If you’re working out with the goal of building muscle, you probably know protein is key. When you lift, you damage muscle fibers, which activates a repair process that fosters the growth of new muscle cells. For this, your body needs amino acids, the basic components of protein.
A recent article in FoxNews.com lists the top ten muscle building foods favored by body builders:
Quinoa is a protein-packed grain indigenous to South America, and it is a great substitute for meat. It contains all nine of the essential amino acids and it is packed with fiber, magnesium and iron. Plus, it’s gluten free!
Almonds are another protein rich food; a quarter cup of these little powerhouses offers almost eight grams of protein. They are also rich in heart-healthy monosaturated fats and magnesium, necessary for energy metabolism and protein synthesis.
8. Cottage Cheese
Half a cup of low-fat cottage cheese delivers a huge 14 grams of protein, with only 80 calories and less than two grams of fat.
Oysters are a secret weapon for many weight lifters. Just 100 grams of cooked oysters delivers 20 grams of protein with only five grams of fat. Oysters are very high in zinc, which, like magnesium, is essential for protein synthesis.
6. Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk isn’t just for kids. Milk is an animal food that provides all the essential amino acids with minimal fat. Best of all for bodybuilders, milk mixes well with whey protein. Consider Shamrock Farms Rockin’ Refuel, which mixes with milk to deliver 20 grams of protein.
5. Lean Ground Beef
Red meat is a great source of protein; 100 grams of lean ground beef delivers 27 grams of protein at 200 calories. Although it is fairly high in fat, it is packed with vitamin B12, zinc and iron.
Soybeans are a complete protein, delivering 20 grams in just a cup of cooked beans, along with an array of other vitamins and minerals. Enjoy it as edamame, tofu or soy milk.
Eggs are easy to cook, delicious and versatile. At only 60 calories, each egg is packed with five or six grams of protein. And egg protein is the most readily accessible protein, which means it is also the most efficient for muscle growth.
A 100 gram chicken breast is filling and delicious, and it gives you 31 grams of protein at only four grams of fat.
Fish is the number one food for building muscle. A 100 gram serving of salmon yields 25 grams of protein, rich in heart-healthy monosaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D.