The saying “eat big to get big” is almost synonymous with bodybuilding. You will hear it everywhere bodybuilders and muscle building enthusiasts gather. Just what does it mean? Well, let’s talk muscle building foods.
The most important aspect of your muscle building goals is your calorie intake, meaning the total calories you eat in a day. Different body types, height, weights and yes, even individuals, have different needs. Many formulas have been devised for finding the optimal number but none can be said to be accurate.
One of the reasons those formulas fall short is that they to a greater extent fail to consider different lifestyles. For example, a person who works in construction is likely to burn more calories than another who works in an office. Also the calories we burn each day will differ each and every day. Add to this genetic heritage and different body metabolisms.
A simpler way for someone who trains with weights is to eat five to six small meals a day. These meals should contain protein, carbohydrate, fats and micronutrients. Your main focus should be on the quality of the food you eat.
Without going into details about what food contains what amounts of what nutrients, here’s a list of 5 of the top bodybuilders’ favorite muscle building foods (not in any order):
Side note: These are mainly protein sources and should be balanced with the other food groups.
1. Eggs: They have received a bad rap due to the high fat content, but eggs are one of the best muscle building foods out there. Plus, they are perhaps the easiest food to prepare and easy to digest. Eggs contain a good amount of protein, plus vitamins and minerals. Make sure to eat some yolk in order to get the full value of the good old egg.
2. Fish: Rich in muscle-building protein, fish should be part of your weight training and mass gain diet. Salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and anchovies also contain Omega 3 (essential) fatty acids.
3. Lean beef: Like eggs, beef has been receiving some bad rap. Beef is not only rich in protein, but also contains creatine and other micronutrients. Long before creatine came into the market some of the notable professional bodybuilders relied on beef for mass gain; as it turned out, they were right on the money. Unless you have other religious or health limitations, lean beef should be part of your diet.
4. Cottage cheese: Like beef, bodybuilders of yesteryear were right for gobbling down this stuff. Cottage cheese is rich is casein, which now basic ingredient of one of the most highly regarded protein supplements.
5. Turkey: This bird is a good source of protein as well as vitamins and minerals. And contrary to what you might have heard, eating turkey does not make you sleepy.