Muscle Foods

Jason’s List of Muscle Foods

Below you’ll find a list of muscle building foods. Before going forward, there’s a lot of controversy between food specialists, nutritionists and medical experts about ‘good foods’ and ‘bad foods’ and what is healthy and what is not. The bottom line is you have to make sure you choose one that is going to help you achieve your goals in regards to the building muscle mass, gaining lean muscle, cutting fat, or level of strength you wish to attain.

Below are several foods I consider muscle building foods and are staples in many bodybuilders’ nutrition plans. Of course there are more foods that help you gain muscle than what is listed below (and I may add more over time) but for now, this serves as a basic list of foods to start with.


Whole Eggs for Muscle

Eggs are one of the best muscle building foods you can eat. This is one of those foods that has caused much controversy among nutritionists and health professionals. It’s been said that eggs are too high in fat and raise cholesterol levels. But these myths regarding eggs have been debunked. Below are reasons why whole eggs serve as one of the most excellent muscle building foods.

Muscle Building and Health Benefits of Eating Whole Eggs

– Whole eggs actually help raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol

– Whole eggs are a good source of protein

– Whole eggs contain healthy fats that are essential to overall health

– Whole eggs are loading with vitamins and essential nutrients

– Whole eggs are also loaded with amino acids

There are a number of other benefits to eating whole eggs and some studies show that whole eggs can actually prevent and reverse certain diseases and illnesses. Regardless of whether your goal is to gain muscle mass or lean out whole eggs is a great choice to throw in your nutrition plan as one of your muscle building foods.

I do recommend buying eggs from cage-free hens (or free-roaming hens). This is important because cage-free hens live on more of a natural diet thus providing more nutritional value. There are several ways to cook eggs but I do not advise adding anything to them. I personally scramble or boil my eggs.


Fish for Building Lean Muscle

Fish is one of the most obvious choices for foods that build muscle. Fish in general is an excellent source of protein. Fish is also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and is very low in saturated fat. Many bodybuilders and fitness models eat a lot of fish when they’re preparing for competitions. Eating fish is great for maintaining lean muscle mass while training to get ripped. Also many health professionals recommend eating fish 2-3 times a week.

Benefits of Eating Fish

– Great source of lean protein

– Low in calories

– Contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and is low in saturated fat

– Can lower the risk of certain diseases and illnesses such as heart disease and certain types of cancers

A few things to keep in mind when eating fish; some fish contain high levels of mercury and and environmental contaminants. These are generally larger, predatory fish and marine animals. Stick to fish such as salmon, tilapia, orange roughy, tuna, shrimp, and catfish.

A note on cooking fish; do not fry your fish. Grill it or bake it using low sodium seasoning.


Chicken Breast for Building Lean Muscle

Chicken is another obvious foods that build muscle, specifically boneless skinless chicken breasts. Like fish, anyone that’s keeping a close eye on their physique will eat chicken breasts primarily because it’s a good source of protein and is low in fat and overall calories.

Benefits of Eating Chicken Breasts

– Great source of lean protein

– Low in both fat and calories (boneless, skinless chicken breasts)

– Full of vitamins and nutrients

The thing you have to watch out for with chicken is that this super healthy muscle building food can turn into a health nightmare in kitchen with very little effort. Many people like to fry their chicken or load it up with high sodium seasonings or spices. Now, me personally, I’m all about seasonings and spices. There are indeed some less threatening seasonings and spices out there. As I’ve stated before, you have to read the labels and become familiar with what you’re putting into your body. The best choice is grilled or baked skinless boneless chicken breasts (or you can cook it in a crock pot).


Red Meat for Building Muscle Mass

Here’s another food that there’s some debate over in regards to health. None the less, red meat is a solid muscle building food. Red meat consists of pork, beef, and lamb.

Benefits of Eating Chicken Breasts

– High in protein

– Great source of iron

– High in zinc which supports a healthy immune system

– Great choice for those on low carb diets yet don’t want to drop their calorie intake

– Good source of other vitamins and nutrients

The low-down on this muscle building food, hence the benefits above is that red meat isn’t ‘bad’ for you. However, like most things in life too much red meat could cause some potential health concerns. Red meats are high in saturated fat and cholesterol so you don’t necessarily want to eat it daily. On the other hand you can opt for low fat sources of meat such as lean cuts of steak or lean ground beef (you can find a 93/7 protein to fat ratio for lean ground beef). This may eliminate any health concerns.


Milk for Gaining Muscle

Milk definitely does a body good and can also be categorized in the section of muscle building foods. Of course if you’re lactose intolerant milk obviously isn’t a good choice. But for those that can drink milk and are looking to make some muscle and strength gains milk should be a part of your nutrition plan.

Benefits of Drinking Milk

– Good source of protein

– Promotes bone health

– Supports your immune system

– Known to prevent numerous illnesses and chronic ailments

– The nutrients in milk are mandatory for the body

– Excellent addition to protein shakes

Now there may be some debate as whether you should drink whole milk, skim milk, 2% milk, etc. This really depends on the individual (as with most foods). If you’re on a low calorie nutrition plan then skim, 1% or 2% milk may be best. If not then go with whole milk.

I personally drink 2% milk and mix the majority of my protein shakes with it.


Sweet Potatoes for Muscle

Carb Up with Sweet Potatoes for Muscle

There are some health professionals that frown on carbohydrate foods but we’ve learned that it’s more so the type of carbs that impact your health and the ability to burn fat (or gain fat). There’s one thing for certain and that is our bodies demand the vitamins and nutrients that come from fruits and vegetables. One of the greatest natural sources of vitamins and nutrients are sweet potatoes deeming it as part of the foods that build muscle.

Benefits of Eating Sweet Potatoes

– Healthy source of carbohydrates

– Contains more vitamins and nutrients than any other fruit or vegetable

– Loaded with antioxidants

– Known to prevent numerous illnesses and chronic ailments

Not only are sweet potatoes one of the healthiest muscle building foods in the carb category but they also taste good. You do need to eat healthy sources of fat and protein when you eat sweet potatoes (never should you eat a carb source alone).

A note on cooking sweet potatoes: boiling or steaming them is the best way to preserve its nutrients.


*** There are more foods that will help you build muscle that you should certainly add to your list such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, natural peanut butter, almonds, olive oil (anything with healthy fats), etc.

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