What if I told you that you could retain or even gain more muscle mass and strength with less training? The secret lies in your nutrition.
But ignoring nutrition isn't an option. Knowing how nutrition works will help you utilize it for your fitness and strength gains. This works for anyone and everyone, for general fitness maintenance or muscle mass gain.
To get you started, here is my list of the top 7 foods to help you gain more muscle mass and strength.
1. Lean Beef
This should be a staple of your diet if you want to gain muscle mass. Lean beef is loaded with all sorts of things conducive to muscle growth, including iron, zinc and B-vitamins. More importantly, it provides your body with high quality protein (not all proteins are equal), and a high level of amino acid that works with insulin to promote muscle growth. For those who are trying to lose weight, this should come as great news – a 3oz serving of lean beef provides roughly the same amount of protein as 1.5 cups of beans, but at half the calories.
2. Skinless Chicken
Like beef, chicken is an excellent source of high quality protein, which is important for muscle maintenance and repair, bone health, and weight maintenance. And of course, there are so many ways you can cook and prepare chicken. Go down to the store and you can easily find chicken meat cut into single serving sizes that can be seasoned and quickly cooked.
3. Cottage Cheese
Not many people know this, but cottage cheese is almost entirely pure casein protein. Casein is a slow-digesting protein, which means it is perfect for muscle maintenance. This is useful especially for people who have no choice but to go long periods without eating. Cottage cheese is also an excellent source of vitamin B12, calcium, and other important nutrients.
Eggs contain high quality protein, nine essential amino acids, choline, the right kind of fat, and vitamin D. They provide the most value for your money. And eggs are not harmful for your health, as numerous studies have already shown.
5. Tuna and Other Fish
Fish are high in protein, low in fat, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3s are essential because they aid in fat loss and ensure the proper function of your body processes, such as your metabolism.
6. Whole Grains
Whole grains digest more efficiently and provide more nutrients than refined grains. This promotes sustained energy levels and overall health. In particular, brown rice can help boost your growth hormone levels, which are critical for encouraging lean muscle growth, fat loss, and strength gains.
7. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants, which are essential for the healthy functioning of your immune system. They also provide tons of other nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Finally, your body requires the fiber these fruits and vegetables provide to aid in proper digestion and nutrient uptake.