Top 17 Best Muscle Building Foods

Building my body was always something I wanted to do. I have been physically active since a child and was able to build my leg muscles with lean muscle, but my upper body was another matter. I was very petite, and no matter what I did, my arms and shoulders stayed slim.

I started working with my diet as well as varied my exercises to try to build that long sought after muscle, and I got it. High-protein foods are a key food for gaining muscle, though a well-balanced diet should be maintained as much as possible.


The Best Muscle Building Foods


1. Salmon

Salmon is a healthy fish for your body and building your muscles. There are 17 grams of protein per salmon serving. The salmon is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and B-vitamins. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for your brain functioning.

Omega-3 fatty acids can increase your muscle gain while you workout. Salmon is a high-protein fish and is almost 200 calories. The combination of protein and vitamin B12 is a good way to boost muscle growth and encourage a healthy body to perform at its best.


2. Chicken Breast

Lean organic chicken is full of protein with a serving of around 26 grams of high-quality protein. Chicken has other nutrients that help keep your muscles healthy and strong such as niacin and vitamin B6, which are important vitamins for an active body.

What makes chicken more important for many people, some early studies into weight loss have shown that eating lean chicken can help with weight loss. Whether you are hoping to turn excess fat into muscle or slim down, eating chicken is a healthy way to lose weight as well as build muscle.


3. Greek Yogurt

Dairy is a healthy option for a large dose of protein. Dairy is a healthy food item for your body, and Greek Yogurt is full of good things, including live active cultures, which help you to digest your food more efficiently. They also make more your gut healthy and enable you to ingest a large amount of protein as Greek yogurt has more than double the amount of protein.


4. Tuna

Tuna fish is another fish that provides a large dose of protein. Tuna provides large amounts of vitamins A, B, and B12 in addition to 20 grams of protein. The body needs all these vitamins for proper functioning. They also do their part to help you to build muscle and improve your exercise performance.

Omega-3 fatty acids are part of the foods that support healthy muscle development and maintaining it. A study conducted about muscle mass found that healthy older adults who consume plenty of omega-3 fatty acids can help maintain healthy muscle mass


5. Tofu

Tofu is a healthy protein option for vegetarians and contains 10 grams of healthy protein, 2 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of healthy fat. Soy products help your body to develop muscle from their plant proteins. Tofu is one of the best foods muscle building foods for anyone on a plant-based diet.


6. Beans

Beans are another good option for vegetarians wishing to build muscle with healthy proteins. They help to build lean muscle and are full of fiber in addition to B vitamins. Most beans have about 15 grams of high-quality protein.


7. Brown Rice

Brown rice does not provide as much protein as other types of foods, but they are good carbohydrates to pair with a meat or meat substitute. Brown rice only has 5 grams of protein, but its healthy carbohydrates are a good food to eat before or just after your exercise.

The harder you exercise, the more your body needs to help to stimulate muscle growth. Brown rice and the protein it supplements can produce a lot of muscle gain even though it is not a meat protein.


8. Eggs

Eggs are a high-protein food item that has healthy fats, B vitamins, and choline. Eggs help contribute to muscle development and to regulate the glucose levels in your blood. The regulation helps to build the energy, strength, and power of your muscles while they grow and develop.

Large eggs have around 75 kcal of protein and fat. They also have thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and vitamin B12. All of these nutrients are needed not only to build muscle but to stay healthy.


9. Chickpeas

Chickpeas provide your body with protein and carbohydrates. 1 cup of chickpeas has 12 grams of protein in addition to 50 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of fiber. As a plant, it has less protein than animal-based protein sources, but it is still a healthy serving of protein that is not animal-based.


10. Quinoa

Building muscle requires a wide variety of foods to keep your body healthy and build muscle. Quinoa is a good food for building lean muscle and providing your muscles with energy to continue to work. When quinoa is cooked, it contains about 40 grams of carbohydrates in addition to the 8 grams of protein.

Quinoa is also packed full of magnesium, which your muscles need to build and the nerves of your body to grow more reactive. The more magnesium you receive, the better connected your body is to your muscles and how they move. The less magnesium you ingest, the more likely you are to get muscle cramps, which is bad for your workout.


11. Turkey Breast

Like chicken, turkey breast is full of protein to help you build muscle. Turkey has 25 grams of protein and is a lean meat with no carbohydrates. It is a healthy meat full of vitamins which help you to digest carbohydrates and fats.

Turkey has a lot of vitamin B. vitamin B helps you to grow muscle as you work out. It also helps you to get enough energy to do your exercising.


12. Shrimp

Shrimp are nothing but protein. They have 18 grams of protein with no carbohydrates. They are a low-calorie addition to your diet. They also have a lot of the amino acid leucine, which helps you to build muscle.

Regular exercise and muscle, in particular, resistance exercises, can benefit greatly from the infusion of protein in your diet. The Leucine helps you to digest your foods while building your muscle mass rapidly. You will also add to your energy for exercising.


13. Soybeans

Soybeans are 14 grams of healthy protein with unsaturated fat and vitamins. Soybeans also provide your body with needed iron, vitamin K, phosphorus. Iron plays an important part in the delivery of oxygen around your body.

Soybeans provide your body with iron. Your body needs iron for it to perform homeostasis. Homeostasis balances the chemicals in your body and your internal body temperature, and the balance of fluids in your body.


14. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a dairy that provides 28 grams of protein. The cottage cheese also has a lot of the amino acid leucine, which helps to build your muscles. Some types of cottage cheese are an exchange of good and less than good. Some types of cottage cheese have high levels of fat, which makes them high in calories.

Cottage cheese provides you with a high protein snack that can build muscle. It also can pack on the calories, which can cause weight gain in those people attempting to lose weight. It should be eaten sparingly or as a low-fat version.


15. Beef

Beef, in particular, lean beef, is packed with protein. Beef provides you with a lot of B vitamins and creatine. High-protein meat like beef helps you to gain lean mass when you are weight training. Beef provides 3 ounces of protein in lean beef. It also has 15 grams of fat.

Lean meat like beef provides your muscles with lean tissue and added muscle strength. The protein from beef helps to enhance your training and the development of your tissue.


16. Tilapia

Tilapia is an economical fish that doesn’t contain as much omega-3 fatty acids as other types of seafood. It provides you with 21 grams of protein and selenium and vitamin B12. All types of vitamins you need to improve your workout and help you build lean muscle.


17. Peanuts

Peanuts can give your body 17 grams of protein and a lot of unsaturated fat. They are a healthy snack you can add to your diet around your main meals. They provide enough calories for your muscles to gain a measure of recovery from your workout and fill you up after you are done with your hard work.


Final Thoughts

Building muscle and losing weight is a goal anyone can have. I found my muscle by eating a diet that was full of high protein foods. I also found the determination to keep working hard through my careful lifestyle changes. Choosing muscle-building foods is an important step forward in your own goals and should help you build strong muscles.


Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
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