When it comes to making “top ten” lists regarding muscle building foods, I’m not exactly the biggest advocate. I will say, though, that there ARE certain foods you should be eating, and certain TIMES you should do so. It’s not as cut and dry as just knowing WHAT muscle building foods to eat. Knowing WHEN to eat them is EVERY BIT as important! Contrary to what some believe, it’s not all about JUST cutting carbohydrates, or JUST cutting fat. It’s not even about how much protein you can stuff yourself with in a day – it ALL plays a part.
For starters, let’s examine a few muscle building foods you’ll want in your home.
First, there’s yogurt. This easily digestible dairy source is full of protein. It has the healthy cultures to promote proper amounts of certain necessary bacteria in your system to help digest all your daily intake. To be honest, I really feel that yogurt is nearly a REQUIREMENT in the way of muscle building foods. Whether with fresh blueberries, strawberries, or such, it’s GREAT for breakfast. It even makes a healthy snack alternative if you “just gotta have” something late at night. Need something sweet? Try yogurt instead of that fattening ice cream.
Next are eggs. When it comes to the breakdown ratio of protein into the body, there’s NO GREATER natural source on earth! Eggs are simply one of those muscle building foods you NEED! Scramble them up for a very quick, easy breakfast PACKED with protein. Four to six eggs will do. Throw in some sweet or hot peppers, onions, or even some broccoli is good. It’s rather amazing that, for the amount of protein you get, the fat content is right about where it should be. The body needs some fat to make foods absorb more gradually, thereby eliminating drastic blood glucose elevations.
Chicken is the another of the great muscle building foods. Lean beef steak or other meats can be substituted occasionally, but chicken breast wins in this section. For one thing, boneless skinless chicken can be incorporated into SO MANY different meals, you really can’t afford NOT to have it on hand. Chicken fajitas as just about as good as it gets. For all-around muscle building foods, this Mexican favorite has EVERYTHING you need.
Rich carbs from such sources as yams, rice, oatmeal, and potatoes are also included. Stop listening to people saying, “all carbs are bad!” These sources actually provide essential nutrients that make protein do its job better. Without adequate carbohydrates, your system with not utilize protein as a building block, but rather it will be wasted basically as a source for your body’s fuel. This means you’re spending WAY more money on protein just for daily energy, when that’s the carb’s job! If you’re very thin, and build muscle slowly, carbs are EVEN MORE vital. I regularly remind the skinny guys to UP THE CARBS significantly if they truly wish to put on some solid, lean muscle mass.
Here’s a GREAT rule to follow. Consume NO fat immediately following your workout, but DO eat simple carbohydrates.
Basically, post-workout is the time for carbs that break down quickly. Remember, do NOT eat or drink fatty foods following your workout. As previously mentioned, fat slows absorption of vital nutrients into your muscles. So, you obviously you would do well to eat foods that break down faster at this critical time.
You still need fat, but you’ll get it at OTHER times of the day.
Consume moderate amounts of fat throughout the day, NOT following your workout. With the swift breakdown of nutrients from nonfat foods, however, there is one downfall to be mindful of. Your system can take in more nutrient than can be processed. This can lead to that high sugar “rush” (elevated blood glucose), which ultimately results in a sudden and dramatic loss of energy. Proper fat intake at proper times of the day can help you avoid this. More essential nutrients will be absorbed into your body, giving it just what it needs, due to this consistent intake of fat.
Of course, WAY too many muscle building foods – really GOOD ones – exist to list them all, but this will certainly get you off on the right path!