The Top Foods for Building Lean Muscle

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One of the most common reasons people want to build muscle is for bulking up and improving their strength and physique. However, you may not realize that increasing your lean muscle mass is also beneficial for weight management. When you increase your muscle mass, your body burns more calories while resting. Over time, this will help you lose weight and keep it off.

As you get older, maintaining muscle mass is also beneficial. Starting at age 30, you lose approximately 10% of your muscle mass per decade, which increases to 15% after 50. Sarcopenia is the official name for a loss of muscle mass, and is related to several negative health conditions, like poor quality of life, certain diseases, and an increased risk of falling.

When working to gain lean muscle, you must consume enough protein after working out and throughout the day. For muscle building, eating the right foods matters. Some of the top foods to eat to help build lean muscle can be found below.

Whole Grains

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Whole grains digest faster and offer more nutrients than refined grains. This helps you sustain energy levels throughout the day and improves your health. Brown rice can help boost growth hormone levels, which is important for lean muscle growth, strength gains, and fat loss. If you need ideas for eating more rice, consider visiting this site, here you can find several helpful recipes and ideas for adding more rice to your diet.

Lean Beef

Lean beef is an important food to eat to gain muscle mass. It is full of elements that help with muscle growth, including B-vitamins, zinc, and iron. Even better, it provides high-quality protein to your body and a high level of amino acid that works alongside insulin to help with muscle growth.

If your goal is losing weight, you’ll be glad to learn that a three-ounce serving of lean beef offers the same amount of protein as 1.5 cups of beans with half the calories.

Eggs

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Eggs are full of healthy fats, protein, choline, and B vitamins. Since eggs have a large amount of leucine (an amino acid), they are beneficial for building muscle. B vitamins are also important for other processes in the body, including energy production.

Whey

Whey protein is a mix of proteins that occur in milk naturally, and it is a common ingredient in meal replacements and protein supplements. Whey has a high protein bioavailability score and is easy to digest compared to other proteins, such as casein. Combining whey protein with resistance exercises is proven to help increase muscle mass.

Skinless Chicken

Like lean beef, chicken is another good source of high-quality protein. It helps with muscle maintenance, repair, weight, and bone health.

Salmon

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If your goal is improving your overall health while building muscle, salmon is a great choice. Every three-ounce serving of salmon contains B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and 17 grams of protein. Omega-3 fatty acids help improve muscular health and can improve muscle gain while exercising.

Tofu

A top vegetarian source of protein is tofu. All proteins provide your body amino acid building blocks, which are necessary to form new muscles. However, some foods have a better amino acid profile than others.

Tofu provides you with essential amino acids that the body can’t produce naturally. In one study, it was found that soy protein is comparable to whey protein in helping to prevent muscle damage from exercising.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is almost completely made of casein protein. Casein is a slower digesting protein, which means it’s beneficial for muscle maintenance. It’s beneficial for anyone who must go long periods without eating. Eating cottage cheese also gives your body calcium, vitamin B12, and other essential nutrients.

Greek Yogurt

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Dairy contains plenty of protein, including both whey and casein. When trying to gain muscle mass, consuming a combination of these is recommended. However, not all dairy products are the same. For example, Greek yogurt contains double the protein that regular yogurt does. While eating Greek yogurt can be a healthy snack at any time, eating it after working out is especially beneficial.

Peas

Eating a cup of cooked green peas gives you almost nine grams of protein. A popular vegan protein source is pea protein powder. Combining pea protein with resistance training helped increase muscle thickness compared to training alone.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a good source of carbs because of its low glycemic index and is minimally processed. Following a low GI diet provides several benefits, including lower energy intake needed, reduced hunger, increased satiety, and more fiber. Eating low GI foods will help improve fat loss for anyone trying to lose weight and offer a constant source of carbs to help preserve muscles.

Tuna

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Along with 20 grams of protein for every three-ounce serving, tuna also includes high amounts of vitamin A and B vitamins, including B6, B12, and niacin. These nutrients are crucial for optimal health, exercise performance, and energy.

Tuna also provides large levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which also help support muscle health. This is especially beneficial for older adults, which can help slow down the loss of muscle mass and strength.

Milk

Milk is full of amino acids and is a perfect post-workout recovery drink. Milk is thought to be a better recovery aid after exercise than sports drinks. It helps increase muscle protein synthesis while reducing loss of function and soreness. It also helps to rehydrate the body well and replenish glycogen stores.

Fruits and Vegetables

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Fruits and veggies are rich in antioxidants, which are important for proper immune system function. They also offer other nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C. The fiber that fruits and vegetables provide helps with proper digestion and increased nutrient uptake.

Endnote

Building lean muscle is aided by certain foods. If your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, and build strength, be sure to keep the foods mentioned above in mind.