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What to Eat to Build More Muscle

Ms. Ayesha Nasir

3 min read

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If you want to burn calories and build muscle, you will have to provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Your body is constantly replenishing itself. It breaks down tissues and replaces them with new ones with a supply from the nutrients in the combination of food you consume and the recycled material it gets from broken down tissues. Protein is the building block of muscles and so you should increase your protein intake. When you workout, the protein in your muscles breaks down and builds up a lot faster than it does under resting conditions. Be sure to have an adequate intake of the following muscle building foods to get the most out of your workouts and get your body in shape:

1- Quinoa

Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that are complete protein sources. This means it has all nine essential amino acids that your body needs but can’t make on its own. It is an excellent choice for vegetarians. One cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein. It is also a good source of iron and fiber.

2- Soybeans

One cup of roasted soybeans has 37 grams of protein. It also contains magnesium, which is required for energy metabolism, especially if you do weight-bearing exercises. It is also essential for muscle repair and growth. Upping your magnesium intake when you do resistance training can also help increase strength. Low level of magnesium can lead to reduced powered output, fatigue, and muscle cramps. Soy can also be consumed in the form of tofu, miso, soy milk, and tempeh.

3- Ground Beef

A 3-ounce serving of beef contains 23 grams of protein. Beef is also a good source of iron. Iron is important for synthesis of hemoglobin which is vital for oxygen transport. With that said, low iron levels can cause feelings of weakness, lowered immunity, fatigue, and poor gym performance. Go for leaner versions of meat to cut down on calories and fat.

4- Salmon

3 ounces of salmon contain 23 grams of protein and nearly 1.5 grams of omega-3’s. Omega-3 acids are good for burning fat and also enhance cognitive capabilities. Adequate consumption of omega-3’s with exercise can help you reduce body fat more effectively.

5- Yogurt

Yogurt is a good source of calcium. Getting enough calcium is crucial when exercising because your bones need to be strong to anchor your muscles properly. Calcium also plays an important role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles and so calcium deficiency can lead to muscle cramps when you exercise. Yogurt also contains probiotics that are essential for gut health.

6- Eggs

Eggs have top-quality protein, healthy fats and other essential nutrients like B vitamins. Proteins are made up of amino acids, and eggs contain large amounts of the amino acid leucine, which is particularly important for gaining muscle.

Also, B vitamins are critically important for a variety of processes in your body, including energy production.

7- Cottage Cheese

One cup of low-fat cottage cheese packs approx. 28 grams of protein, including a substantial 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.

8- Edamame

Edamame are basically immature soybeans. These developing beans are found in pods and served in a variety of dishes, particularly those of Asian origin.

One cup of frozen edamame provides approx. 17 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. It also contains large amounts of folate, vitamin K and manganese.

Folate is functional in helping 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.

9- Peanuts

Peanuts contain a mix of protein, fat and carbs. A half-cup serving contains 17 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbs and large amounts of unsaturated fat.

They also contain higher amounts of the amino acid leucine than many other plant products. So if you’re having a hard time getting enough calories to drive your muscle gain, eating peanuts could be a good way to get some extra calories and nutrients.

Additionally, nuts are thought to play an important role in an overall healthy diet.

10- Milk

Milk provides a mix of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Similar to other dairy products, milk contains both fast- and slow-digesting proteins.

These properties are thought to be beneficial for muscle growth. In fact, several studies have shown that people can increase their muscle mass when they drink milk in combination with weight training.

You can consult a nutritionist to get personalized advice on which foods are best to eat to build more muscle. You can find and book an appointment with top Nutritionists in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Ayesha Nasir - Author Ms. Ayesha Nasir is a Dietitian practicing in Lahore. Ms. Ayesha Nasir has the following degrees: M.Phil Food and Nutrition, B.S Home Economics and has 5 years of experience. You can book an appointment with Ms. Ayesha Nasir by calling us or using the 'book appointment' button. Ms. Ayesha believes that a healthy diet is more than half of what constitutes good physical health. She thus tries to make the public aware about some basic healthy diet principles.
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