Nutrition and physical activity are vital if you want to gain lean muscle. To begin with, it is vital to challenge your body through physical activity. However, without adequate nutritional support, your progress will fail.
Protein-rich foods are important for muscle gain, but carbohydrates and fats are also a necessary source of energy. If your goal is to gain lean muscle, you should concentrate on regular exercise and get more calories from your muscle-healthy foods every day.
There are 26 main foods that obtain lean muscle.
The eggs contain high quality proteins, healthy fats and other important nutrients such as B vitamins and choline (1).
Proteins are composed of amino acids, and eggs contain many amino acids, leucine, which is especially important for muscle growth (1, 2). In addition, B vitamins are essential for various processes in the body, including energy production (3, 4).
Salmon is a great option for muscle exercise and overall health. Each 3 ounces (85 grams) of salmon contain approximately 17 grams of protein, almost 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids and several important B vitamins (5).
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in muscle health and may even increase muscle gain in sports (6).
3. Chicken breast
Chicken breast is considered the main reason to get muscle, which is a good reason. They are rich in protein, 3 ounces (85 grams) each, which contain approximately 26 grams of high quality protein (7). They also contain large amounts of B vitamins niacin and B6, which can be especially important if you are active (7).
These vitamins help your body function properly during exercise and exercise, which is essential for optimal muscle gain (4). In addition, some studies have shown that high-protein diets containing chicken can help reduce fat (8).
4. Greek yogurt
Dairy products contain not only high-quality protein, but also a mix of rapidly digested whey protein and slow-digesting casein. Some studies have shown that when people eat a combination of slow-digesting and slow-digesting dairy proteins, people experience an increase in lean body mass (9).
However, not all dairy products are the same.
For example, Greek yogurt generally contains twice as much protein as normal yogurt (10, 11). Although Greek yogurt is a good snack, it may be beneficial to eat it after exercise or before bedtime because it mixes digested proteins quickly and slowly (9, 12).
In addition to taking 20 grams of protein per 3 ounces (85 grams), tuna contains a lot of vitamin A and several B vitamins, including B12, niacin and B6. These nutrients are important for optimal health, energy and athletic performance (4, 13, 14).
In addition, tuna provides a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids that promote muscle health (6, 13).
This is especially important for the elderly. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can decrease the reduction of muscle mass and strength with age (15).
6. lean beef
The meat contains high quality protein, B vitamins, minerals and creatine (16, 17). Some studies have even shown that eating lean red meat can increase the lean body weight gained through weight training (18).
However, even if you want to gain muscle, it is best to choose the meat that supports muscle gain without providing too many extra calories. For example, a 3-ounce (85-gram) 70% lean beef has 228 calories and up to 15 grams of fat (19).
However, the same amount of 95% lean beef contains a little more protein, just 145 calories and 5 grams of fat (20).
Shrimp is almost pure protein. Each 3 ounce serving (85 grams) contains 18 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat and zero carbohydrates (21) While healthy fats and carbohydrates are important to your overall diet, adding shrimp is an easy way to get muscle protein without the need for extra calories.
Like many other animal proteins, shrimp contain large amounts of the amino acid leucine, which is essential for optimal muscle growth (21, 22).