Are you trying to grow your muscles, but is going a little bit slow? Do you consume high-protein foods after a workout? Well, I did research on what’s the best high-protein foods for muscle building and also foods to avoid when building muscles.
To grow your muscles bigger, you need both physical activity and proper nutrition with high-protein foods. You can’t gain muscles without these two together. But also, there are foods to avoid when building muscles.
Here you will learn what to eat and the best 10 high-protein foods for muscle building and the top 10 foods to avoid when building muscles.
It’s really important to know what to eat before a workout and after workout. High-protein foods are very important for muscle building.
But why is important to eat high-protein foods?
Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. Your body also uses proteins to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Learn more about proteins.
So, after a workout, your muscles need proteins to grow and heal from the exercising. In order to do that, you need high-protein foods that will help you gain muscle fast.
How many proteins you need daily?
It’s considered that 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight should be taken daily. In pregnant women, 6 grams of protein should be added, and in infants – 17 of grams proteins with high biological value (eggs, milk). Proteins should make up 10-15% of the daily meal.
If you think you exercise properly but still don’t get results, that you probably eat poor food. If you are fridge is full of junk food, it’s time to clear things up.
You must sacrifice one thing in order to gain something better. To gain muscle fast, you must sacrifice and give up unhealthy and fast food.
These are the best 10 high-protein foods for muscle building:
1. Whole Eggs
I’ve been talking about eating eggs in a few articles and again, they are first on the list. Eggs contain large amounts of amino acid leucine, which is essential for post-exercise muscle recovery and muscle gain. Eggs also contain B vitamins which are critically important for a variety of processes in your body, including energy production.
Whole eggs are considered to be protein synthesis powerhouse. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating whole eggs after a workout gets a 40% greater muscle-building response than consuming only egg whites. Try to eat the whole eggs, not only egg whites or only yolk and gain muscle fast.
Tuna is inexpensive and versatile and packs around 25g of protein per 100g serve. Tuna also contains high amounts of vitamin A and several B vitamins, including B12, B6 and niacin. These nutrients are important for optimal health, energy and exercise performance.
Also, tuna provides a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which may support muscle health. In research was found that omega-3 fatty acids can slow the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with age.
Salmon is also high-protein food, that packs around 20g per 10g serve. As well as tuna, salmon is also high in omega-3 fatty acids. A Harward University found that omega-3 increases insulin sensitivity, resulting in less insulin floating around your bloodstream.
Also, omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in muscular health. It may even increase muscle gain during exercise programs. Look for salmon with the skin still intact, as it provides added flavor during cooking.
4. Chicken Breast
Chicken breasts are considered a staple for gaining muscle and one of the favorites of high-protein foods. Around 175g skinless cooked chicken breast, contains approximately 55 grams of complete protein and 2 grams of saturated fat.
Also, chicken breasts contain good amounts of the B vitamins, niacin and B6, which if you are active, may be particularly important.
During physical activity and exercise, these are the vitamins that will help your body function properly and they are necessary for optimal gain muscle.
I’ve been talking about soybeans before, but here we go again. Half a cup (86 grams) of cooked soybeans contains 14 grams of protein. It also contains healthy unsaturated fats and several vitamins and minerals.
Soybeans are the most dependable option when building lean, green muscle. Unlike other sources of proteins in a vegan diet, soybeans contain all nine essential amino acids. That makes the soybeans an essential vegan muscle food, as I talked in the previous post about sources of proteins in a vegan diet.
Soybeans are a good source of vitamin K, iron and phosphorus. Iron is used to store and transport oxygen in your blood and muscles. Keep in mind that and a deficiency of iron can impair these functions.
And again, in the best sources of proteins in a vegan diet, I’ve also talked about beans. Different varieties of beans can be part of a diet for lean muscle gain.
There are varieties of beans like black, pinto and kidney beans. But they all share the protein content, which is around 26 grams of proteins per cup.
Beans are high in magnesium, phosphorus, iron and they are also excellent sources of fiber and B vitamins.
7. Turkey Breast
Turkey breast is another high-protein food with 29g of proteins per 100g serving with almost no fat or carbs. It is also a good source of the B vitamin niacin, which helps process fats and carbohydrates in your body.
According to researchers at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Michigan, US, it is also high in zinc, which is essential for protein synthesis and helps your body maintain healthy levels of testosterone.
Maybe for the people around you is not very good, but for your muscles is definitely perfect. The Journal of Nutrition study showed, garlic increases testosterone and lower cortisol in rats on a high-protein diet.
It’s all to do with a compound within garlic called allicin, which reduces the amount of ‘stress hormone’ pumping around your body. Cortisol competes with testosterone in your muscle cells, which means less stress results in better gains.
9. Brown Rice
Cooked brown rice contains only 5g of proteins per cup, but it has the carbohydrates you need to fuel your physical activity. Before exercising, eat healthy carb sources like brown rice or quinoa.
This way will help you to exercise harder and it will provide your body with a greater stimulus for your muscles to grow.
Some research has shown that protein supplements that contain rice, can produce as much muscle gain as whey protein during a weight-training program.
Almonds are the most muscle-friendly snacks. About 172g or half a cup of almonds provides 16 grams of proteins. It also has large amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and phosphorus.
