10 Essential Muscle Building Foods If You’re Doing Bodybuilding


When it comes to bulking up, it’s not just about taking bodybuilding supplements and lifting weights. While both are essential, still proper nutrition is a must. Hence, if you’re into bodybuilding, let’s explore the top muscle building foods you should be eating.

Natural Foods Helpful For Building Muscles
Excellent Foods If You’re Into Building Muscles

Combining good nutrition, consistent exercises, and taking supplements are key to achieving desirable results. If you’re building muscles, you don’t just want to get bulked but also strong and healthy.

Therefore, making good nutrition is a part of a bodybuilder’s lifestyle. But before exploring the top muscle building foods, let’s get the quick tips on picking foods.

Tips On Picking Muscle Building Foods

Here are a few tricks worth keeping in mind when picking your muscle-building foods. This is an essential task especially if you’re a beginner. Basically, it’s not difficult to find these muscle-building foods when you’re surrounded by fresh produce.

However, it can be a little difficult if you’re into the habit of eating ready-to-eat and packaged foods sold in supermarkets.

Build Muscles with Whole Foods
You Should Pick Whole Foods

1. Choose Whole Foods

The best foods are fresh produce. Therefore, avoid picking foods that have undergone so much processing. The key to identifying whole foods is if the food is made from factories and packaged in wrappers, it’s not a good option for you.

Hence, pick those foods that come from farms. If it’s green and leafy vegetables, they should be in their natural forms. The same is true with fruits and meat products.

2. Low GI(Glycemic Index)

Make sure you pick foods that have a low glycemic index, which is a measure or ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels right after consumption.

Moreover, Harvard provides a shortlist of GI foods.

3. High Protein Contents

When bulking up, eating foods with high protein content is an essential part of your nutrition plan. Often animal products have the best proteins for muscle building.

On the other hand, if you’re a vegan, don’t let that stop you as there are lots of plants that contain high proteins, as well.

4. Nutritional Contents

Always pick foods with high nutritional content and hold most of the minerals and vitamins essential for your purpose. Among the foods containing high nutrition include chicken, beef, chicken, and fresh organic vegetables.

5. Avoid Fast Foods

If there is a food group you should avoid, it’s fast food. This includes foods prepared using highly processed ingredients particularly containing a high amount of added sugars and refined salts.

Top 10 Muscle-Building Foods

You might think that the diet of a super athlete is complex. But, in reality, it’s not that complicated. Often, the simplest diet provides the most benefits.

Here are a few of the foods you should be adding to your daily bodybuilding diet. These are foods that can contribute to achieving fast and healthy muscle growth.

1. Beef

Beef Protein

Beef plays an integral role in muscle building. It has the best protein essential for building muscle tissues. Additionally, beef contains amino acids that are known to interact with insulin in a way that promotes the transport of proteins from the blood into the muscle tissues. This process encourages muscle growth.

Furthermore, beef is rich in essential vitamins and minerals including B-vitamins, zinc, and iron. It is also rich in CLA(conjugated linoleic acid), which have been found to play a role in increasing muscle growth.

Quick Nutritional Facts

A 5 oz serving of beef contains;

  • 340 calories
  • 38 grams of protein
  • 20 grams of fat
  • 0 carbohydrates

However, it is very important to take note that not all beef in the market is equally healthy. To make the most of the nutrients from beef, make sure it comes from grass-fed1 cows.

Unfortunately, most beef available in the market comes from mass production farms known as CAFO(concentrated animal feeding operation).

Furthermore, make sure you get fresh grass-fed beef as processed red meat has been linked to cancer.

2. Brown Rice

Brown Rice For Energy

Although brown rice has an indirect effect on muscle building, its role is essential. Since brown rice has a low glycemic index, it provides the body with a more prolonged supply of energy throughout the day.

In turn, this energy is utilized by the body to fuel high-intensity exercise, a critical factor in building new muscle tissues.

Moreover, brown rice has also been found to boost growth hormone in the blood, which is essential for both muscle growth and fat loss.

Quick Nutritional Facts

A 100-gram of brown rice serving contains;

  • 3 grams of protein
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 23 grams of carbohydrates

3. Eggs

Eggs High Quality Protein

Eggs are one of the complete sources of protein. They contain a vast array of amino acids essential for developing lean muscle tissues. At the same time, eggs provide the body with a host of essential vitamins and minerals vital for optimal metabolic function and immune health.

Additionally, eggs contain a decent portion of healthy fats known to improve the good cholesterol. Most of the good fats in eggs can be found in the yolk. Some studies support the health benefits of eating eggs.

If you’ve seen a bodybuilder’s diet, it contains egg most of the time.

Quick Nutritional Facts

A single egg contains;

  • 78 calories
  • 7 grams of protein
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 1 gram of carbohydrates

Always keep in mind, prefer getting and eating eggs from free-range and organically raised chickens. The happier the chickens, the healthier the eggs.

4. Chicken

Chicken Breasts

Chicken contains lean protein. Just like beef, chicken is an excellent source of a high-quality protein essential for building muscles and repairing damaged tissues.

