When it comes to building muscle fast many people just tell you to eat a lot of protein, but there are certain foods that can help you gain muscle/strength faster than other foods and in this article you’ll learn specifically why these 7 foods are superior for muscle growth. However, before we jump into this list it’s important to understand the basic process of what must happen in your body for muscle growth to take place.
Muscle Growth Occurs When The Rate Of Protein Synthesis Is Superior To Muscle Protein Breakdown
Protein synthesis occurs as soon as stress is placed upon a muscle and is the eliminating or restoring of damaged proteins for building new proteins that are stronger/more dense. For this to happen you need both protein and resistance training.
Muscle protein breakdown also know as catabolism is when the body breaks down protein cells for energy and it is elevated directly after strength training. This means you should continuously feed your body/muscles with the correct nutrients to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and to slow down the process of muscle protein breakdown.
Now that you understand the basics for muscle growth to occur here are the 7 superfoods that is not only great for building muscle mass, but also your health:
1. Whole Egg
Whole eggs are one of the most important and nutritious foods in a strength trainers diet because they provide you with not only high quality protein, but also healthy fats essential for muscle growth.
Eggs are also a powerhouse full of nutrients and vitamins such as:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin A, D and E
Warnings have been raised in the past that eggs elevate cholesterol levels. This is true, but numerous studies have proven that eggs actually raise good cholesterol levels (HDL) and changes bad cholesterol levels.
Eggs are also high in a nutrient called Choline which is vital for several processes in the brain and body.
2. Brown Rice
Brown Rice is high in complex carbohydrates which means it is slow digesting so energy levels are sustained for longer periods of time, making it a great pre-workout food to have. It can also increase your growth hormone levels, this is great for muscle and strength gains, but also promotes fat loss. Lastly, brown rice is also rich in fiber and selenium helping to lower cholesterol. For the best results consume it around 1-2 hours before your workout.
The following nutrients are found in brown rice:
- Vitamin B3
Not only does beef have several health benefits, but it is definitely one of the tastiest protein sources around.
Beef is very high in protein, but also in the following nutrients which makes it a great muscle building food:
- Vitamin B12 and B6
Vitamin B6 is vital for amino acids to be absorbed by the body and therefore essential for muscle building, seeing that amino acids are the main building blocks of proteins.
Beef from grass-fed cattle are very high in (CLA) conjugated linoleic acid. CLA has been shown to decrease fat deposition and plays a big role in muscle growth. It is also shown to decrease insulin resistance, which helps to prevent diabetes. Many studies have also shown that CLA reduces the growth of cancer cells and cardiovascular disease.
Spinach is very rich in nutrients, antioxidants and has many anti-inflammatory properties. It is classified as a “Superfood” because of all the great benefits it brings to the table. It is especially high in Vitamin K, which is extremely important for healthy bones.
Spinach is also rich in the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B2 and B6
- Vitamin C and E
The muscle building qualities that spinach possess are found in the high quantities of nitrate. In studies it has been shown that nitrate significantly improves the effectiveness of mitochondria (powerhouses of cells). They also help boost ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the source of energy your muscles use and higher levels of this powerful energy source will help the muscles to contract better.
5. Cottage Cheese
If you are wondering why cottage cheese made it onto the list of foods that help you to build muscle, it’s because of it’s great anti-catabolic properties. The protein found in cottage cheese is called Casein. Casein is a very slow digesting protein that your muscles will love and benefit from. This slow digesting protein helps prevent muscle protein breakdown and makes it an excellent snack to eat just before bedtime. Like Casein protein powder, cottage cheese will feed and give your muscles high quality protein throughout the night while your body is fasting.
- Cottage cheese is low in carbs, high in protein and fat
- It is also very filling and will help control your appetite
Snacking on cottage cheese before bedtime will stimulate protein synthesis while reducing muscle protein breakdown and in turn a faster recovery resulting in more muscle growth !
6. Salmon (Wild Caught)
If you are looking for a great tasting muscle building meal that is packed with quality protein and nutrients then Salmon is an awesome choice. The protein and amino acids present in salmon have been found to contain bio-active protein molecules (bio-active peptides), these peptides play a role in insulin effectiveness and also help to control inflammation. It is also very high in Omega 3 fatty acids which contribute to a healthy brain, heart and joints while slowing down muscle protein breakdown, several studies have also found that Omega 3’s stimulate protein synthesis.
Salmon is packed with the following nutrients:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12, B6 and B3
- Pantothenic acid
When you go shopping for salmon it is best to be on the lookout for Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon.
7. Rolled Oats
Oats is an awesome breakfast choice, especially for athletes and strength trainers. It is not called the breakfast of champions without reason. They are high in complex carbohydrates/dietary fibre which help lower bad cholesterol and are low in GI making them essential for muscle gains.
Oats contain the following nutrients that are very beneficial to your body and muscles:
Oats will keep you satiated for longer periods, it’s very affordable and an overall great tasting balanced meal.
In conclusion these 7 foods will help you build muscle faster than ever before because they are rich in muscle building nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is important to keep a balanced diet that is rich in protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals on a daily basis if you are serious about packing on some muscle mass. Lastly, don’t forget about the importance of following a proper strength training routine and if you have anymore questions about muscle building foods then leave a comment down below.