Five Foods & Supplements That Boost Muscle Mass
Have you spent months exercising at the gym and still not seen expected results? If you really want to pack on more lean muscle mass, the right exercise alone will not do the trick — you need the right food that has a positive effect on your performance at the gym too.
If you are dying to bulk up and look chiseled, you need a well-balanced diet aided with rigorous workouts. Building muscle is the key to a healthy body. Healthy muscle mass not only results in breakdown of fat cells, it also reduces risk to osteoporosis and diabetes and helps you burn calories when you are not exercising.
Let us talk about five foods and supplements that will boost your muscle mass, aid in athletic performance and show you faster and better results.
1. High Protein Foods
To build muscle mass, you need protein. Since your body is mostly made of protein and water, you need to get 30 per cent of your caloric intake from proteins. The best sources of proteins are eggs, animal meat like chicken, turkey, red meat and fish as well as plant sources like beans and legumes. Nuts are also a powerhouse of proteins and healthy fats. Proteins are made of amino acids, which are the building blocks of our body. There are over 20 kinds of amino acids, and the best way to get some of each is to vary the sources from which you derive your daily protein intake.
2. Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are the only supplement you need to boost your muscle growth. Though good natural sources of protein are a must in your diet, the only way you can aid muscle growth and muscle repair pre- and post-workout is with protein shakes. There are five essential kinds of protein shakes, and using either one of these will show significant improvement in your performance at the gym.
- Whey protein shakes, which are mainly made from whey protein components.
- Casein protein shakes, which are essentially made from caseins.
- Blended protein shakes, that are a combination of egg, casein and whey protein
- Egg protein shakes, which are essentially made from egg proteins.
- Soy protein shakes, which are best for vegetarians
A study done in Canada’s Laurentian University proved that you get similar muscle-boosting effects from all kinds of protein shakes. The choice lies in your budget, daily fibre needs and digestive system.
Drinking two to three litres of water daily will boost your muscle mass. Muscles are made with 80 per cent water and when they are dehydrated, they take a longer time to repair. After a long workout session, wherein you have tried your best to develop your muscles with necessary weightlifting, rest assured that the post-recovery period will result in some muscle breakdown. To avoid this, your muscles don’t just need some protein but also need enough water. So don’t be afraid to drink water before, during and after a workout. This will only improve your endurance levels and help keep you hydrated.
4. Complex Crabs And Healthy Fats
A diet rich in only protein will not help you build more muscle — if anything, it will give you an upset stomach! Protein is tough to digest, which is why it offers a time release formula for energy boosting. For instant energy, your body needs carbohydrates. Forty to 50 per cent of your daily calories must come from complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. If you don’t add enough carbohydrate to your diet, your body will ultimately break down muscle to release energy. Also, carbs keep you energised throughout your workout and give you better endurance. Eat complex carbs like vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereal and potatoes. Healthy fats must also be added to your diet in the form of flaxseed, nuts, olive oil and oily fish. Fat helps produce testosterone, which is essential for muscle growth and buildup. So boost your muscles by adding healthy carbs and healthy fats to your daily caloric intake.
5. Meal Replacement Shakes
Our list of five muscle-building foods is incomplete without meal replacement shakes. Sometimes we find that striking a balance between protein, carbohydrates, fats and essential nutrients is tougher than we think. The simple solution – a meal replacement shake. Depending on how you have placed your meals, you will find meal replacement shakes that offer you anything between 200 to 1,000 calories per shake, which make for an entire meal that is nutritionally correct. These are ideal for days when you don’t have time to prepare a meal and are still hell-bent on getting food that meets your dietary requirements. A great example is Labrada Lean Body Mass, which offers you 320 calories which come from 22g of carbs, 40g of protein and 8g of healthy fats.
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