One of the most common questions we get as bodybuilders is “What should I eat everyday to gain muscle?” We all know that the proper diet has a big impact on how big and strong we can get.
Ahh, so you’re here to find out what should you eat everyday to gain muscle? Great choice my friend. I know many people that ask themselves this very same question on a daily basis, but the answer is not always as clear as you might think. You can literally spend hours searching through forums of people asking the same question over and over.
What Should I Eat Everyday To Gain Muscle
Eggs contain high-quality protein, healthy fats and other important nutrients like B vitamins and cholin.
Proteins are made up of amino acids, and eggs contain large amounts of the amino acid leucine, which is particularly important for muscle gain .
Also, B vitamins are critically important for a variety of processes in your body, including energy production
Salmon is a great choice for muscle building and overall health.
Each 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of salmon contains about 17 grams of protein, almost 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids and several important B vitamins
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in muscular health and may even increase muscle gain during exercise programs
3. Chicken Breast
There’s a good reason why chicken breasts are considered a staple for gaining muscle.
They are packed with protein, with each 3-ounce (85-gram) serving containing about 26 grams of high-quality protein
They also contain generous amounts of the B vitamins niacin and B6, which may be particularly important if you are active
These vitamins help your body function properly during the physical activity and exercise that’s necessary for optimal muscle gain
What’s more, some research has shown that higher-protein diets containing chicken may aid fat loss
4. Greek Yogurt
Dairy not only contains high-quality protein, but also a mixture of fast-digesting whey protein and slow-digesting casein protein.
Some research has shown that people experience increases in lean mass when they consume a combination of fast- and slow-digesting dairy proteins
However, not all dairy is created equal.
For example, Greek yogurt often contains approximately double the amount of protein as regular yogurt
While Greek yogurt is a good snack anytime, eating it after a workout or before bed may be beneficial due to its mixture of fast- and slow-digesting proteins
In addition to 20 grams of protein per 3-ounce (85-gram) serving, tuna contains high amounts of vitamin A and several B vitamins, including B12, niacin and B6. These nutrients are important for optimal health, energy and exercise performance
Additionally, tuna provides large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which may support muscle health
This may be particularly important for older adults. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids can slow the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with age (15Trusted Source).
6. Lean Beef
Beef is packed with high-quality protein, B vitamins, minerals and creatine
Some research has even shown that consuming lean red meat can increase the amount of lean mass gained with weight training
However, even when you’re trying to gain muscle, it may be best to choose beef that supports muscle gain without providing too many extra calories.
For example, 3 ounces (85 grams) of 70% lean ground beef contains 228 calories and a whopping 15 grams of fat
However, the same amount of 95% lean ground beef contains slightly more protein and only 145 calories and 5 grams of fat
Shrimp are almost pure protein. Each 3-ounce (85-gram) serving contains 18 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat and zero carbs
While healthy fats and carbs are important in your overall diet, adding some shrimp is an easy way to get muscle-building protein without too many additional calories.
Like many other animal proteins, shrimp contains a high amount of the amino acid leucine, which is necessary for optimal muscle growth
Half a cup (86 grams) of cooked soybeans contains 14 grams of protein, healthy unsaturated fats and several vitamins and minerals
Soybeans are a particularly good source of vitamin K, iron and phosphorus
Iron is used to store and transport oxygen in your blood and muscles, and a deficiency can impair these functions
Young women may be particularly at risk of iron deficiency due to blood loss during menstruation
9. Cottage Cheese
One cup (226 grams) of low-fat cottage cheese packs 28 grams of protein, including a hearty dose of the important muscle-building amino acid leucine
Like other dairy products, cottage cheese can be purchased with varying fat contents. High-fat versions like creamed cottage cheese provide more calories.
Choosing which type of cottage cheese is best simply depends on how many extra calories you want to add to your diet.
Regardless of which type you choose, it’s a great muscle-building snack.
10. Turkey Breast
A 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of turkey breast contains around 25 grams of protein and almost no fat or carbs
Turkey is also a good source of the B vitamin niacin, which helps process fats and carbohydrates in your body
Having optimal levels of B vitamins could help you gain muscle over time by supporting your body’s ability to exercise
Although it doesn’t have as much omega-3 fatty acids as salmon, tilapia is another protein-packed seafood item.
A 3-ounce (85-gram) serving provides around 21 grams of protein, along with good amounts of vitamin B12 and selenium
Vitamin B12 is important for the health of your blood cells and nerves, which allows you to perform the exercise you need in order to gain muscle
Many different varieties of beans can be part of a diet for lean muscle gain.
Popular varieties, such as black, pinto and kidney beans, contain around 15 grams of protein per cup (about 172 grams) of cooked beans
What’s more, they are excellent sources of fiber and B vitamins, in addition to being high in magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
For these reasons, beans are a good source of plant-based protein to add to your diet.
