To gain mass and build muscle, your diet needs to be in check. We’ve put together this list of healthy foods to help you build muscle and burn fat. Use this list of muscle-building foods the next time you’re in need of groceries. Just remember: Diet is just one part of the equation. You should also be working out regularly and taking the right men’s sports nutrition supplements to maximize muscle growth.
1. Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a muscle-building food that should be a staple of any muscle-building diet. Greek yogurt packs twice as much protein as regular yogurt, making it an ideal food to build muscle and boost your protein intake. You can eat it plain or throw in some fruit to add some flavor – Greek yogurt on its own has a very tart flavor. Although it is more expensive than regular yogurt, it can usually be found on sale. “The Benefits of Protein for Men” further stresses the importance of boosting your protein intake.
2. Beef: Beef usually gets cast in a negative light when mentioned in protein discussions. Although it is a significant source of protein and conjugated linoleic acid, it tends to have more fat than chicken and other lean meats with comparable amounts of protein. That doesn’t mean you can’t have it on occasion. Moderation is key when dealing with this high-protein food to build muscle. Having 1-2 servings a week is a good way to boost your protein intake and build muscle; you may also want to consider a CLA supplement for men to further encourage lean muscle growth. An omega-3 supplement may also help compensate for the saturated fat in beef. “5 High-Protein Foods for Men” lists other foods that contain significant amounts of protein.
3. Whey Protein: One of the most fastest-absorbing proteins available, whey can help build muscle and fill you up. Whey is naturally found in dairy products alongside casein, a protein that absorbs more slowly than whey. For maximum absorption, consider a men’s whey protein powder with micronized leucine for best results. A men’s whey protein powder can significantly boost your protein intake with minimal calories and fat. Because of its high protein content, a whey protein shake can also promote satiety and prevent oversnacking – and weight gain. For more about whey protein, check out “What is a Men’s Whey Protein Supplement?”
4. Coffee: We know what you’re thinking: How can coffee help me build muscle? It doesn’t – at least not directly. The caffeine in coffee can increase your energy and kick-start your metabolism, giving your body an extra boost throughout the day and during workouts. Coffee, however, lacks certain nutrients like protein and amino acids that properly prime your body for intense workouts. If you work out regularly, you’re better off with a men’s pre-workout supplement that’s specifically designed to increase exercise performance. Still, an occasional cup of Joe doesn’t hurt – black coffee only contains around 5 calories per cup and is a good pick-me-up in the morning. “What is a Pre-Workout Supplement for Men?” explains the importance of pre-workout supplements for men in greater detail.
5. Cottage Cheese: If yogurt isn’t your thing, cottage cheese is a great alternative. Cottage cheese packs a protein punch that’s perfect if you’re always on the go. If you decide to go the cottage cheese route, stick to the low-fat and low-sodium kinds – regular cottage cheese is high in sodium. Just like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese can be eaten on its own or with fruit. You may even want to add some whey protein powder in it for more flavor and protein.