The Best (and Worst) Foods for Building Muscle from The Best (and Worst) Foods for Building Muscle

The Best (and Worst) Foods for Building Muscle

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The Best (and Worst) Foods for Building Muscle

Dr. Wayne Phillips, PhD, FACSM and Chief Science Officer at MuscleSoundMuscle strength and mass both decline with age. However, if you prioritize building muscle in the present moment, there are substantial lifelong health benefits awaiting you.

If you are looking to gain muscle and improve the overall quality of your life, continue reading for the best (and worst) foods to complement your exercise regimen.

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Best: Protein

Protein is the most essential building block when it comes to achieving healthy muscle. Incorporating protein sources such as lean meats, eggs, and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines) is the most efficient and effective way to reach an ideal muscle mass.

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Best: Whole Grains

Not only do whole grains provide long-lasting energy throughout the day but they also enable you to grow lean muscle mass and strength. Slow-digesting whole grains such as steel cut oatmeal or brown rice are perfect because they keep you feeling full, energized and strong.

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Best: Fruits and Leafy Vegetables

So many health issues can be avoided by eating colorful fruits and vegetables. Consider incorporating oranges, cantaloupe, apples, spinach, and beets into your diet. These foods support and increase muscle growth, strength and endurance. In addition to helping grow new muscle, these foods keep muscle fatigue at bay, shortening your active downtime due to recovery and allowing you to progress faster in your quest for muscle health.

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Best: Healthy Fats and Oils

Low-fat diets inhibit muscle growth, steal energy away, and ultimately starve the body of the essential nutrients needed to function at an optimal state. However, high-quality fats and oils, such as those found in fish, nuts, flaxseed and avocados, support lean muscle growth and offer a more sustainable approach to maintaining a healthy composition throughout your life.

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Worst: High Fat

Foods that are high in fat significantly impact how your body and muscles metabolize the nutrients you consume. This can lead to increased risk of weight gain, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes at a quicker rate than most realize. A study by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute showed that just five days of eating a high-fat diet can manipulate the way your muscles process macronutrients.

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Worst: High Sugar

Diets high in sugar are known to cause obesity, tooth decay and heart disease. Sugar can also have an incredibly negative effect on your muscles. When you consume sugary foods, your blood sugar rises, leading your body to release insulin and flood your muscles with the sugar which is ultimately stored as fat.

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Worst: Highly Processed

As consumers’ demand for convenience foods skyrocket, so have the number of processed foods we eat daily. Highly processed foods are notoriously low in nutrients seen in whole foods including healthful fibers. Also, they are high in refined carbohydrates and sugars which completely undercut efforts to gain healthy muscle mass.

The Best (and Worst) Foods for Building Muscle