What’s more, they may play a role in long-term health and disease prevention
13. Protein Powders
While any good diet should focus on whole foods, there are times when dietary supplements can be beneficial
If you struggle to get enough protein from foods alone, you could consider adding protein shakes to your daily routine.
Dairy protein powders, such as whey and casein, are some of the most popular.
However, there are other options too. Some protein powders use soy, pea, beef or chicken protein.
You can find a variety of protein powders online.
Edamame is the term for immature soybeans. These developing beans are found in pods and served in a variety of dishes, particularly those of Asian origin.
One cup (155 grams) of frozen edamame provides around 17 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. It also contains large amounts of folate, vitamin K and manganese
Among other functions, folate helps your body process amino acids, the building blocks of protein
In fact, folate may be important for optimal muscle mass and strength, particularly in the elderly
While protein-rich foods are a priority for building lean muscle, it’s also important to have the fuel to get active.
Foods with carbohydrates can help provide this energy
Cooked quinoa contains about 40 grams of carbs per cup (185 grams), along with 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and hearty amounts of magnesium and phosphorus
Magnesium plays an important role in the function of your muscles and nerves, both of which are used every time you move
What Foods are Good for Bulking Up and Gaining Muscle Mass
When it comes to foods that are good for bulking up, steak is an obvious choice.
Every 100 g of steak you eat will provide you with around 25g of protein and, as with all red meats, it will be a complete protein. Steak is also an ideal food to eat to increase testosterone levels.
Complete proteins provide all the amino acids your muscles require for growth. Steak takes a little longer to digest than some of the other foods that are good for gaining muscle mass. It can also be higher in fat but, as a “muscle food”, steak is one of the best.
Apart from being high in protein, steak is also a good source of iron. Iron is one of the nutrients your body needs for manufacturing hemoglobin.
The red blood cells need hemoglobin to carry oxygen around the body. This may not sound important, but it is. Your muscles need oxygen and the harder you work them the more they need. So, by providing the iron your body needs to produce hemoglobin, steak helps you to workout with greater intensity. [SOURCE 1]
2 Turkey Breast
Turkey is also one of the best high-protein foods for bulking you up and increasing muscle mass. All turkey meat is good, but the breast is the best because it’s incredibly lean. In fact, it’s normally only around two percent fat and a 100 g serving will give you up to 30 g of protein.
Turkey breast is also very low in calories. That means you don’t need to worry about gaining a lot of extra body fat alongside your improvements in muscle mass.
As a muscle building food, turkey breast ticks all the right boxes because it helps with bulking up while keeping you lean.
However, although the breast is good, the skin that covers it is not. If you eat the skin you will be giving yourself a lot of unnecessary fat. You will also risk pushing up your cholesterol level. So discard the skin and boil the meat instead of roasting or frying.
Okay, we’ve already got two of the best foods for bulking up out of the way and both of them were meats. This seems like a good time to start talking tofu.
Eating tofu is a very good way to boost your protein intake and don’t go thinking it’s not a complete protein. Apart from being one of the best vegan-friendly proteins, tofu has all the amino acids included.
If you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, don’t dismiss this nutritional powerhouse out of hand. A typical serving of tofu is around eight percent protein and it does not contain any cholesterol at all. It does provide reasonable amounts of iron, magnesium, and calcium though.
If you can’t remember why iron is important, skip back to the section on steak. If you don’t know why magnesium and calcium are important I’ll tell you. Both minerals have the ability to boost natural testosterone production. [SOURCE]
No list of foods that are good for bulking up would be complete if it didn’t have tuna. It’s high in protein and very low in fat. Even if you forgo fresh tuna steaks and go for the canned variety instead, a 3-ounce serving of tuna that has been canned with water provides roughly 20 g of protein.
Lots of bodybuilders swear by canned tuna and it has the advantage of being very easy to prepare. All you need to do is open the tin, drain off the water, and you are good to go. It goes great with a salad and can make a quick and nutritious sandwich. Alternatively, you can combine it with sweetcorn and low-cal mayonnaise and serve it on top of a baked potato.
The other good thing about tuna is it provides omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent the decline of muscle mass and strength that is often a normal part of aging. So, apart from building muscle, tuna may also help you hang on to it for longer. [SOURCE]
5. Beans on Toast
The problem with baked beans is, although they are a good source of protein, the beans are not a complete protein. However, a slice or two of bread contains the amino acids the beans lack. That means a serving of beans on toast can serve all your muscles’ protein needs.
If you can, it’s best to use wholemeal bread for the toast instead of white. Wholemeal bread is higher in fiber and a good source of complex carbohydrate. Choosing wholemeal bread to accompany your baked beans will make the meal better for providing ongoing energy.
Due to it’s higher fiber content, wholemeal bread is also more filling. Eating it should help you avoid the urge to snack in between meals. If you want a good vegetarian-friendly alternative to steak, beans on toast fits the bill.