all the right moves in the kitchen. Diet and nutrition are essential parts of the process of gaining lean muscle. Including the right foods to gain muscle in your diet will help you to support your body before, during, and after your workouts.

In addition to maintaining a diet based on muscle-building foods, many people augment their exercise routines by taking supplements that support muscle growth.* The Orphic Nutrition Nitric Oxide/L-Arginine Supplements contain amino acids like L-Arginine, L-Citrulline, and Beta-Alanine that provide excellent support for muscles and can help you make the most of your workouts.* 

If you are super keen to get fitter and stronger, then keep reading to learn all about the best food for muscle growth!

Lean Beef

You can build bigger, stronger muscles by beefing up your diet. Lean beef contains a range of B vitamins, proteins, and minerals that can help you to stack on muscle. Studies have shown that when combined with weight training, eating lean beef is a great way to gain muscle. (1) Although regular beef cuts can be high in fat, lean beef has much less fat so make sure you always reach for the leaner cuts! 

Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a great meat to include in your diet if you are trying to build muscle. An average serving of chicken breast has around 25 grams of protein and contains the vitamins niacin and B6 both of which assist in muscle growth. (3)

Eggs

The hen house provides bodybuilders with more than just lean meat. Eggs are a great source of protein and contain B vitamins and amino acids that are essential for helping your body process energy and build muscle. (4) (5) 

Cottage Cheese

Featured on dull diet ingredient lists for decades, cottage cheese is actually a fantastic food that enhances muscle growth. High in a slow-acting protein called casein and the amino acid leucine, cottage cheese helps to sate the appetite while giving your muscles the support they need to grow. (6) (7)

Tofu

Finding a good source of muscle-enhancing protein can be difficult for vegans and vegetarians. Tofu is an excellent protein source and packed with nutrients and essential amino acids. (8) Soy protein has also been shown to be just as effective in repairing damage from exercise as whey protein. (9)

Beans and Lentils

Gym goers who are on plant-based diets should be picking plenty of pulses for their shopping carts! Lentils, chickpeas, and beans provide a huge hit of protein, have good levels of fiber and carbohydrates, and are high in magnesium, which has been shown to improve stamina and performance. (10) 

Whey Protein

When you just can’t find the time to keep up with the cooking, whey protein powder can provide you with a quick and easy way to support muscle building. Whey has high amounts of proteins like beta-lactoglobulin and alpha-lactalbumin as well as high levels of casein. (11) Combined with resistance training, whey proteins are a great way to build muscle. (12)  

Fish

Adding more fish to your diet will help you find your way to muscle growth. Fish that have high oil content like salmon or tuna are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to provide excellent support for your muscles. (13) 

Whole Grains

Bread, brown rice, and other foods containing whole grains can help your body to retain energy and encourage weight loss. (14) Whole grains are great sources of carbohydrates and fiber and nutrients such as potassium, selenium, and magnesium.

Quinoa

A traditional food across South America, quinoa has become popular throughout the world as a super grain that is full of fiber, carbohydrates, antioxidants, and amino acids. (15) Quinoa also has loads of magnesium, which helps support muscle and nerve function. (16) 

Sources

1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24477043/

2 https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/6189/2

3 https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/703/2

4 https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/111/2

5 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26828517/

6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2039733/

7 https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173417/nutrients

8 https://www.verywellfit.com/tofu-nutrition-facts-calories-and-health-benefits-4113988

9 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33726784/

10 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28846654/

11 https://tools.myfooddata.com/nutrition-facts/171283/wt2

12 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31337204/

13 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25285409/

14 https://academic.oup.com/cdn/article/5/11/nzab121/6375412

15 https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10352/2

16 https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/