When you are ready to get serious about muscle-building it pays to know a thing or two about how the body uses the foods we put in it. If your scientific abilities are about as small as your muscles, the simple takeaway for you would to just combine more of these foods with your post workout meals. While there will be no pop quiz at the end of this article, the results you get from making simple changes in your nutrition will be your greatest test.
Check out this list of everyday foods that help you build muscle to have your foods do more for you.
Eggs Build Muscle
Protein from foods works in different ways and is absorbed differently by our bodies. The incredible edible egg is one of the most easily-absorbed proteins your body will ever digest and this results in more muscles with less work. This readily available food contains all eight essential amino acids needed for muscle recovery after your tough workouts and includes valuable vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, E and K as well as minerals calcium, zinc and iron. Make sure you eat the yolk to aid in fat breakdown and to benefit from brain and nervous system-enhancing vitamin B12.
Salmon Build Muscle
Non-farmed raised salmon (i.e. wild) is packed with muscle-building proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. Because the idea of muscle-building foods is to store new protein faster than your body uses existing protein, Omega-3s are a great recovery benefit.
Beef Build Muscle
While lean chicken gets a lot of attention, we like beef because it provides a major source of minerals zinc and iron, two essential micronutrients for human health. When looking for cuts of beef at the grocer, ask your butcher about the leanest cuts or go straight for the rounds, loins or flat iron cuts. The other great thing about beef is that is a top source of creatine – the supply of energy you need to lift heavy weights.
Almonds Build Muscle
A few handfuls of almonds every day will help you get a healthy dose of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant that helps you recover from your workouts faster.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Build Muscle
Like almonds, olive oil contains anti-catabolic nutrients that help prevent your muscles from breaking down. It too contains loads of vitamin E and is a great addition to foods that call for butter (as in, use olive oil instead of butter).
Water Build Muscle
While not technically a food, water is one of the most important nutrients you’ll ever put into your body. Your muscles consist of about 80 percent water so any deficiency could mean you are selling yourself short. If you are well-hydrated during, before and after your workouts, you’ll provide your body with a better foundation to build muscle. If you are thirsty, have yellow urine, or have a dry mouth, you are probably already a bit dehydrated. Research on the amount of water you should drink varies but eight 8-ounce glasses per day should provide a baseline. You may require more on hot days or during vigorous workouts as well.
Coffee Build Muscle
This is a bit of a weird one but coffee does have a lot of proven science behind it in terms of being a performance enhancer. Drinking a couple cups of coffee a few hours before a workout has been shown to help with anaerobic activities like weight lifting. Go easy on the sugar and sweeteners though – those are no good for you.
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