What’s the right diet if you want to build muscle?

Omega 3 rich salmon

A good diet for building muscle is one that will help you to slowly build, whilst maintaining leanness in the process. It takes a bit of experimentation to see how much protein and carbs you can tolerate, whilst keeping your physique in check. When you lift weights, this alone should help you balance your insulin sensitivity. Fasting also works well with this strategy. Yes, you can build muscle mass when fasting.

They key to building muscle is not about bulking up at all (just in case you were wondering), but more so about applying the correct training stimulus and providing your body with the best nutrients possible to support the following aspects:

  • Balancing your hormones
  • Enhancing insulin sensitivity
  • Immune function
  • Gut health
  • Protein synthesis
  • Tissue repair (recovery)
  • Managing cortisol

Building muscle is a challenging feat, but if we can get your dietary requirements right, as well as your training, you have a better chance achieving this steadily, and over a stretch of time. Infusing your diet with a variety of high protein foods, that carry the necessary nutrient values to be used as building blocks for muscle and tissue repair.

There are also certain proteins which are critical for building muscle (in which you can use in a supplement form) such as glutamine, glycine, creatine, carnitine, camosine and also
omega 3.

Animal protein is superior for this task at hand, but we should not ignore the benefits and nutritional profiles of plant-based foods, because they too provide a multitude of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. They also help to combat inflammation.

Variety of nutrients is key, and if you are just consuming chicken breast and broccoli on a daily basis, you aren’t providing your body with the best possible value – and will most likely setting yourself up for dietary failure (and boredom!)

In terms of protein, quality is key, there is no doubt. This will provide you with the best way to achieve optimal muscle development. Although I myself do not consume meat products (as I’m a pescatarian) you can still get an ample amount of value from seafood and eggs. Your dietary preferences will be unique and should best fit your own health and values. But I can say with certainty, that you can still build muscle mass, even if you don’t eat chicken or beef. Keep focused on your goals and do what feels comfortable.

Below I’ll highlight some great foods to include within your diet plan, in order to get the most benefit out of your muscle building efforts.

Top 5 foods for building muscle mass & control hormone balance
(suitable vegan and vego options available):

  1. Cold water fish. Salmon is a spectacular fish for muscle development, because of its array of amino acids, as well as providing a large amount of healthy fats. This provides you with better insulin health, as well as helping combat inflammation. Try to go for salmon as much as you can, and supplement with sardines, anchovies and mackerel.
  2. Organic beef. Beef contains omega 3 fats, that can help with inflammation and improve your insulin sensitivity, it’s a very filling and tasty protein option, for those who enjoy it.
  3. Nuts – brazil nuts, almonds and walnuts.
    Although not as profound as beef and salon, nuts provide a good source of healthy fats, lots of fibre and protein. Studies repeatedly show that those who consume nuts regularly have better body composition, overall health and longevity. Nut’s have a large array of vitamins and minerals. These are a good alternative for vegans
  4. Asparagus. This wonderful vegetable actually enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose to cells. It’s one of the most favourite vegetable sources for many bodybuilders. Asparagus also provides antioxidants, which help to strengthen the immune system. Steam some with your protein sources for extra benefit.
  5. Cinnamon. A wonderful spice that improves your insulin sensitivity. Put cinnamon in your coffee, yoghurt, when you cook and even on sweet potato (it’s very yummy, I promise you).

I do hope the information above is of use to you. There are certainly a lot more detailed aspects we can get into, but I do believe starting off with the basics is a lot more beneficial than going into great detail straight off the bat. Please feel free to send me a message if I can help you go along, even further. If you appreciate this, why not join me via my website or join me on fb and insta social. Please feel free to upvote this answer if it has been useful in some way to you.

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