Gains in the gym depend heavily on dietary choices. Food and drink can make or break even the most strenuous workout regimen. Here are the best and worst foods for anyone looking to build lean muscle as recommended by David Reagan, Atlanta-based fitness guru:
The Best Foods:
There’s a reason Rocky always drank that glass full of raw eggs. Eggs are a fantastic source of protein, healthy fats, and nutrients. Eggs are also fairly low in calories which will help you build that lean muscle you are looking for. And don’t skip the yolk. It is widely known that consuming both the egg white and yolk will help build the most muscle.
Fish is another great source of lean protein. Plus, it is packed with heart-healthy fats, vitamins, and nutrients. The fatty acids that are found in fish actually help stimulate muscle building.
Brown Rice and Chicken
We lumped these two together because they are commonly eaten together by bodybuilders and people looking to get whipped into shape. Of course, they can be eaten separately and each pack their own set of advantages. We’ll start with brown rice. First of all, brown rice will help keep you feeling full because it is slow-digesting. This will help you cut back on calories from snacking. Brown rice is also believed to increase the body’s natural growth hormone levels, which encourages lean muscle growth.
Now for the chicken. In order to see the best results, we recommend the chicken breast. It is loaded with protein. Each 3-ounce serving contains around 26 grams of protein in addition to tons of vitamins to keep you healthy.
Greek yogurt is an excellent source of vitamin D. This helps your body absorb key nutrients, including calcium. Calcium is vital for muscle contractions, leading to more tone and definition on your body when greek yogurt is part of your lean muscle building diet.
The Worst Foods:
You knew this was coming, right? It’s not a food, but some people treat it like it is. Regular alcohol consumption puts extra stress on your body. This stress increases your body’s demands for antioxidants. This means the alcohol steals the antioxidants that are typically used to help muscle recovery and they are instead used to metabolize the beer you just chugged.
White bread and bagels are a great way to pack in a lot of calories and refined carbs without much nutritional value.
In order to build lean muscle, you want to avoid any foods loaded with added sugars. That includes candy, donuts, cookies, ice cream, cakes, soda, and sports drinks.
Too Much Protein
This one might be a little controversial, but hear us out. We aren’t talking about those good proteins like nuts, chicken, rice, and fish. We’re talking about slamming down three protein shakes in a row and then chasing it with a protein bar. Not only are you adding a lot of extra sugar when consuming these fabricated proteins, but you are also flooding your bloodstream with too much protein. Guess what happens when your body gets too much protein? It will convert it into fat instead of muscle.
Incorporate more of these good foods and less of the bad into your diet while you are trying to build lean muscle and you will be stirring up a batch of biceps in no time!
About David Reagan
David Reagan is an Atlanta-based NASM Certified personal trainer who specializes in weight loss, personalized workout plans, bodybuilding, and nutrition. He caters to high-end clients and executives in Atlanta, Georgia, helping them achieve their fitness goals by accommodating their busy schedules. The client’s needs come first, and David’s fitness plan will set you up on the path to success.