Table of Contents
- 1 Why Protein Is Important for Muscle Building?
- 2 What Are the Best Sources of Protein for Building Muscle?
- 3 Most Frequently Asked Questions About a Muscle Building Diet
- 4 The Takeaway
Best protein sources for building muscle should be an inseparable part of your diet as you fast track your bodybuilding progress.
Today, we reveal the list of Best Natural Sources of Protein for Muscle Building you need to get shredded. Consider this as the go-to guide in preparing your every day nutrition plan.
Well, protein, being the building block of the human body, is the secret to every bodybuilder’s ripped arms and biceps.
In fact, in spite of popular notions, training is just a part of the equation. What you eat pre- and post-workout is what plays into the growth factors eventually.
Thus, chances are you haven’t been able to get much success by solely basing your efforts on training hard.
Guess what! You can maximize muscle growth with much less training if you eat right.
Here’s why protein takes precedence for seasoned bodybuilders.
Why Protein Is Important for Muscle Building?
When it comes to a Muscle Building Diet, how can we not talk about protein?
This super macronutrient is alone a key player in weight loss, growth and repair of tissues, and balancing out the fat-muscle ratio.
So, you’re doing your muscles a disservice if you’re not adding enough of it into your diet. Protein remains the catalyst for sizing up your muscles while also speeding up the recovery time after intense exertion.
High Protein Foods are also useful in the following ways when balanced with other macronutrients:
- Invigorates muscle hypertrophy
- Cuts fat while retaining lean muscle
- Speeds up healing and recovery to repair muscle tears
- Provides strength for explosive workouts and rapid muscle pumps
- Enhances satiety to keep you feeling full and reduce extra caloric intake
- Reduces muscle breakdown
- Strengthens the bond between muscle fibers
- Brings down muscle soreness after heavy-duty training sessions
However, it’s important to up your intake of Good Sources of Protein for Building Muscle without extra bulk.
Not all protein sources are equal and variety is the key here. The good news is you can do much more than just chicken and protein shakes.
What Are the Best Sources of Protein for Building Muscle?
Now, here’s the tricky part!
When prepping a High Protein Diet Plan for Muscle Gain, don’t just stuff your meals with proteins. You also need carbs and fat. While protein intake fuels muscle growth, carbs are the body’s source of energy.
Thus, it offers your body the energy it needs to ramp up workout productivity. When these macros are in balance, real results start rolling in.
Try including a protein source in each meal of your Muscle Building Diet Plan. This will get you the carved fit physique you so desire.
Here are some of our top recommendations of the best protein sources for building muscle. Some of these offer a long list of choices for flavoring to add a tasty twist to your muscle-pumping diet.
#1. Turkey Breast
100g offers 58% daily value of protein.
You want to be choosing the poultry that has the most nutrition and a good amount of protein. Turkey breast is one of them with its high protein and vitamin content.
A 3-ounce serving can offer you about 25 grams of protein without too many carbs or fat. Thus, you add in the protein without adding in the extra calories that you don’t need.
Although it doesn’t have carb content, it is flooded with B vitamins. This can potentially be a major boost for your workouts.
As a result, most people choose turkey breasts as their meat of choice for muscle maintenance.
Well, it can be one of the best protein sources for building muscle if you do eat meat. With its quality protein content, it’ll spike the levels of amino acids that are vital for optimum muscle health.
So, don’t forget to include it in your Muscle-Building Foods List. You can also go for turkey breast labeled antibiotic-free if that’s something that concerns you.
#2. Cottage Cheese
4 oz packs 26% daily value of protein.
The main advantage of dairy products like cottage cheese is the option to pick from varying fat content. So, you can choose from cream to low-fat according to your caloric restrictions.
Plus, it’s a vital source of protein along with other nutrients, such as zinc and calcium. Its reputation as the Best Protein Food for Building Lean Muscle certainly also comes from its Casein content.
In fact, almost 80% of its protein comes from casein, which is a slow-digesting protein. This means it keeps on feeding your muscles with amino acids to maintain growth.
