Spread the love What does it mean to lose weight? In the context of medicine, fitness or health to lose weight refers to reducing your total body mass. That may be lean muscle mass, body fat or even loss of fluids. Weight loss can be intentional or unintentional….
Foods to Include in Your Diet for Muscle Gain and Recovery
The only way you can jump start your muscle gain and recovery is through proper nutrition. I hope you have learned that proper nutrition is the best way to reach your goal. You cannot out train bad nutrition. Also, with on-point nutrition you can speed up the recovery process of your muscles. Eating the right macronutrients can speed up your recovery and get you ready for your next workout. Furthermore, good recovery can improve your workouts and help you achieve your goals faster.
For better understanding of eating healthy: Eating Healthy – Explained Simply & Benefits of Healthy Diet?
Some people are struggling with gaining weight: Tips on How to Achieve Fast Weight Gain
Also, here is something for those who struggle to lose weight: 9 Mistakes You Make in Your Weight Loss Diet.
Before I make a list of the foods you need, you must understand and learn what nutrients we need and why are they important.
Nutrients are environmental substances used for energy, growth, and bodily functions by organisms. They can be needed in large or small amounts. Consequently, if our body needs them in large amounts, we call them macronutrients. On the other hand, if our body needs them in small amounts they are micronutrients.
There are three types of macronutrients humans need: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The three macronutrients all have their own specific roles and functions in the body and supply us with calories. For this reason, the body requires these nutrients in relatively large amounts to grow, develop and repair, hence, the name maronutrients:
- Carbohydrates: Humans need carbohydrates in the largest amounts. Currently, the USDA recommends that adults should get 45-65% of their daily caloric intake from carbohydrates. They are the easiest to digest, therefore, our body uses them for energy. All of our body’s tissues have the ability to use glucose (product of breakdown of carbohydrates) as energy. Furthermore, our brain, kidneys, muscles, heart need carbs to functions properly. Our body can properly metabolize fats when carbohydrates are present. Also, indigestible
carbohydrates in the form of fiber are necessary for intestinal health. They are primarily found in starchy foods (grain, potato, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds etc.). Carbs can be simple or complex, depending on their chemical structure. They contain 4 calories per gram.
Here is some more information on carbohydrates: Atkins Diet (Low-Carb): benefits, Side Effects and Foods to Eat/Avoid
- Proteins: Protein is essential for repairing and regenerating body tissues and cells, a healthy functioning immune system and manufacturing hormones. This would not be possible without amino acids, which are found in protein-based foods. The USDA recommends 10% – 35% of calories in the human diet should come from protein. Furthermore, protein is the major constituent of most cells, making up more than 50% of the dry weight. Our body uses proteins to produce new tissues for growth (muscle gain) and tissue repair, and regulate and maintain body functions. Also, enzymes used for digestion, protection, and immunity are made of protein. Finally, proteins may be used as a source of energy when carbohydrates are not available. You can find protein in meat, poultry, fish, meat substitutes, milk and smaller quantities in fruits and vegetables. The body breaks down protein into its building blocks – amino acids. There are 500 known amino acids, 21 of which humans need. Of the 21 necessary for life, 9 are considered essential since they cannot be produced by the body and must be eaten. Proteins contain 4 calories per gram.
- Fats: Fats (lipids) are substances that do not dissolve in water and are necessary for survival. Currently the USDA recommends 20%-35% of calories should come from fats. We need fats for things like maintenance of cellular membranes. Also, they are high-density energy source and help us absorb fat-soluble vitamins. In addition, fats cushion our organs and insulate the body. Do not be afraid of fats. Not all fats are bad. Therefore, unsaturated fats (almond, avocado, peanuts, vegetable oil, walnuts, fatty fish, seeds, hazelnuts etc,) are good for you. In smaller amounts, saturated fats (butter, regular-fat milk, fatty cuts of beef, pork, lambcheese) are not so bad also. Stray away from trans fats (french fries, margarine, biscuits, cookies, crackers, microwave popcorn, doughnuts, fried fast foods etc,). Fats have 9 calories per gram.
The recommended macronutrient ratio for daily caloric intake is for average daily activities. If you are into fitness or bodybuilding you may want to take a look here: Guide to Macronutrient Ratio for Weigh Loss, Weight Gain & Maintenance.
Micronutrients are nutrients required by organisms throughout life in small quantities to orchestrate a range of physiological functions. They are needed only in minuscule amounts.Hence, the name micronutrients These substances enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones essential for growth and development. Vitamins and minerals are the two types of micronutrients. While only needed in small amounts, they play important roles in human development and well-being, including the regulation of metabolism, heartbeat, cellular pH, and bone density. Lack of any micronutrient can have severe effects on our body. Here is a list of all micronutrients
Water-soluble vitamins are easily lost through bodily fluids and you must replace them each day. Water-soluble vitamins include the B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. Vitamins B6 and B12 are two of the most well-known B-complex vitamins. Since they are not lost as easily as their water-soluble counterparts, fat-soluble vitamins tend to accumulate within the body and you do not need them on a daily basis. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. Minerals are also available in two forms: macrominerals and microminerals.
