Table of Contents
Packed with protein, fat and the amino acid creatine (which many bodybuilders take in supplement form) steak is pretty much the best muscle-building food there is. It should be at the top of your shopping list.
Don’t limit yourself to beef though – pork, lamb, veal and even venison, buffalo and elk steaks are all good additions.
2. Whole Eggs
Only skinny guys throw away the yolks. When bulking, you need all those calories the yolk brings. It is true that the yolk contains all the fat and cholesterol, but you need both of these to grow big and strong.
Plus, the yolk also contains all the vitamin A, D and E – essential for optimal health.
Eggs are the ideal breakfast, whether you scramble, poach, boil, or fry them. Just don’t go the Rocky route of drinking them straight from the glass – you digest the protein better when the egg is cooked.
Much like the first two foods, salmon contains both protein and fat. The other benefit salmon has is the essential fatty acids, known as omega 3.
These are an anti inflammatory fat, so help repair damaged muscle cells and tissue after training. They also regulate your fat burning genes, and manage your insulin sensitivity, meaning you use carbohydrates better, putting them more towards muscle growth and repair rather than storing them as fat.
Salmon (along with other oily fish like mackerel, kippers and trout) is a much better choice than tuna, cod or tilapia, due to its higher calorie content.
4. Chicken Breast
Despite the benefits of fattier proteins, sometimes you want a lean meat.
Chicken breast is versatile, relatively cheap and a great way to get protein into your diet. Have chicken breast when you’re also having a different fat source such as avocado, cheese or olive oil in a meal.
Carbs are your friend when bulking, and they don’t come much 'carbier' than rice. It cooks quickly, is inexpensive and goes with anything. Try brown, white, wild, basmati or jasmine rice. There’s very little between them, so choose your favorite.
6. Green Vegetables
Popeye lived off spinach, and look at the guy’s forearms! Do you need any more reasons to eat your veggies?
In all seriousness, vegetables are a really important part of any clean muscle diet. All too often, bodybuilders and strength athletes overlook vegetables as they focus more on protein, carb and fat-based foods, all of which contain more calories.
Veggies help keep you healthy though, with their high concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you’re healthy you can train harder, get ill much less often and generally feel and perform better.
Be liberal with broccoli, asparagus, peppers, the aforementioned spinach, kale, zucchini and non-green stuff too. Mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, eggplant and tomatoes are all great choices.
Fruit is synonymous with dieters, but it’s probably better suited to muscle-gaining guys and girls.
Many fruits are surprisingly high in calories (mainly from sugar) but calories are the building blocks of mass. Low-carb fruits like berries and grapefruit work well for dieters, but when gaining muscle, look to bananas, dried fruit, apples, pineapple and mango.
Like rice, oatmeal is a great carb source. But rice can be a little hard to stomach at breakfast time, so go with oats instead.
Any nut could have made the list, but almonds take the space due to their higher fiber content.
10. Peanut Butter
Need an easy way to get in more calories?
Make friends with Mr. peanut butter jar and Mr. spoon.