Exercise and weight training are the primary methods for building muscle mass. But without proper nutrition, you may not achieve your full muscle-building potential. Fortunately, eating a diet that’s rich in muscle building foods can help you build your lean muscle mass. Learn about Tony Horton’s favorite foods that help build muscle – and how they may support your fitness goals.
Diet And Muscle Building Basics
The three basic elements that you should include in any muscle-building diet are:
- Healthy fats
These elements make up the essential dietary building blocks for muscle growth. They provide the nutritional profile your body needs – energy, nutrients, and stamina – to help maximize strength gains.1
In addition to these nutrients, certain vitamins and minerals can provide additional benefits. Iron, calcium, and vitamin D in particular may support bodily functions that boost muscle development. That’s why many of Tony Horton’s supplements include vitamin D3.2
Pre- And Post-Workout Meals
When you eat your muscle friendly food matters. A solid pre-workout meal 2-3 hours before physical activity can support muscle growth. Try to include healthy protein, carbs, and fat in a pre-workout meal. Protein synthesizes for muscle growth, carbs supply energy, and healthy fat provides endurance.3
After your workout, try to consume foods with high protein content. This is when your muscles are staged to begin bulking up – and they need protein to achieve that growth. Without this essential nutrition, you won’t achieve optimal growth of muscles.4
Protein shakes are a great way to support this growth. Tony Horton’s specialized drinks, High Impact Plant Protein or High Impact Whey Protein, can support anabolic muscle growth and keep you hydrated.
What About Calories?
Calories are also your friend in the gym. Your body needs energy in order to grow muscles. That energy comes from calories. When you don’t consume enough calories, your body begins to break down muscles as a replacement energy source. This can impede your hefty muscle building goals. That’s why it’s important to maintain a healthy intake of calories in addition to protein, carbs, and healthy fats.5
Fantastic Foods That Help Build Muscle
These are Tony Horton’s go-to foods for maximum muscle growth. They all offer unique nutritional characteristics which make them particularly beneficial for strength training and muscle growth. You will find a variety of foods to help ensure you can include at least one of these items in your daily diet.
Note: Always consult a physician before making changes to your diet.
Salmon can bring any meal to life with its delicate flavor. Plus, it comes loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These amino acids maintain muscular health and may even support muscle growth during exercise or weight lifting.6,7
Delicious, versatile eggs contain lots of quality animal protein that’s made up of the amino acid leucine. The essential amino acids and healthy fat make eggs particularly energy-rich and effective for building muscle.8
Eggs also contain Vitamin B, which provides your body with essential energy for big workouts.9
Keep a stash of almonds on hand so that you always have an easy, excellent source of protein and healthy fat. Almonds are a nutrient-rich snack; the fiber and healthy fats they contain might help curb your appetite between meals.10
Greek yogurt packs a powerful protein punch. One serving offers up 3 times as much protein as regular yogurt. In fact, eating a little less than a cup of Greek yogurt can supply you with 30% of your daily required protein intake.11
One study showed that men who ate 2-3 servings of Greek yogurt instead of carbohydrates with similar calories increased their muscle strength and size with resistance training.12
Quinoa is a particularly great post-workout food. In addition to protein and healthy carbs, it also contains lots of magnesium and iron. Both of these nutrients help with muscle protein synthesis. Plus, it’s a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs to build lean muscles.13
Quinoa also acts as a healthy source of carbohydrates that you need for energy. It is naturally gluten-free and a great source of fiber.14
Your muscle development diet shouldn’t be all beef and whey protein. A balanced diet also includes plenty of plant foods and veggies. Kale is particularly rich in iron and antioxidants – which you need for muscle growth. This leafy green even contains more protein than a slab of fatty beef. All these nutrients work hard to help your muscles recover and grow after a workout.15
These powerful root veggies keep your diet balanced, and they are high in betaine. This nutrient can support muscle development and work to repair damaged joints. Unlike protein, betaine won’t directly promote muscle growth, but it will power your movements and help you lift more to ultimately build muscle.16
Busy schedules can make it tough to always eat proper meals for muscle development. That’s when supplements like protein powders can be super beneficial. Whey protein powders and plant-based protein powders can help supplement diets with essential proteins and vitamins. Tony Horton’s own powders are specifically designed to supply the most crucial blends of protein, enzymes, and vitamins for muscle development.
Protein should primarily come from whole foods. But, studies show that protein supplements are a great way to ensure you achieve your daily recommended amount of protein. This is particularly true during resistance training to stimulate and maintain muscle mass.17
Chicken breasts should definitely find a place next to your other muscle-building foods. This lean, high-quality protein source is easily synthesized by your body to help support muscles strained during training. Lean chicken also has other essential nutrients, like niacin, which converts carbs and fat into energy to give your muscles a healthy boost.18
Building Muscles Takes More Than Weights
All the weights in the gym can’t help you efficiently build muscle without proper nutrition. A diet that focuses on muscle building foods can provide your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to recover and build muscle mass.
A healthy balance of whole foods will ensure you get all your necessary protein, carbs, and healthy fats. These nutrients provide the energy your body needs to recover and build muscle after a workout. So, add these muscle boosting foods to your diet before your next trip to the gym.
-Foods That Help Sore Muscles
-Learn The Difference Between A Dietitian And Nutritionist For Healthy Eating
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