Chicken is easily one of the best sources of protein as well as being one of the most versatile. For serious bodybuilders confined to the so-called limitations of healthy foods, chicken can be prepared in so many different ways, combined and adapted with such a plethora of side dishes as well as being delicious on its own, that keeping this in your fridge-freezer will never feel repetitive or dull.
Chicken, as with all foods that are a high-quality protein source, is essential for muscle repair, recovery and, of course, building.
Beef is loaded with protein, iron, zinc, cholesterol and B vitamins, making it ideal for muscle builders. Further to this, its high levels of amino acid promote muscle growth. Lean beef from grass-fed cows is ideal in lean muscle building as it is high in protein and low in calories compared to other high-protein goods such as beans.
Eggs are famous for their high protein content and assistance in lean muscle gains (when you take out the cholesterol-filled yolks). Though, the cholesterol from eggs has been shown to decrease the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol particles associated with atherosclerosis.
Along with protein, eggs consist of nine essential amino acids, choline and vitamin D.
At such value for money, if you’re looking for breakfast ideas and all-day snacks that are of a more healthy variety to assist your gains, look up a few recipes involving egg whites or boil a few and take them out with you in the morning.
It’s not all about what food has the most protein as carbs are just as essential in growth. The question is which carbs? Refined, empty carbs do not possess much of the nutritional value that you really need from them and will leave you feeling hungry sooner than whole grain products. Whole grain foods are therefore a priority and this slowly-digested whole grain means that you are breaking down energy to last the day. As well as doing this, brown rice can help to boost your growth hormone (GH) levels, which are integral in muscle growth.
Cottage cheese is high in casein protein, which means it is slowly digested and acts as a reserve for a longer stretch of time than those quickly absorbed.
A great trick for muscle gainers is to beat the night-time fast by eating some before going to bed. Think about it: you spend all day trying to get your protein for gains and then each night when you sleep you essentially fast for eight hours.
Cottage cheese is also good for vitamin B12 and calcium.
Quinoa is a top source of protein as well as a slow-digesting carb, making it your new favourite food as it has everything a bodybuilder could need to grow and recovery before and after a hard session.
What’s good for Pop-Eye is good for you; spinach, after all, is where he got his strength and massive forearms from. Spinach is a top source of glutamine, an amino acid that is important for lean muscle growth.
Fish is so well known as a muscle Gainer’s favourite that it seems almost too obvious to mention. High in protein, low in fat and a solid source of omega-3 fatty acids, several servings of tuna and other seafood has been linked to everything from muscle growth and brain function to recovery and a healthy metabolism.
Oatmeal is another top source of slow-burning carbs. High in fibre and possessing a low glycemic index (GI), porridge is the perfect breakfast to start your day and fill your tank for the workout that lies ahead.
Fruits and Vegetables
There’s a good reason why healthcare professionals advise that you get your 5-a-day. Fruit and veg is high in antioxidants, which are good for your immune system. Mainly, they are filled with essential vitamins and fibre, meaning that you’ll get all the nutrition you need for energy and digestion.