If pigging out on chips and beer made muscles, we would all look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his hay day. Unfortunately, they don’t – and of course – we don’t either.
But not to worry. In order to help you on your quest to look as cut as possible, we have composed a list of five foods that you should be eating on top of your regular workouts that will help you to ‘get swoll’, as it were.
- Lean Beef
Without a doubt, this needs to be a staple of your diet if you’re trying to gain muscle mass. Beef is so much more than a slab of charbroiled protein. It’s loaded with all kinds of nutrients which are conducive to muscle growth. In addition to being a great source of protein, it’s also an excellent source of B-vitamins, iron, and zinc – nutrients that are all integral to building new muscle. Beef is also incredibly rich in creatine – a vital energy compound needed to pump the iron. For maximum muscle with a minimum amount of calories, look for ‘loins’ or ‘rounds’ – meats that are especially lean. The ‘flat iron’ cut is also exceptionally lean.
- Skinless Chicken
Similarly to beef, chicken is another great source of high-quality protein which is key for muscle maintenance and repair, weight maintenance, as well as for bone health. There are many different ways you can cook and prepare chicken. So, head to the store and find a nice cut of chicken meat that you can cut into single serving sizes. As far as servings go, a 3 ounce cooked boneless skinless chicken breast should do the job. These contain about 27 grams of protein.
- Salmon, tuna, and other fish
Fish are swimming in high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are crucial because they assist in fat loss and ensure proper function of bodily process like metabolism. Additionally, omega-3s can decrease muscle-protein breakdown after your workout which improves recovery, according to Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and nutritionist with Human Performance Specialists Tom Incledon. This is essential to building muscle mass because in order to do so you have to store new protein faster than your body breaks the old stuff down.
Almonds are one of the very best sources of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E available. This form of vitamin E is so important because it’s the form that is absorbed most efficiently and effectively by your body. Why does that matter to your muscles? Well, because vitamin E is a potent antioxidant which can help to prevent free-radical damage after heavy workouts. The less damage there is from free-radicals, the quicker your muscles will recover from a workout. The quicker your muscles recover from a workout, the more muscle mass you will gain over time. Two handfuls of almonds a day should do the job.
- Cottage Cheese
Many aren’t aware of this, but cottage cheese is composed of nearly 100 percent pure casein protein. What is casein protein? Well, it’s a slow-digesting protein, which means that it’s excellent for maintaining muscle mass. Cottage cheese is especially useful for individuals who are required to long periods of time without eating anything. On top of this, cottage cheese is also a great source of calcium, vitamin B-12, and other useful nutrients.
Now, quit reading, get off your butt, and go get swoll! You have no excuses anymore.