What Foods Are Best For Gaining Lean Muscle?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What foods are best for gaining lean muscle? Protein is the most important building block to growing muscle.

Without consuming protein, you will have a challenging time putting on any muscle. If you don’t eat any high-quality protein foods, your body just won’t grow. And I don’t care what type of weight-training or strength training routine you are doing.

What are the 3 things that will dictate muscle gain vs muscle loss:

  • The quality of food
  • Amount of calories
  • How much protein

The amount of protein that is needed to put on muscle growth depends on how much you weigh and how many calories you are consuming. You must consume more calories that is needed to maintain your body weight to gain muscle.

Your protein intake should make up at least 15% of your total daily caloric intake. For example, if you are on a 2000 calorie a day diet your protein intake should be around 300 calories.

What foods are best for gaining lean muscle?

These are the sources of protein that will help you gain muscle:

  • Lean Beef- It has about 228 calories, 15 grams of fat in a 3 oz portion. And it contains B vitamins, creatine and it has 22 grams of protein.
  • Chicken Breast- A 3 oz chicken breast has about 26 grams of high-quality protein. It has about 140 calories in that portion size. It has B Vitamins, B6 and Niacin.
  • Tuna– A 3 oz tuna has about 20 grams of protein and contains Vitamin A, niacin, B12, B6. It has 112 calories in this portion size. All these vitamins and minerals are good for optimal health and workout performance.
  • Turkey Breast– A 3 oz turkey breast has 25 grams of protein, B vitamins and niacin.
  • Beans– It contains 15 grams of protein per cup whether it be kidney beans, pinto beans, or black beans.
  • Quinoa-1 cup of cooked quinoa has about 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and contains magnesium. Magnesium plays an important in the function of your muscle and nerves. It also contains 222 calories in one cup.
  • Almonds– one half cup of almonds contains 16 grams of protein. It contains vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus. Phosphorous helps your body use carbs and fat for energy at rest during exercise.
  • Shrimp– a 3 oz shrimp contains 18 grams of protein. 1 gram of fat and 0 carbs. Shrimp has a high amount of the amino acid leucine. And leucine is vital in building muscle mass growth.

The Bottom Line: You will never go wrong in incorporating these protein and muscle building foods in your regular daily meals, especially if your goal is to build and maintain lean muscle mass.

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