All foods contain micronutrients. Here is a list of important micronutrients and common foods where they can be found:
- Calcium – milk, yogurt, spinach, and sardines
- Vitamin B12 – beef, fish, cheese, and eggs
- Zinc – beef, cashews, garbanzo beans, and turkey
- Potassium – bananas, spinach, potatoes, and apricots
- Vitamin C – oranges, peppers, broccoli, and bananas
Foods to include in your muscle gain diet
Lean beef is full with all sorts of things conductive to muscle gain, including iron zinc B-vitamins and creatine. Most noteworthy, it provides your body with high quality protein and a high level of amino acid. Also, this acid works with insulin to promote muscle gain.
You should try and choose the healthiest cuts. Sirloin tip side steak is cut out from the sirloin tip or the top of the round; top round steak is cut from the hip-part of the round; eye of round steak is similar to the cuts taken from the tenderloin; bottom round steak is cut out from the outer park of the round and top sirloin is cut of meat from the primal loin, subprimal sirloin.
Chicken is an excellent source of high quality protein, which is important for muscle maintenance and repair, bone health, weight maintenance and of course muscle gain. Additionally, there are so many ways you can cook and prepare chicken. Plus, they can last for several days precooked in the fridge.
An egg is one of the most complete and versatile foods available. It has a valuable role in providing a healthy diet for all and especially bodybuilders. Eggs contain high quality protein, nine essential amino acids, choline, the right kind of fat and vitamin D. On the plus side, they provide the most value for your money. The cholesterol found in eggs yolks serves at the scaffolding for steroid hormones, and the ½ a gram of leucine in each egg is like throwing gasoline on your muscle gain fire.
Rich in casein protein, cottage cheese is a great go-to protein source, especially before bed. Cottage cheese’s muscle-building powers come from two different components. Cottage cheese contains a high proportion of casein, the slow-digesting dairy protein. When you eat casein, your blood amino acid levels rise slowly and stay elevated for longer. This is important in your muscle gain diet, because you do not want to lose your hard earned muscles. Also, it contains live cultures-good bacteria that help in break down and absorption of all nutrients. On the other hand, cottage cheese is an excellent source of vitamin B12, calcium and other important nutrients.
Contains both whey and casein and is rich in the amino acid glutamine. Whole milk should be the staple of your diet, especially when bulking. A glass of milk contains all 8 of the essential amino acids needed for growth, recovery, and repair. Additionally, it will help you put on some size. If you want to reach your “muscle gain” goal you need to eat a lot. When you think you cannot eat more, just drink up!
Tuna and other fish
Fish are high in protein, low in fat, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for muscle gain. The omega-3’s are essential because they aid in fat loss. On the other hand, ensure the proper function of your body processes, such as your metabolism.
Tuna was once a dietary staple until few years ago. People replace it with the sexier salmon. Though salmon does have more omega-3 and the antioxidant astaxanthin, tuna is no slouch. It is a better protein source, contains a 7 vitamins and minerals. Also, it is a good source of selenium, containing 3 times the amount in turkey. Plus, it is one of the cheapest protein sources. If you don’t like eating fish, then make sure to take a fish oil supplement to reap these benefits.
A slow-digesting whole grain that provides you longer-lasting energy throughout the day. Brown rice can help boost your growth hormone (GH) levels. We all know that they are critical for encouraging lean muscle growth, fat loss and strength gains. Cooked brown rice has five grams of protein per cup. It also has a relatively high amount of branched-chain amino acids, making it a good vegetarian muscle-building food.
Cooked brown rice has five grams of protein per cup. It also has a relatively high amount of branched-chain amino acids, making it a good vegetarian muscle-building food.
Believe it or not spinach does help in building lean muscle mass. A good source of glutamine, the amino acid that is important for lean muscle growth.
In addition to glutamine, spinach can increase muscle strength and endurance. Also, some preliminary research shows that it makes you muscles more efficient during workout. Finally, it contains nitrate which makes your muscle stronger.
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah)
Quinoa is a seed, not a grain. It is protein and nutrient rich source of vegetable protein. The three varieties (red, black and white) are terrific substitutes for starchier grains. Also, each contains high amounts of crucial muscle building compounds like iron, magnesium and vitamin B6. It is a complete protein in addition to being a slow-digesting carb
Furthermore, quinoa is linked with an increase in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels. This is important factor scientists associate with lean muscle and strength gains.
I know the thought of consuming fat makes some of you shudder, but good fats are essential for muscle growth. In fact, they play an essential role in hormone production (testosterone and growth hormones). That helps drive muscle gain and strength gains. In addition, you need fats for many important maintenance functions. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the good fats. You can find them in salmon, other fishes, nuts, leafy veggies, oils such as flaxseed, avocados, and seeds. They are also all rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Consistency is the key to success. I do not say that these are the only “clean” foods you should eat. Try and include them in your diet among the other healthy products you consume. There are plenty of tasty, nutrient-rich foods that can help you pack in some serious calories and nutrients. On the other hand, they will provide some much-needed variety to your plate.
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