Guess what? ‘Men’s Health’ published a list of the top 30 foods that build muscle – and it SHOCKED me!!
Because it was good! It contained accurate information and wasn’t, as I had anticipated, a low-fat fare. I believe attitudes are changing out there – about time!
In addition to this article, I highly recommend you see my post, ‘The Top 5 Protein Sources For Building Muscle‘. It ain’t all about the amount of protein you get, the quality is all-important.
Of course, don’t forget your whey protein in addition to this list. Whey is a fantastic, cheap, and complete protein that really helps you pack on muscle. For high quality whey proteins that are the cheapest around, I personally recommend are Optimum Nutrition Whey in the USA and Impact Whey from MyProtein for Europe. Don’t forget that MuscleHack readers are entitled to 10% off their entire order at MyProtein by using these links and the code ‘MUSCLEHACK’ at checkout UK/Europe link | USA link.
NOTE: If I’ve placed a green tick beside the item, consider it good for the low-carb section of my carb-cycling MANS bodybuilding diet. After the top 30 list, I’ve posted up an infographic of high protein foods with serving sizes and grams of protein – feel free to save it to your device 😀
30 FOODS THAT BUILD MUSCLE
(1) Sunflower Seeds – High in protein at 25 grams per 100g and a great little snack.
(2) Mackerel – High in omega 3 fats and protein.
(3) Pineapple – Strange choice. They said it’s good post-workout.
(4) Edamame Beans – Another name for soy beans. Not a bad source of protein but also contains 10 grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams with only 14 grams of protein. They do contain all essential amino acids and are a complete protein, but animal sources of protein are better for MANS dieters i.e. higher protein, less carbs.
(5) Olive Oil – The monounsaturated fat in olive oil helps prevent muscle breakdown and protects joints
(6) Venison – High protein and vitamin B12 content
(7) Broccoli – I’ve blogged about the greatness of these miniature bonsai trees before in ‘Top 10 Reasons you Need Broccoli in Your Diet‘. I was glad to see it included!
(8) Eggs – Cheap, high in protein, fat, and vitamin D which is essential for maintaining healthy muscle tissue! One of the best foods on earth. Go here to learn the top 10 reason you should have eggs in your diet.
(9) Coffee – They stated that caffeine improves endurance by easing muscle pain. I would agree with that and recently wrote about the benefits of a little pre-workout caffeine blast!
(10) Anchovies – Another protein and omega 3 rich food
(11) Turmeric. The explanation is that the curcumin found in turmeric promotes muscle growth and repair. Add a pinch to your chicken curry recipe for added flavor and to experience the benefits.
(12) Full-Fat Organic Milk – Wow! I’m impressed that they actually opted for the full-fat version 🙂 . I’m not a big milk lover but when I do drink it, I take full-fat. Use sparingly on MANS
(13) Ginger – Alleviates muscle pain.
(14) Grass-Fed Organic Beef. Again, I’m impressed! They state, “Nothing beats pure beef protein for building muscles” – exactly right! They also recommend grass-fed beef as it is higher in CLA (conjugated Linoleic Acid) – this is correct.
(15) Live Natural Yogurt – Helps increase good bacteria in the gut which aids protein digestion
(16) Watercress – High in iron and vitamin C.
(17) Quinoa – (pronounced keen-wah) Again, a complete protein and a good choice for high-carb bodybuilders. A good staple of the GLAD diet. Men’s health state, “Forget your usual starchy carbs” – good advice!
(18) Ricotta Cheese – Made from whey protein which, of course, aids muscle growth
(19) Kiwi Fruit – Because of the vitamin C apparently. But broccoli actually provides just as much vitamin C as kiwi (interesting fact).
(20) Tahini – (made from sesame seeds) High in zinc which plays a role in cell growth and protein synthesis.
(21) Cucumber– contains silica which is a component of your connective tissue. I love to really load up on cucumber and other salad veggies when I’m on my cutting program. They provide a lot of bulk in your stomach for very little calories.
(22) Turkey – Protein and glutamine which regulates protein synthesis
(24) Papaya – Contains papain which breaks dietary protein into easily absorbable compounds
(25) Wheatgerm – Contains chromium, which improves glucose intake into muscle cells.
(27) Spirulina – 65% protein. It’s also about 20% carbohydrate and not needed by MANS dieters. Could come in handy for vegetarians and vegans though.
(28) Water – Definitely too far down on the list for my liking. Water is crucial for peak strength, aiding digestion and maximizing the effectiveness of creatine monohydrate. Read my article ‘Why you Need Water to Build Muscle.’
(29) Cherry Juice – Reduces Muscle Pain. I disagree with anyone recommending fruit juice. Fruit juice is NOT a health food. Fruit is meant to be eaten. Juicing removes the fiber. You end up drinking way more sugar than you’d eat, and without the fiber, the fructose hits your liver much faster. This is a health disaster. Apart from some healthful micronutrients, you might as well drink a Coke. Forget this one.
(30) Spinach – Octacosanol, found in spinach, improves muscular strength and endurance. This is a great list of foods and I believe it demonstrates the changing opinion of the mainstream 😀 Heck, the low-carb, high fat TNT Diet is a Men’s Health book! Additionally, here’s an awesome graphic; it’s a big list of high protein foods.
Hope This Helps! 😀 Mark McManus image credit: avlxyz
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