Keep in mind that blanched almonds are high-calorie should be consumed in moderation. Half a cup of blanched almonds contains more than 400 calories.
This was maybe the easy part, but now it follows the ‘harder’ part. Because in the next list you will find out the foods that you should give up from.
10 foods to avoid when building muscles:
Sausages are full of calories, sodium, and saturated fat. They contain approximately 300g calories and total fat of 27g per 100 grams of sausage.
Sausages also contain nitrites which are preservatives that help prevent bacterial growth to maintain appetizing red colors in meat. Also important to know, nitrites can lead to the formation of chemicals called nitrosamines, which have been linked to cancer.
The good thing about butter is that it is made from cow’s milk, and it’s not derived in a laboratory, like most margarine. But, the bad thing about butter is: 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter contains 810 calories, 92 grams of fat, and 58 grams of saturated fat.
That’s too much fat for your muscles, and it is 141% of the daily recommended amount of fat. But, if you still want to eat butter, then don’t eat more than 1 tablespoon per serving.
Soda has nothing beneficial for your body and your muscle. Soda is only sugar water. A study conducted by the University of Houston found that food labels with buzzwords like “antioxidant-rich” or “gluten-free” led consumers to believe they were eating foods that were healthier than they really were.
Also. soda and other sugary drinks can fool your body with a blood-sugar spike, making you prone to skip other, nutrient-dense foods you could be eating. New York City-based celebrity trainer Steve Lischin, M.S., C.P.T. said: “Sugar intake habit can limit your intake of muscle-building amino acids and it will sap the fuel you need for your workouts.” Replace the soda with more water.
Maybe you will hate this one, but you must sacrifice something, in order to gain muscles. Alcohol consumption can increase antioxidant demands and put more stress on your body. The antioxidants are used to help muscle recovery, and with drinking alcohol instead of that, they will be used to help metabolize alcohol.
5. Potato Chips
Stay away from high-calorie food like potato chips. Foods like potato chips provide only empty calories with very little value. Your body needs nutrients and proteins to build muscle, and you wouldn’t find that in potato chips. Potato chips while processed lose much of their nutrients including the antioxidant vitamin C.
6. Ice Cream
Well, yes, ice cream is another thing you shouldn’t eat if you are building muscles. Ice cream is high calorie, sugar, and fat content make it an undesirable dessert choice when you’re objective is to build muscle and get toned.
One serving (1/2 cup) which is about 100g of ice cream contains approximately 137g of calories, 7g of total fat, 4g of saturated fat and only 2g of protein.
Ice cream contains 22% of the max recommended saturated fat for the day. But, most of people eat at least 2-3 cups of ice cream a day. That makes their saturated fat go well beyond the recommended daily amount, and it won’t help to get lean or build muscles.
7. White Bread
White bread is high on the Glycemic Index (GI), and foods with high GI have a greater impact on blood glucose levels. This doesn’t mean that you should get whatever bread, but only if it’s brown. Why? Because most companies take cheap white bread and stain it with caramel colors.
White bread is made with highly refined grains, meaning much of the outer coating of the wheat kernel has been removed and, with it, most of the nutrients and fiber. Without fiber, your body digests the bread quickly, causing a jolting rise and fall in blood sugar.
White bread read is not a source of protein. The minerals that bread is often touted for (selenium, magnesium, etc.) are not available for absorption most of the time because they are bound by phytates. So, by eating white bread you don’t help your muscles, and most of the high-protein foods for building muscle, don’t need bread.
A slice of pizza is around 400 calories. Maybe the pizza doesn’t look unhealthy, but when you combine tomatoes, cheese, flour, and yeast with saturated oil and salt to them, things change.
Instead of buying unhealthy pizza, you can make it your own at home. Home-cooked food is always healthier. You can make your own pizza at home using whole wheat crust, low-fat mozzarella cheese, homemade tomato sauce, and top with tons of veggies.
9. Fried Food
Fried food might enhance the taste, but the added calories will also help erase your flat midsection. Many of the oils used in the frying process are high in saturated fat. Excessive consumption of saturated fat can lead to things like heart attack, strokes or diabetes.
Here’s an example: one small baked potato (100 grams) contains 93 calories and 0 grams of fat, but the same amount (100g) of french fries contains 319 calories and 17 grams of fat.
So, what we learned? We learned that eating fried food regularly can put you at a higher risk of developing diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Donuts are full of high calories but low in proteins. Donuts are made from refined flour, fried, and don’t contain healthful ingredients that will help grow your muscles.
One piece of donut (100g) has approximately 400 grams of calories and about 5 grams of proteins. But, it’s not good to intake that many calories, for a few proteins. Stop eating donuts if you want to grow your muscles.
Choose wisely what to eat after a workout and before a workout and what to avoid. Because, if you don’t choose the food wisely, you may not get the results you want and that will lead to giving up.
Everyone can gain muscle, no matter how skinny you are. Just, be brave enough to exercise hard and remove some of your favorite junk food from your diet. Your diet is equally important as the exercising, remember that.
If you are willing to do that, then you can expect big results. Would you do that? Would you eat right, won’t give up and gain muscles? We are curious to find out what are your thoughts on this question.