Muscle Building Diet
Regardless of your specific fitness goals, you probably want to learn how to build new muscle.
Building muscle is important for so many reasons. It will help you increase your metabolism over the long-term, which means it will aid in weight loss. It also helps improve strength, balance, and posture.
And of course, building muscle mass helps in your overall appearance. Whether you’re a man or a woman, lean muscle mass helps you look more fit, toned, and overall in better shape.It will also keep you looking younger!
While weight training is one of the keys to building muscle, you can’t do it without the proper diet. Once you have a solid weight training routine planned out – I recommend hitting the gym at least 4 days a week for 60 minutes each – you need to maximize your diet for optimal muscle building.
Diet is important because without diet, you won’t provide your muscles with the fuel they need. Muscle growth depends on amino acids, the building blocks of our muscles. It’s estimated that approximately 1 gram of protein is needed per pound of body weight every day! That’s a lot of protein, if your goal is to build new muscle.
The other trick to an effective muscle building diet is getting diverse sources of protein. Different protein sources contain different types and combinations of amino acids, and your muscles need a variety of amino acids for optimal growth. Typically, animal protein contains the most complete amino acid complex, while plant protein contains the least complete. But all options can be effective in combination.
First, let’s start with some tips for increasing your protein intake.
Muscle Building Diet Tips
- Start your day with a solid serving of protein. I recommend getting at least 20 to 30 grams of protein within an hour of waking up. This will help fuel your muscles throughout the day. Protein shakes and eggs can be especially helpful at this time of day. For a good protein supplement, I’d recommend Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion or Optimum 100% Natural Whey.
- Include a serving of protein in every meal. I would say that every major meal should include at least 20 grams of protein. This can come from lean meats like poultry or healthy seafood options like salmon or tuna.
- Snack on protein. This doesn’t mean your entire snack should be protein, but just like your meals, your snacks should include some protein. Nuts, fat-free Greek yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs are all great options for muscle building snacks. You can also invest in a tasty protein bar like Promax Protein Bars, or just go for a protein shake.
- Eat a variety of protein sources. In order to get a good combination and variety of amino acids, which will help build more lean muscle, you should always try to get a variety of protein sources in your diet. Here are just a few of the options you have: eggs, dairy, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy products, lean meats and poultry, fish and seafood, nuts, legumes, quinoa, hummus, and the list goes on! So throughout your day, try to change up your protein options. When in doubt, go for lean meats, seafood, or dairy.
- If you’re vegan, use a protein supplement. For those who are vegetarian or vegan, I highly recommend using a protein supplement. If you’re vegan, there are some options out there for you. Check out Vega Sport Performance Protein or Organic Food Bar – Protein.
Muscle Building Diet – Meal Ideas