- Diet & Weight Loss
Foods To Help You Build Muscle Fast
There's so much information on the internet geared at those who are looking to lose weight fast that a large portion of society often gets overlooked, those who want to gain weight fast or more specifically Build Muscle Fast!
Some of us seem to have extremely high metabolisms and no matter how much we eat, we just can't seem to put on weight or muscle leaving us with confidence issues similar to those of an overweight person.
Just as poor nutrition and diet are often to blame for a person being overweight the same can also be said for those who are underweight. I'm not saying that you're eating unhealthy foods, instead it's more likely that you're just eating the wrong foods and when you do choose the right foods, you're probably not eating enough of them, not enough to gain muscle or gain weight anyway.
So in order to build lean muscle fast, what do we need to do and what foods should we be eating? Let's find out.
Increase Your Calorie Intake
When I say increase your calorie intake, I don't mean head off to the bakery and stock up on cakes and pastries. High fat foods like these will help you to gain weight fast but they certainly won't help you to gain muscle. If you want to build muscle then it's vital that you eat the right kinds of food and here are a few Superfoods that - if you eat enough of them - can help you on your way to a new muscular physique.
For me, pasta is the king of all foods when it comes to increasing your calorie intake in the right way. For muscles to grow they need to receive two simple things from the foods you eat. These are proteins which can be broken down into the building blocks for muscular formation, and carbohydrates which provide the energy required not just for muscles to grow and build, but also for that muscle to be sustained. Pasta is packed full of carbohydrates - slow energy releasing complex carbs if eaten in whole wheat form - and it also contains healthy amounts of protein providing the building blocks for lean muscular growth.
Pasta is also an extremely easy food to add into your diet at any point during the day, it can just be packed up into a lunch box and eaten cold as well as hot. Although pasta contains nice amounts of protein, on it's own pasta is unlikely to provide you with enough protein and calories to build muscle fast. so where can we turn for extra protein?
Fish & Chicken
Let's start with fish. Without turning to supplements, fish is probably one of the leanest forms of protein you can intake in food form. Not only does fish contain large amounts of high quality protein, it also contains healthy fats which help muscles to grow.
Sticking to just one type of protein isn't just boring for the taste buds, it's also not recommended for healthy muscle growth and overall health. As we want to stick to high quality lean proteins, chicken is another amazing food when it comes to building muscle. Like fish, chicken is an extremely lean source of protein. Yes you can still enjoy the occasional steak and bacon sandwich from time to time, but proteins from red meat often come along with unhealthy fats and too much red meat intake has also been linked to cancer.
Milk is well known as a source of calcium but it is also - somewhat debatably - a great source of calories for the hard gainers out there. The term hard gainer was coined in the book 'Brawn' by natural Bodybuilder Stuart McRobert, which you should be able to see to your right. In this book you can find a much more detailed look at the foods we have mentioned in this hub with a muscle building training regime to match. In the book Stuart looks in depth at the arguments surrounding the intake of milk as a tool for weight gain.
Milk - more specifically full fat milk - is packed full of calories and high quality protein, which we have already mentioned are vital in our quest for lean muscle growth. I'm not going to delve too deeply into milk as a nutritional source here because I feel that the subject is worthy of an entire chapter of discussion, but the benefits and results of milk intake for muscle growth are very hard to argue with and I feel Stuart's book gives a very fair discussion of the health arguments from both sides.
Fruit & Veg
When talking about building muscle, one area of nutrition that often gets overlooked is the adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables. People tend to get so obsessed with protein and carbohydrate intake, they forget that for our body to perform any function - including building muscle - it needs to have the right supply of vitamins and minerals. Some people try to make up for this with supplements and I'm not saying that supplements don't help, but supplements can't and shouldn't replace a healthy diet.
When to Eat
Today we've looked at only 3 or 4 foods that can be classed as Superfoods for muscle growth and there are many more that are worthy of a mention, if you have one that you'd like to mention then please leave a comment below.
One thing I would to add to end this post though is this, when you eat is just as important as how much you eat! You may have noticed at the Gym that those with the best physiques and the biggest muscles always seem to be eating. Top bodybuilders don't just eat three meals a day, they often eat six meals a day and this kind of regular food intake is vital if you ever want to grow and sustain muscle. As soon as your body runs out of energy it starts to look for places within the body to steal that energy from. You would think it would turn straight to fat cells but this is not always the case, and for hard gainers fat cells are not always available. One way that your body can gain or preserve energy is to break down the muscle you have already built. So regular, sufficient food intake is vital if you ever want to hold onto you new muscle gains.
One final tip is to eat as soon after a training session as possible which Stuart again highlights in his book, within half an hour if possible. This is when your muscles are beginning to repair themselves after a gruelling workout and if big gains are ever going to made, then you need to give your body the fuel it needs when it needs it the most.
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