In order to get big, you have to eat big. Yep, you read that right. Eat. More. Food. There is no pill, powder or magic shake that will help you add bulk to your brawn. In fact, most trainers and bodybuilders out there would say that they’d rather miss a day of training than miss a meal. Muscle building is just as much about what you do with your body as it is what you put in your body, which means you have to be 100% committed to both a workout plan and a nutritional plan full of protein. So get a plate and fork ready, and take a stab at a few of these muscle morphing foodsRemember back in the 90’s that Era Plus commercial that said “Protein gets out protein?” Well, guess what? Protein also builds protein. Make sure to add these foods to your meal plan, but remember that you’ll need to tailor how much protein to eat and when to eat it. You’ll also want to contact your doctor before starting a diet higher in protein because there are some things to consider.
- Cottage cheese: This is rich in casein protein, meaning slow to digest, so it’s a good one to eat before bed to protect your body from using your muscle as an energy source.
- Eggs: Also known as the “perfect protein” because it’s made up of nine amino acids (works with insulin to promote muscle growth), choline, vitamin D and the right kind of fat.
- Skinless chicken and lean beef: Both are high-quality proteins full of B vitamins, iron and zinc. Choose grass-fed beef when possible for higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
- Fish and tuna: Also high in protein and full of omega-3 fatty acids which play a role in losing fat.
- Quinoa: A complete protein that is also a slow-digesting carb.
- Milk: Go organic here as some studies have shown this protein to contain about 70 percent more omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic milk. Your best bet, however, is raw milk.
And here are a few that might surprise you…or not:
- Oranges: Eat before workouts to boost muscle growth.
- Wonky Pixy Stix: Say what?
- Cantaloupe: This fruit is actually a low-fructose, fast-digesting carb, so eat it in the morning or after a workout.
- Beets: In addition to improving muscle strength, beets can enhance energy and help with liver and joint repair.
- Brown rice: Helps to boost growth hormone levels which paves the way for lean muscle growth.
But what if I don’t want to bulk up?
If building muscle isn’t your think, check out our blog on what to eat to build speed and endurance or just a couple of healthy alternatives for traditional holiday meals. Happy eating!