Typically, it has a lower fat content than other meats making an excellent option for those who are seeking on gaining lean muscles.

Furthermore, chicken can easily be cooked in huge portions or batches making chicken an excellent option for people who want access for healthy lunch at work.

Quick Nutritional Facts

A 5 oz serving of chicken contains;

  • 230 calories
  • 47 grams of protein
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 0 carbohydrates

If you can get organically raised chickens, that would be preferable. When it comes to the healthiest part of the chicken, choose chicken breasts.

5. Oats

Oats for muscle building

The carbohydrate source for building muscles. Oats are an excellent source of the right kind of carbohydrate with a low glycemic index.

Just like brown rice, it provides a steady supply of energy without a sugar crash happening. While oats are processed, the processing involved is minimal and still retain a high amount of dietary fibers.

Foods containing high dietary fibers increase satisfaction and a sense of fullness. In turn, this results in food craving prevention, as well as improve gut health and overall digestive function.

Additionally, since it is excellent in curving food cravings, oats are excellent food choices for those who want to lose weight. Of course, oats are the ideal food for muscle building and reducing fat mass.

Quick Nutritional Facts

A 100 gram serving of oats contains;

  • 389 calories
  • 17 grams of protein
  • 7 grams of fat
  • 66 grams of carbohydrates

6. Salmon

Wild Salmon

If you’re looking for a well-rounded protein for building muscles, salmon is your friend. Salmon is not only rich in protein but also contain a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, which is also essential for muscle development.

Moreover, salmon is also abundant in Vitamin D, which is involved in many processes to make the body function optimally. And, one of these critical roles is growth for new muscle tissues.

Quick Nutritional Facts

A 5 oz serving of salmon contains;

  • 260 calories
  • 28 grams of protein
  • 15 grams of fat
  • 0 carbohydrates

Always prefer wild salmon. These are salmons caught in the wild.

7. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

One of the natural muscle building foods is sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are vegetables with the right kind of carbohydrates the body needs. Additionally, sweet potatoes are low GI, which means it provides an extended supply of energy to the body just like oats and brown rice.

Moreover, sweet potatoes contain a high amount of dietary fibers, which is useful for food cravings prevention. It is also nurturing to the beneficial bacteria in the gut and improves overall digestive health.

When it comes to vitamin contains, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A and B, which are antioxidants essential for getting rid of free radicals in the body. In short, sweet potatoes are healthy and beneficial for muscle gains.

Quick Nutritional Facts

One large sweet potatoes usually contain;

  • 112 calories
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 26 grams of carbohydrates

8. Milk

Grass-Fed Milk

Milk is a fantastic choice if you’re drinking your protein. Some studies found milk to be beneficial in muscle building. It contains a high amount of protein along with the eight essential amino acids required for muscle growth and repair.

On the other hand, while milk contains a high amount of fat, the fat in milk has been found to boost the production of growth hormone.

However, if you want to drink a better kind of milk, get organic milk. Grass-fed is the milk from grass-fed cows. Just like the meat from grass-fed cows, grass-fed milk is superior, too.

Grass-fed milk contains higher Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA. Perhaps, one of the advantages is grass-fed milk does not contain nasty hormones.

Quick Nutritional Facts

A cup of milk contains;

  • 103 calories
  • 8 grams of protein
  • 3 grams of fat
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates

9. Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese

Consuming cottage cheese for muscle building has two contributing factors;

First, cottage cheese contains a high amount of casein, a type of protein that comes from dairy. Casein is absorbed into the blood very exceptionally slowly making cottage cheese an ideal muscle-building food to eat before bedtime.

Additionally, it provides the muscle tissues a steady supply of protein while you’re sleeping throughout the night.

Second, cottage cheese contains loads of beneficial bacteria, which is helpful to gut health. It helps facilitate proper digestion allowing the body to absorb most of the nutrients.

Quick Nutritional Facts

A cup of cottage cheese contains;

  • 103 calories
  • 8 grams of protein
  • 3 grams of fat
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates

10. Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

Similar to cottage cheese, Greek yogurt contains the right amount of protein per 100 grams of serving. Simultaneously, it also provides a proper amount of healthy fats. Hence, Greek yogurt is excellent for building muscle tissues and maintaining healthy muscle cells.

Greek yogurt also contains a high amount of good bacteria beneficial for gut health. It helps improve and maintain digestive health and overall health, as well. Since it includes gut nurturing bacteria, it helps in breaking down food properly and allows the body to absorb the nutrients more efficiently.

Quick Nutritional Facts

A 100-gram of Greek yogurt serving contains;

  • 60 calories
  • 10 grams of protein
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this shortlist of muscle-building foods allows you to get started with your bodybuilding journey. While most people who get into bodybuilding aim at taking supplements, you should never miss the benefits of good nutrition.

Hence, before you take any bodybuilding supplements, make sure you have a solid nutrition plan. Prioritize your nutrition before you get into supplementation. There’s a reason why they’re called “supplements” as it should support your healthy diet and lifestyle.

Moreover, once you’ve mastered your bodybuilding nutrition skills, you can start taking muscle building supplements.

Check out the following muscle building supplements;


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