If you are planning to build muscle mass one of the most important things is your diet. You can't gain muscle mass if you aren't consuming enough calories and all three macronutrients - PROTEINS, CARBS, and FATS.
One of the mistakes that many hard gainers make is that they don't consume fats and they do not understand that there are fats that they should eat. It is very important to avoid trans fats, that should be clear. Also, in order to increase muscle mass, you need to consume twice more carbs than proteins. Protein is the most important nutrient for muscle building, but carbs are crucial for building muscle mass.
HOW MANY CARBS, FATS, AND PROTEINS?
You should aim to at least 1.2 grams of protein per 1 pound of your weight. In order to build muscle mass you need to stick with this calories ratio:
What are the top 20 muscle-building foods?
1. Lean White Meat (Chicken & Turkey)
Chicken and Turkey breasts are the staple of every bodybuilding diet. If you want to build muscle or to burn fat then you should include lean white meat in your diet.
100 gr of white meat will fill you with 31 grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat, which is very good for building lean muscle mass.
Fish is one of the best muscle-building foods. Let's take salmon, for example, it contains about 25 grams of protein in 100 grams portion. Also, fish meat is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which are great for your heart and muscles too.
Together with fish and white meat, eggs are also very good source of proteins. It is very cheap to buy them, very easy to prepare them and they are delicious. Each egg contains about 5 - 6 grams of protein. The protein in eggs is probably the most efficiently for muscle growth among all other whole foods.
4. Lean Red Meat
Red meats, like lean beef, are the excellent source of protein. 100 grams of lean beef contains about 27 grams of protein, and that is not all, red meat is considered as best food for naturally increasing testosterone levels which support muscle growth. That is because red meat is filled with zinc, iron, and B12 vitamins.
5. Cottage Cheese
Another great source of protein, and almost entirely pure casein protein. Casein protein is recommended for meals before bedtime because they are very slow digesting and muscles are fed during sleep.
6. Whey Protein Powder
Although it is considered as the supplement, whey protein is one of the best sources of protein with 30 grams of protein per one scoop (35 gr). It is the best post-workout protein source because it is fastest digesting and it feeds your muscles with quality proteins and reduces the risk of catabolism after a hard training session.
I recommend making homemade mass gainers as post workout meals for faster muscle gains:
7. Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter is one of the best muscle-building foods. It is filled with proteins and good fats and it is very high in healthy calories. 100 gr serving of peanut butter can provide you about 30 gr of protein and 600 healthy calories.
Oatmeal is one of the best sources of carbohydrates containing about 70 gr of carbs per 100 gr serving. Also, it is filled with 13 gr of proteins. One of the best choices for breakfast meal.
9. Mixed Nuts
Almonds, Peanuts, Walnuts and other kinds of nuts are also very good for building muscle mass. They are great sources of healthy fats and also protein. Nuts are also loaded with important nutrients like fiber, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium.
It is enough to say that only one cup of milk contains 8 grams of protein and 13 grams of carbohydrates. Milk is also rich in branched chain amino acids (BCCAs), so it is a better and cheaper solution than buying BCCAs supplements.
11. Brown Rice (Very good source of carbs)
12. Sweet Potatoes
13. Ezekiel Bread
15. Greek Yogurt
16. Olive Oil
20. Flax Seeds
Don't forget to eat fruits and consume a lot of water too. Those 20 are just foods for muscle building but you need also to consume a lot of vitamins from fruits like oranges, apples, and berries.
That is it, create your own muscle-building diet plan with these 20 foods and also check out which exercises are best for building muscle mass: