What are the best foods to gain muscle? I wrote a few posts last week that were about how to gain muscle and how to do workouts to gain muscle.
One of the things that I kind of glossed over were the foods that you need to eat to gain muscle. Lots of this may just be a recap for lots of people but it is important to know what foods help you gain muscle and what your diet should look like.
Foods to Gain Muscle – Protein
The building block of all muscles is a combination of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and water. If you look at that as part of your diet then you need to eat lots of protein. Here I want to stress lean protein, you know fish, chicken, lean beef, not Kentucky Fried Chicken or deep fried fish.
The amount of protein that you need is about 0.5 grams of protein a day per pound of body.
This is a very contentious issue in bodybuilding circles but unless you are lifting very hard and taking muscle stimulants (steroids) then your body really does not need more protein than this.
Come back and ask again as you train for your first Mr Olympia.
So directly meats are the best foods to gain muscle.
Foods to Gain Muscle – Carbohydrates
To get that hard earned muscle you need to take in lots of carbohydrates. Even if protein is the building blocks of muscle, carbohydrates are the foods to gain muscle for energy.
Your body needs carbohydrates as an energy source and I really believe that fruits and vegetables as opposed to excessive breads and potatoes and rice are the way to go.
Everything in moderation I guess but I find that if you are eating more vegetables and fruit you are going to get more nutrients at the same time.
Your body breaks down carbohydrates into energy and in it’s basic form energy is created from glycogen. So whether you eat a piece of toast, oatmeal, apple, rice or broccoli, your body will eventually turn it into glycogen and then use it for energy.
What does not get used get stored for later in your muscles cells and when your muscle cells are saturated with glycogen then you will store the rest as fat for later.
So carbohydrates are the energy foods to gain muscle.
Why Bodybuilders Are Fat
So what happens if you do not eat enough of those foods to gain muscle, carbohydrates and then workout? Well your body when starved will take in energy by breaking does the fat that it can find and the muscle that is available so you have to be careful to not undereat or you will lose that hard fought muscle mass.
This then is the battle of all people that are trying to gain muscle so most bodybuilders in the off season will allow themselves to gain a bit of fat so that they know that they are easily taking in foods to gain muscle and that their body is not breaking down.
During a precontest phase for 12 weeks or so a bodybuilder will raise the amount of protein in their diet and then start doing extra cardio to burn off fat. The trouble is, and the already know this, is that during and aggressive loss phase you will lose muscle along with fat as your body breaks down both for energy.
What About Eating Fats?
Fats are a necessary evil in your system. Actually, some fats are an essential foods to gain muscle.
There are nutrients in fats but mostly your body will not be able to break down most fat into glycogen as it is far easier to have your body break down carbs and protein into glycogen instead.
So your body just stores that fat as fat after partially breaking it down.
So now you know all the basics of what you need to eat and why and you should also be able to figure out what kinds of foods are making you fat as well as the foods to gain muscle.
Remember, protein is the building block of muscle so make sure that you are taking enough in or your body will not be able to heal and build the muscle that is going to increase your metabolic furnace.
So What Does This All Mean For Foods To Gain Muscle?
Foods to gain muscle as you can see are all kinds of foods but it is critical to eat lots of them as well as to make sure that your body is getting all nutrients so that there are no stumbling blocks of missing foods to gain muscle.