Moreover, the best part is how easy it is to include in your diet. Eat it as a snack or include it in your breakfast or main meal plan. The choice entirely depends on you.
As it is highly filling, it’ll also aid satiety and keep you full for longer periods of time. Thus, it’s a great fix for your midnight cravings when taken as a part of your dinner.
1 large boiled egg offers 12% daily value of protein.
Eggs are an all-around nutritious addition to your list of Healthy Sources of Protein for Muscle Building. It, in fact, contains a healthy dose of B vitamins, essential amino acids, and healthy fats.
Plus, it has high amounts of leucine and choline, both established for their role in muscle growth. With nine essential amino acids, including eggs in your diet can be a great move towards a defined physique.
The amino acids in eggs are critical in the production of protein. Thus, enhancing muscle mass over time when paired with weightlifting.
On the other hand, the B vitamins will add to your workouts with renewed focus, energy, and mental agility.
All these factors combine to make eggs one of the best protein sources for building muscle. Besides, they are a particularly good source of monounsaturated fat as well.
It does help that eggs are highly versatile and affordable to add to your diet. One great way to start your day is to have a filling breakfast that includes eggs.
#4. Yellowfin Tuna
3 oz delivers 50% daily value of protein.
Tuna happens to be highly nutrient-dense seafood with amazing muscle-related perks. With its high-quality protein proportion, it is one of the best Protein Foods for Bodybuilding.
Apart from being a rich source of protein, tuna also contains Vitamin B6, D, and potassium.
However, the star nutrient of Tuna is its omega-3 fatty acids. Research has already shown how it can slow down muscle loss in older adults.
Plus, omega 3s also repair muscle damage. When combined with other nutrients, having this seafood can alleviate muscle tension and improve exercise performance.
Not to mention, we also have selenium as a part of its nutrient profile, which regulates hormonal balance and muscle growth.
So, clearly, Tuna offers a tight punch of nutrition when it comes to boosting muscle size.
But there are many people who don’t favor tuna or any other seafood as their food of choice for muscle gain. Well, then scroll down to check out other best protein sources for building muscle suitable for vegetarians.
Up to 36% daily value of protein depending on the kind of bean.
Along with protein, most beans are amazing sources of fiber, vitamin B, iron, and phosphorus. Such high nutritional value ranks beans among the Best Vegetarian Protein Sources for Muscle Building.
The rich fiber proportion of beans helps manage your metabolic health to keep the body functioning properly. Moreover, B vitamins boost strength and workout performance. This further provides the right environment for muscle oxygenation and growth.
One other factor that makes beans our absolute favorite among the best protein sources for building muscle is zinc.
Zinc, being an essential mineral, has already proven to boost testosterone levels which determine body composition. Thus, beans top the list among the best protein sources for building muscle for non-meat eaters.
You have a large selection in front of you, though. There are lentils, kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans. The easiest way to add them to your meal plan would be preparing soup or adding them to salads.
100g fulfills 16% daily value of protein.
Soy proteins found in tofu is regarded as one of the most superior sources of plant-based protein. Besides, tofu is a suitable meat alternative for vegans.
However, being one of the Vegan Protein Sources for Muscle Building doesn’t limit its nutritional value.
As a matter of fact, raw tofu is a rich source of protein, iron, and calcium.
As a derivative of soy, it also has a healthy dose of antioxidants, which regulates your cardiovascular health. These antioxidants and calcium together help maintain better bone health.
Optimum bone density directly translates to better workouts and improved muscle function.
Thus, adding tofu to your meal chart provides extra energy and endurance to your muscles. Not to mention, it is relatively easy to work into your diet.
Popular options include either stir-fry or cooking them on the grill. Similar to tofu, other soy foods, such as soymilk, miso, and edamame are also rich sources of dietary protein.
#7. Greek Yogurt
170g of nonfat greek yogurt offers 34% daily value of protein.
This dairy option is the top alternative to regular yogurt with almost double the amount of protein. Though, besides protein, you can also rely on a cup of greek yogurt to provide you calcium and vitamin B12.
