foods for build muscle, muscle building foods

The Top 12 Foods for Building Muscle

Nutrition is the secret to gaining and retaining more muscle mass even with less training. Even if you’re following the best workout plan to build muscle, if you don’t keep an eye on what you eat you will always end up wasting your time and effort. Understanding the role of nutrition towards muscle growth is essential as it helps you eat foods that are in line with your goals. Listed below are 12 foods that will explode your muscle growth. 


Eggs contain several muscle building nutrients. They have the essential amino acids that you need for the muscles to develop properly. Egg protein is readily utilizable and has higher biological value than most foods, and this makes it very efficient for muscle growth. The egg yolk contains good cholesterol that has a useful role in promoting muscle mass. 


This protein-packed grain contains all the essential amino acids. It is high in magnesium, fiber, and iron which assist with muscle growth. It is also a great source of carbohydrates which fuel your body for exercise. It can be taken by muscle builders that are on a gluten free diet. Being a complete protein source, vegetarians seeking to build muscles can safely depend on it for their protein needs.

Fruits and Vegetables

For you to achieve muscle growth, your entire body must be in a state of good health. Fruits and vegetables help you achieve this because they are rich in antioxidants that promote healthy functioning of the immune system. Apples, in particular, contain specific polyphenols that help to increase muscle strength and reduce fatigue. With this, you can not only train harder, but for longer. For the vegetables, spinach is popular among bodybuilders because it contains glutamine. This is an amino acid that increases muscle strength and endurance, enabling you to complete workouts easier. 


Oatmeal is an ideal source of carbohydrates that are not only necessary for muscle gains, but for muscle preservation as well. If you have a workout plan aimed at attaining muscle growth, you will need carbohydrates to give you the energy needed for carrying out high-intensity exercises. Vitamin B found in oatmeal helps the body in converting carbohydrates to energy and to properly utilize the protein consumed.


Fish is usually low in fat but high in protein. Salmon is the preferred type of fish because it is rich in natural omega-3 fatty acids, a key nutrient in building and repairing muscle tissue. Fish have healthy monounsaturated fats that keep your body healthy during and after workouts.

Chocolate Milk

Since it is an animal food, milk provides the essential amino acids to the growing muscles. Taking a glass of milk after an intense workout will help in growth, repair, and recovery of muscles. The high protein level found in chocolate milk ensures that the right amount of amino acids gets into the muscle tissue, and this ensures optimal muscle growth.

Lean Beef

Although red meats are regarded as bad for health, lean ground beef is an exception. It is a good source of protein and has additional minerals and vitamins. And these are important for muscle growth and development. Additionally, it has a high level of amino acids that works together with insulin to enhance muscle growth. Ensure that the beef you consume is obtained from grass-fed cattle as this makes it more effective.


Examples of nuts include walnuts, almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts among others. They contain a blend of proteins, fiber, vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fats, all which are necessary for muscle growth. Since nuts are rich in fats and calories, they should be eaten in moderation because they can lead to weight gain instead of muscle growth. The fat is, however, important in dealing with any inflammation that may occur during workouts. 

Sweet Potatoes

These starchy carbohydrates are the best option for muscle growth. Apart from being loaded with complex carbohydrates, they contain fiber that keep you feeling full and satisfied and gives you the energy to start and complete the exercise. They can be used both as a pre-workout and post-workout food.

Cottage Cheese

It is rich in casein protein, which is a slow-digesting nutrient. As such, it protects your muscles from being used as a source of energy during exercise. It is useful, especially for when you have to go without exercising. Half a cup of low-fat cottage cheese contains 14 grams of protein. Apart from protein, cottage cheese is also a good source of vitamin B12, calcium and other nutrients that are important for muscle growth.

Brown Rice

It is a whole grain that is not easily digested, so it provides your body with long-lasting energy during the workout. It also boosts the levels of growth hormone that is essential in encouraging muscle growth. Vegetarian muscle builders can use brown rice because it has a large amount of branched-chain amino acids.

Skinless Chicken

Chicken is a very good source of high-quality protein that is necessary for muscle repair and maintenance. It has in the past been regarded by many as the staple muscle building food because of its great protein to fat ratio. At times, you can use turkey in place of chicken if it better suits your preferences.

Final Thoughts

As much as these foods will help promote muscle growth, it is worth noting that they need to be combined with the right exercise for the process to be complete. Additionally, the timing of your meals will determine whether these foods will be helpful or detrimental to your efforts at building muscle. Drawing up a meal plan and a workout schedule will enable you to avoid eating too close to the workouts. This is because you need to give enough time for digestion so that the foods can assist you during workouts.

In short, it is possible to add muscle by eating the right foods and doing the right workouts. In fact, this is very important. However, these foods should support a plan that uses supplements like whey protein to maximize your muscle growth. Supplements are the quickest and most effective way to take your gains to the next level. By supplementing and proper dieting, you will reach your muscle building goals.