The amino acid content further helps in the regeneration of muscle tissues. Moreover, greek yogurt can be an option for people with lactose intolerance. It effectively addresses digestive issues while fulfilling nutritional lack.
Due to all these essential nutrients, greek yogurt could be your go-to option for a healthy snack. Eating it before bedtime could also be beneficial to supply the muscle with the required amino acids all through the night.
However, you may have to scour the shelves a bit to find your perfect container of greek yogurt. As it is available in a number of flavors, make sure to pick the one with the lowest sugar level.
Well, you may choose to have your serving of greek yogurt right after the workout to support muscle regeneration.
How you choose to make these best protein sources for building muscle a part of your diet is individual to your own eating preferences. Though, always be aware of what you choose to eat on an everyday basis.
The worst thing you can do while on a bodybuilding journey is not paying attention to what you eat. If you’re not eating well, all your training efforts are essentially going to waste.
So, if ready to smash your goals, we suggest you also have a look at the below-mentioned FAQs. Here, we’ve put together a list of the most-asked questions to help you prepare the right diet plan.
Most Frequently Asked Questions About a Muscle Building Diet
Well, getting your ideal body is harder when you’re not informed enough. Below we address some common queries related to bodybuilding diet and protein intake.
#1. How much protein do I need in a day to gain muscle?
The exact amount of protein you will need in a day will depend on your age, lifestyle, weight, and body goals.
The daily recommended amount is 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound.
However, this is the bare minimum to avoid deficiency. You may actually need higher amounts of protein if you’re very active as compared to a sedentary person.
Plus, balance your protein intake with carbs and fat to maintain a healthy body. Over-reliance on protein while cutting out all the other food groups is not the right way and can actually backfire.
As a general estimate, divide your diet into 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% healthy fats.
#2. What protein is not good for you?
Well, eating good proteins is crucial in your pursuit of healthy muscle gain without harming your body.
Some of the common habits that can actually be ruining your health include having proteins through processed meats and grain-fed red meats.
Both these types have a high saturated fat content that’s bad for your overall health.
Also, don’t overdo high-fat cheese. Instead, choose low-fat dairy protein intake in moderation with other dietary sources of protein.
#3. How many eggs can you eat a day?
Evidently, eggs are one of the Best Protein Sources for Building Muscle Cells. However, there is much controversy regarding its intake and high cholesterol levels of yolks.
As per current evidence, eating up to 3 eggs per day should be safe for a healthy adult.
In fact, eggs are jam-packed with many nutrients essential for everyday health and well-being.
#4. What foods to avoid when building muscle?
Well, in general, cut all processed and fried foods from your diet. Plus, decrease your intake of alcohol to free antioxidants for muscle recovery instead of being used for alcohol metabolization.
Additionally, cut out refined flours and ice cream, which are just empty calories without much benefit.
Artificial sweeteners and high sugar breakfast cereals are also not going to benefit your muscle health.
#5. Is 100 grams of protein enough to build muscle?
It will actually depend on your current body weight and activity levels.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should be eating 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. But that holds true only if you actively take part in strength and endurance training.
For instance, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should be eating 60-96 grams of protein each day. It is not hard to hit that goal by dividing the protein intake into meals and snacks.
So, if you really take care of your diet and break down your meals properly, you should be able to meet your protein requirements pretty easily.
There are actually a great number of foods you can utilize to improve lean muscle growth.
The best part is most of the foods we discussed above are also power-packed with vitamins and minerals.
Thus, these will not only give you a ripped physique but also add to your health in other ways. However, with so many options, it’s easy to get sidetracked and exceed the amount of protein intake.
Eating more proteins is not always the best, though, as it presents its own set of problems. So, make sure you eat only as much as you need and choose healthier sources of protein. Never rely on junk foods or even just a single food group to meet your requirements.
Focus on getting your nutritional needs met with a variety of sources and balance protein intake with carbs and fat.
At the end of the day, getting a defined muscular look is all about eating right and then harnessing that nutrition inside the gym.
Did you enjoy reading the blog or do you have any more tips to add? Leave your comments right below!